It’s Too Late to Preserve NYC’s Historic Streets in Amber

Photo sim of a Citi Bike station in Fort Greene: The Local

Last week the Times’ Local blog (now run by former Brooklyn Paper editor Gersh Kuntzman) ran a piece about some Fort Greene residents who think bike-share stations would “interfere” with the historic district:

“The [kiosk is] much too large and out of place for [this block],” said Wyatt Cheek. “We just want it to be at a location that doesn’t interfere with [residents].” He added, “The notion of having Citi Bike logos…will go against the [landmark] character.”

Tweaking the station location might make Wyatt Cheek’s complaint fade away, but fundamentally, New Yorkers need bike-share stations on residential streets in order to get much use out of the system. Otherwise, a lot of people won’t be able to take the bikes from home to the supermarket or to get to work. Brownstoner pretty much nailed the response yesterday: “Our take? Deal with it.”

In addition, I have bad news for anyone who thinks bike-share stations will ruin the “landmark character” of streets that were first developed in the 19th Century: Objects from the 21st Century are already stationed all over the curb lanes of historic districts.

This thing was parked on the same side of Cumberland Street where the Fort Greene NIMBYs think a bike-share station is inappropriate:

Some of these things parked on Cumberland Street are the same royal blue as Citi Bikes:

And a lot of them basically function as rolling, logo-laden advertisements for massive global brands:

Did I mention the ear-splitting alarms that go off at 3 a.m.? Citi Bike doesn’t do that.

Hat tip to Doug Gordon at Brooklyn Spoke, who posted some more historically incongruous pictures from Fort Greene on Sunday.