Confucius Plaza Wants to Plant More Cherry Blossoms, but Citi Bike is in the Way

Posted on: February 18th, 2015 at 5:00 am by


Confucius seeks balance but the bikes are in the way.

The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of New York is rallying to plant additional Cherry Blossom trees and repair walkways at the base of its Confucius Plaza HQ, the 44-story co-op on the Bowery. Evoking the philosophy of Confucius himself (who sits fifteen feet tall in the plaza), the organization seeks to complete the “triangle” of trees and foster a greater aesthetic balance. After all, the philosopher championed balance and the “practical order” of things (i.e. yin yang).

However, those grand plans would require relocating one section of the corner-hogging Citi Bike dock (17 bikes) closer to the commuter van pickup stop on Division Street. There is a curve in the road and allegedly space to accommodate the infrastructure (not on the sidewalk). The bike share company is not having it, though, and all but deflated those grassroots plans last week during the CB3 Transportation subcommittee meeting. As did the Department of Transportation.

Representatives from both the DOT and Citi Bike explained their position during the public forum. Apparently this particular location is one of the most heavily used docks throughout the whole system. Something like 5,000 trips per quarter (200/day). Ergo, neither party has any interest in moving the interlocking section just a few paces to the east. They refuted claims of ample room near the commuter van stop, and asserted that the change might require the elimination of street parking. Not to mention, the trafficked route would be dangerous to those seeking a Citi Bike.

CB3 wasn’t inclined to support the measure, so it’ll likely die on the vine. Unless there are deep connections to tap…

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