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Neighbors for Better Bike Share Stations

April 19, 2013

I am shocked – shocked! – to learn that a very small number of people are opposed to the placement of bike share stations.

“Jacques Capsouto, 68, says he fears the bike station will take away parking spaces and block the entrance to his Capsouto Freres bistro on Washington Street.”

Capsouto also complained that “stations would make it more difficult for garbage trucks to pick up trash.”

I don’t think anyone should make too big a deal of this.  After all, 5,000 Citi Bike fans can’t be wrong.  However, I do think it’s important to nip these flare-ups in the bud, so here goes…

Like the absurd argument that empty bike lanes are dangerous to cross because of all the cyclists using the bike lane, Capsouto presents two opposing things that can not be true at the same time.  How can it be that a docking station will block the entrance to his business or make it hard for DSNY to pick up trash when the cars that were parked there before did not?  If the docking station replaced parking spaces, then cars already blocked the entrance and the curb!  On the other hand, if the docking station replaced a no standing or loading zone, then the fear of losing parking has no basis in a reality that remained unchanged until yesterday.

You don’t have to love or even understand bicycle sharing, but you do have to live in the world of logical consistency if you want a seat at the table.  You can either be upset over the loss of parking spaces OR you can be upset over a blocked entrance. Pick one.


  1. Wilfried permalink
    April 19, 2013 11:02 am

    And they have to live in a world where non-drivers pay taxes to support the roads, and therefore have a right to use them too. Bike infrastucture is just a way to move the streets away from the automobile monopoly. If drivers can’t see how they’re privileged, they need to think about how much it would cost them if they had to pay to for the resources they use driving and parking.

  2. Jesse permalink
    April 19, 2013 12:27 pm

    It bothered me that the article did not explain whether it was in a parking space or loading zone, but I don’t expect responsible journalism from the Post. It did occur to me, however, that the owner could be upset because it’s “his” parking space that’s being repurposed.

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