Duane Street restaurants petitioning to get Citi Bike dock removed

With indoor dining delayed for now and curbside dining the only way local restaurants are staying alive, two Duane Street restaurants are circulating a petition to either close the street to traffic or get the Citi Bike dock removed. They have heard from the Department of Transportation that in fact it is planning to extend that dock, so that has increased the urgency of their efforts. (They have 161 signatures as of this morning. You can sign here.)

Community Board 1 will discuss the Citi Bike plan at its Transportation Committee meeting on Monday, when I hope the committee will also push the DOT to close the street AND restore the two Citi Bike docks that were once on Warren — going back three years — in front of Whole Foods and alongside Pain Quotidien. (I sent a couple emails already to DOT on this.)

And while I will never argue for the removal of any Citi Bike stations — especially during a virus outbreak — the DOT should consider moving it around the corner to Greenwich, where all three businesses were evicted, or alongside Duane Park on the north curb of the south fork, where the traffic is quiet, or in front of local retail which does not need the curbside space.

Duane Street has for many of us become the heart of the neighborhood during the pandemic. Not only does it have the park, but a couple of the its businesses (Duane Park Patisserie, Laughing Man, Tribeca Wine Merchants) were among the very few open throughout the pandemic. It now has Tokyo Bay, The Hideaway, L’Angolo, Gigino, Khe-Yo, Weather Up, and the new Serenata in the old Max space open and operating.

This from the owner of The Hideaway, Justin Palmer, who has been in that space since 2004:
“With indoor dining on further pause, The Hideaway is a neighborhood institution that desperately needs access to the roadway at their storefront to participate in the very program (Open Table) that was designed to save the restaurant industry. While Citibike remains a reliable and safe method for city travel, it should not come at the cost of our local small businesses.”

 

7 Comments

  1. Why not move the Duane Street Citi Bike dock to the western vertex of Duane Triangle Park, with its expanse of unused street? That was DOT’s original (and excellent) location, in fact, until a resident of 165 Duane preciously and loudly complained that she didn’t want to have to see “corporate branding” from her apartment window, leading to the switch.

    • That wasn’t the reason – the bikes weren’t located at the apex of the park because there is a fire hydrant located there, the community generally felt it was better to preserve the open space and there were several other/better locations available. A list of suggested sites was given to the DOT after consulting with neighbors and businesses on the block and the “Cornerstone” corner was the site chosen as the least disruptive though ideally, they would have put it on the Greenwich Street side.

  2. What about sidewalk in front of Food Emporium- I mean Best Foods- I mean another empty storefront on Greenwich…

  3. As a resident of Duane St near the park, I oppose moving the citibike rack and closing the street. The bikes are indeed used despite what the petition says and there is a need for eastbound traffic. the current outdoor drinking has caused an excessive amount of trash left on people’s stoops and in the park. I have picked up litter nearly every morning and have seen others doing the same. I am not in favor of increasing this.

  4. I am a citi bike key holder and use them often, but the current bike station needs to be relocated- Charles Komanoff has suggested an excellent location, but there are other spots that will work and NOT impede our neighborhood restaurants from trying to stay open for themselves and for us.
    re the complaint about garbage– i totally agree that those of us businesses here on Duane Street MUST be responsible for keeping things tidy. i pick up empty cups everymorning tht have drifted in front my my bakery- but it is getting better!
    as far as closing the street to through traffic- i am not on board with this for several reasons: Duane St is the only main eastbound street, besides chambers that can accommodate trucks- which deliver all our “stuff”-not just mine. (think FEDEX, UPS ) If Duane Street is closed, then eastbound traffic will have to shift to Reade St (which would have to be configurred to an esstbound sgtreet all the way), which is too narrow to handle all the traffic- even if the parking were removed -or to chambers st.
    but if there is strong community sentiment to close duane st, i propose an impact study .that way everyone one should be completely informed about the short/long term impact of closing..

  5. It does seem counterintuitive that just as more people are spending time in the streets around Duane Park, the city wants to fit more branded bike docks onto the exact same block. The docks should be removed altogether from any street bordering Duane Park.

  6. I am a restaurant owner on East 2nd street between Ave A & B, and have the same exact problem. I am the only restaurant on the block that has Citi Bike in front and does not have use of the street nor the sidewalk since we can only use the space in front of our storefront. I have contacted the city several times and they said they would not remove city furniture at this time. I dont think this helps with trying to keep small business and restaurants above during this time, that was their goal with the “open streets”. Please send me some information on what you are doing to get this job done if you dont mind. I have exhausted all my options. Citi Bike can easily be moved to the opposite side of the street on 2nd. I support your petition

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