Citi Bike is Taking Over Astoria

Citi Bike has installed 59 new docking stations in Astoria alone this year.
Photo by Aaron Pilosov.

In early September, Citi Bike released 140 new docking stations in NYC neighborhoods including 59 new stations in Astoria, alone. The influx of these biking stations seem to be causing more of an uproar to neighborhood locals rather than a convenience.

Citi Bike stations are being placed sloppily around Astoria, Queens and it’s making it harder for people who work and live in the area to park their cars. Astoria, like much of Queens and NY,C has always been a tough place to park because of construction and alternate-side parking rules.

“Parking in Astoria is hard to begin with, there is constant road construction and now it seems according to the website there new Citi Bike stations in Astoria, some are in the roads and some are on the sidewalks and it’s just eating up space,” says Mr.  Scheiner, English teacher at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School. “Teachers literally have to run out of the building to move their cars in between classes.”

Frank Sinatra High School located is located on 35th avenue and 34th street. The school shares the block with Kaufman Studios, another factor in the neighborhood, being that they often take up parking spaces with their large film trucks and equipment during film shoots.

There are two Citi Bike stations on 35th avenue between 38th and 34th street causing complications to vehicle owners in the area.
Citi docking stations have been causing problems after being placed in busy streets such as on Steinway Street in Astoria, in the heart of the neighborhood’s shopping district.

“So far I’ve received six parking tickets since the docking station was placed on 28th avenue and Steinway street,” says Sofiane Rachedi, neighborhood local and worker at Chubby Burgers located on 28th avenue. “I always parked my car across the street from work and now these bikes take up parking space that could hold up to four cars.”

Mr. Rachedi claims that he now owes roughly $400 in parking tickets as a result of Citi Bikes complicating his parking routine. “Who knows how many more tickets are to come, I just might have to settle for walking to work everyday,” adds Mr. Rachedi.

The docking station on 28th avenue and Steinway street has taken away parking for local residents and workers on Steinway street causing plenty of inconvenience for locals and making traffic worse.

“With all the people double parked on 28th avenue and Steinway, I have a hard time getting home after work. I think more people are struggling in result of this bike station rather than benefitting,” says Latifa Mabchour, current resident on 30th avenue and 38th street.

Apparently, business is booming for parking ticket officers in the area.

“My co-workers and I marked this spot as our favorite area to hang around,” says a parking ticketing Officer Ayub Khaidi. “I give out roughly five to ten parking tickets an hour on 28th avenue and Steinway street.”

– by Rami Elmrini ’18