March 3, 2016
As many of you knew, New York City had designated our northeastern corner as a 150 foot Citibank docking station. Right in front of 101, which was at the time was involved in a complex imbroglio with the state attorney general. Our informal network of residents indicated that most neighbors were not in favor of a bike station at that location.
We therefore reached out to the owner/developer of this building, who succeeded the not particularly nice lady who got into trouble with the AG. We agreed on a strategy to present a very simple rational front to the New York City Department of Transportation. The developer’s lawyer wrote a convincing letter that a bike station at this time at that location would conflict with the New York City permits associated with the approved building renovation. We wrote an equally convincing letter to the Commissioner that there were a number of better locations than right in front of what will hopefully become a strong northeastern anchor to our block.
Appearances by several members of our Association before the local community board, coupled with our conversations and letters were enough to change the mind of the Commissioner of Transportation. None of us came out against bicycles but against the impracticality of this location. The firm engaged to select places for Citibike stands promptly found an alternative thereby removing us from their potential sites for the foreseeable future. We accomplished what we wanted for our own good, and the developer is in our debt – and knows that we are willing to work with them. Win-win all around.