Tiffany Cordero

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When it comes to transportation woes, we can all agree that Brooklyn has been going through it. Since the announcement of the L train shutdown, to the announcement of the shutdown’s cancelation, residents throughout NYC have been anxiously waiting for some clarity on the situation and alternative solutions.

While there was relief overall when the shutdown’s cancelation was announced, some local representatives still urged the Department of Transit (DOT) to follow through with the mitigation plans drafted in order to deal with the impending “L-pocalypse.”

“DOT should STILL move forward with the expansion of bus & bike lanes and Citi Bike into Bushwick. It will ease congestion and a packed L train, making North Brooklyn more livable,” wrote NYC Councilman Rafael Espinal in a tweet following the cancelation of the shutdown.

Although, it’s not entirely clear which of the sweeping mitigation measures would survive the last-minute implementation plans, locals will have the option of renting bikes via Citi Bike that will be expanding to Bushwick this year.

Although the exact locations for the docks are still unknown, a spokesperson for the DOT told Gothamist that the agency will be adding 19 new stations along the L train corridor by April 27, with the majority of those docks coming to Bushwick. In addition to this, the DOT announced a handful of valet and temporary stations that are expected to be installed in the western half of the neighborhood.

“We’re welcoming the news, of course, but we want to know when and where these bikes are going to be located,” Espinal told Gothamist. “There are many Bushwick residents who have been eagerly waiting…there’s been an air of frustration for a while now.”

Courtesy of Haven Cycles.

In addition to pushing for clarity on the location of the docks, Espinal also urged the DOT to commit to bringing pedal-assist models to the neighborhood, which he believes would incentivize residents to commute by bike into Manhattan. 

It seems that Councilman Espinal isn’t the only one who shares this belief, local bike shop, Haven Cycles at 1546 Dekalb Ave, thinks the Citi Bike expansion contributes to their overall goal.

“In my opinion, anything that gets people riding bikes is good,” said Robin, a worker at Haven Cycles. When asked if they thought of Citi Bike as a potential threat, she added “We aren’t concerned much.  Our goal as a shop is to get more people onto bikes and we think Citi bike could be like a gateway drug. More people will want to use bikes and eventually want to have their own, and hopefully, they will come to us.”

In the next five years, Citi Bike plans to  double their service area and more than triple the size of their fleet, thanks to a $100 million investment from Lyft.

The DOT also hopes to install additional stations beyond the 19 new L train-corridor docks as soon as this summer, according to a spokesperson from the agency.

Although there are still questions surrounding its implementation, at least residents in Brooklyn can give a sigh of relief for an alternative mode of transportation that’s good for our bodies and the environment.

Cover image courtesy of Alan Levine.

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