Martha R. Gotwals: Bashing bike share, with bullet points

To The Editor:
The bike enthusiasts are missing the point. I too have never owned a car in Manhattan, and truth be told, wish they were banned from the borough. I too take public transportation everywhere, only resorting to cabs in the case of emergencies or heavy loads. I too care about the environment.

BUT, where I live at 300 West 17th Street, our entire building is blocked end-to-end by an enormous bike stand. Parking spaces are irrelevant to me. However, here’s what is:

  • Emergency vehicles, such as fire trucks or ambulances, have no place to pull up.
  • Both the front door and side basement door are blocked, making fuel delivery a big problem.
  • People who have trouble walking because of age or disabilities cannot get curbside taxi or Access-a-Ride service; they have to go around to get to the door.
  • Trash is building up in the space between the stands and the sidewalk, and it’ll only get worse when the bikes are there.
  • There’s no place to leave our garbage for the Sanitation Department that’s on our property, and it’s illegal to leave it on a neighboring property.
  • The already-large population of non-residents sitting on our stoop will increase enormously, along with the noise level.
  • No bike stand should block an entire building. It’s just not right. Right down the street from me is a small park. If they divided the bike stand in two, they could move it so that it was in front of the park while still leaving the access drive for the Parks Department.

I can only assume that the bike stand is right at the corner of Eighth Avenue because it’s a more visible and, therefore, more profitable location. I urge the Department of Transportation to be more aware and thoughtful of community residents who are affected by these decisions.
Martha R. Gotwals