Rosenthal Remarks At Tree Lighting Misleading

Citi Bike Hope Stirred But It's False

Updated 10 weeks ago David Stone
Bikes on sidewalks are only a part of the uncontrolled dangers posed by increased usage on Roosevelt Island.
Bikes on sidewalks are only a part of the uncontrolled dangers posed by increased usage on Roosevelt Island.
© David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

RIOC president Susan Rosenthal is proud of her successes in leading the charge on infrastructure and other physical changes to Roosevelt Island. She's also big on bikes, as witnessed by support for the $14 million gold-plated bike ramp. But merged remarks at Friday's Tree Lighting Ceremony mislead many bicycle enthusiasts.

Rosenthal was all over Friday's event. She was among the first on the scene while it was being set up, chatting with the band and checking out the vendors. Later, she and city council member Ben Kallos danced on stage while Funktion played.

But she also took a political spin, taking the mic to tell the audience about infrastructure progress...and Citi Bike, but the Citi Bike thing was really nothing new or especially accurate.

As The Daily reported, back in July, Citi Bike owners, Lyft, dropped the main obstacle that kept Roosevelt Island from getting a set of docking stations. Previous owner Motivate had demanded a substantial upfront fee.

We learned about that from the City Department of Transportation after they announced a Citi Bike expansion, days before. Roosevelt Island was again not on the list, and we asked why.

“I’m very happy to hear about this change in the Citi Bike program," Rosenthal told The Daily at the time. "My staff and I look forward to discussing the idea of bringing Citi Bike to Roosevelt Island with NYC DOT in the near future.”

But nothing has changed since. 

As we reported, "the near future" is a squishy term that doesn't really say much, and neither does "in the spring," because according to a report in the Roosevelt Islander, all RIOC is doing is "waiting for a proposal" from Citi Bike.

And RIOC spokesman Terrence McCauley confirmed, "She was just talking about earlier reports that we were still exploring the possibility. We’re still waiting to hear back from Citi Bike, so nothing is imminent."

The most likely scenario is Roosevelt Island being included in the next round of expansion, whenever that's announced. 

In the meantime, there's hope that RIOC's Public Safety Department will do something, anything, about rampant safety violations with eBikes and conventional bicycles before Citi Bike ramps up the hazards, increasing the prospects of someone getting hurt while PSD officers stand by with their hands in their pockets.

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