Straus Square CitiBike Dock Temporarily Removed, as Pedestrian Plaza Nears Activation
Yesterday morning, CitiBike dispatched a maintenance crew to Straus Square to extract its bicycle dock from the longtime perch. Flexible bollards that marked the hardware were likewise uprooted from the asphalt.
CitiBike confirmed, however, that this removal is temporary, and at the “request of DOT.” All maps show this station – one that holds about twenty bikes – as “out of service.” We’re told the dock should return in two to three weeks.
The action is part of a larger plan for the area. Essentially, the first step toward creating a new pedestrian plaza that will connect the traffic triangle to Seward Park. As reported, the Parks subcommittee of Community Board 3 approved the plan earlier this month, at the behest of the Lower East Side Partnership. Temporary seating with umbrellas will soon follow.
Subsequent steps for the pedestrian plaza include relocating the taxi stand to the East Broadway side of the traffic triangle, the placement of planters, and resurfacing the pavement with a rumble-strip-type coating to deter skateboarders from the area. The CitiBike station will be permanently relocated, but a new spot has not been chosen.
The Parks Department and the Seward Park Conservancy would be maintenance partners responsible for the area, with plans to host “programming” here.
By next summer, Parks will install a “cycling amenity” for the community – a shed and bike repair shop functioning under Bike New York’s “Recycle-a-Bicycle” program.
As rosy as the business improvement district would have you believe, there were still legitimate concerns aired by CB3 during the approval, such as the potential impacts on traffic in an already bottlenecked area. Especially given the rerouted cars to the Rutgers light, influx of pedestrians, and the M9 and Chinatown bus situation. Apparently, the DOT doesn’t think so.