Friday, May 31, 2013

Chelsea Outdoor Recreation Locations

Here you'll find maps of many  of the activities that occur in DCP parks. By graphically getting a picture of the activities we have, people  can better get a feel for what activities to request when DCP  CB4 parks are renovated or new ones built.

All Seating Locations (Yellow, Green, Blue,and  white icons)

View Park Chelsea in a larger map

Outdoors Kids Playspaces

View Outdoors Kids Playspaces in a larger map
Outdoor Basketball Courts

View Chelsea Basketball Courts in a larger map
Outdoor Ping Pong, Reading Room, Ice skating, Adult swings, board games, Backgammon, Petangue

View Outdoor Ping Pong, Ice Skating, Board Games, Reading Room in a larger map
Outdoor Handball Courts

View Handball in a larger map
Dog Runs

View Chelsea Dog Runs in a larger map

Citibike Docking Stations

View Chelsea's Citibike Docking Stations in a larger map
Food " Recreation"

View Chelsea "Food Recreation" in a larger map

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Read-Fi and Play-Fi Hotspot: Rockefeller Park

"Drop by the Rockefeller Park House and have fun playing in the park! Adults and children can borrow toys and play equipment to use free of charge. Smaller kids can let their imaginations go wild with the play kitchen and pretend food or invent a game with hula hoops, bouncy balls and blocks. There are many fun kids’ books available for those who wish to sit on the grass and enjoy a quiet read. Older children, teens and adults can play billiards, Ping-Pong, Chess or Scrabble. Stop in and challenge your friends to a game of knock-hockey, basketball, Ping-Pong or pool"

A Read-Fi Hotspot at Rockefeller Park

A variety of games and toys can be loaned at Rockefeller Park
Cabinet stores a large variety of games that can be loaned

Board games  allow parents and children to interact

Nok Hockey is very popular at the park
On the right Nok Hockey players, on the left Ping pong players

There are 2 Hula Hoops, 4 Nok Hockey boards, 1 ping pong table and a Trouble game all being played in this area at them moment. All of these objects are portable allowing new ones to be swapped in and old ones swapped out in a minute.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bike Share Parklets-A Mashup

 Citiparks: Transforming Citibike  Docking Stations into Bike Share Parklets
101 uses for a Bike Share Dock

Bike share kiosks are great for bikers, but do little for the other residents of the blocks they are on.  This is not very different from the  old car-centric model of street use that they are replacing. What if bike share kiosks can be transformed from spaces solely for bike share riders to community spaces that benefit all who live in a community?

NYC has just installed 300+ Citybike stations. Officially their purpose is just  to serve the bike share program. But unofficially something else rather interesting  is occurring...

This was taken before the Citibike opening at the  7th Ave Whole Foods Citybike Station. The guys on the left and right were both using the Citybike Stations as a sidewalk cafe.

Here's two people sitting and eating on Citibikes.
The Citibike version of a Sidewalk cafe

de facto Parklets
What the above photos show is that given the lack of  enough  conveniently  located outdoor seating in our neighborhood , residents have decided to repurpose the Citibikes and their docks for  seating. This is a  great use. Essentially the 300+ Citybike docks have now become 300+ conveniently located de facto  parklets.
A Parklet in San Francisco

However the seating and eating capabilities  of  the Citibike stations are not ergonomically up to snuff, especially for older people. With some low cost additions, these bike share stations can be transformed into real Parklets  to better serve all community residents.

 See the rock in the photo below, I assume it exists to stop the Union Square Citibike  station from being backed into by a car.

A few minutes after I took that picture I took this one...
A Bike Share station that is also a Parklet
These folks are using the station's rock as a bench. This is far more Age-Friendly seating than leaning on the docks or sitting on the Citibikes. As at this location, placing a rock at a bike share  stations has  already being done at some other  locations. These stations can   be considered full fledged parklets with limited seating as opposed to de facto parklets. Other Citibike stations without adjacent seating areas  can easily be transformed into parklets by the simple addition of a rock, without having to have any  new design approved.

. Note the space between the docks...

In between the bike's there's actually enough room to place a real seat as I did here.

And here's one of our neighborhoods who when I did so, let me know it was a great idea.

Citibike is going through through startup shakedown at the moment so I don't think it's the time to add seating between the docks. However it is the time to have a design competition to come up with ideas on how best to implement seating at bike share stations in the future.

.As these photos show  bikes and people  can share a former car  parking  space   link


 These are 3 Parklets, that share their space with bike parking. No reason that Bike Share Kiosks's can't return the favor!


“There’s a complicated ballet on the streets of New York,” she said. “You’ve got drivers, and you’ve got pedestrians, and you’ve got cyclists. And which mode you’re in determines how you feel about the other two.” Not all of those groups are created equal. Remember, she said, “every New Yorker is a pedestrian at some point during the day.”  Janette Sadik-Khan interview in  NYT

"After 3 months of checking we came to a spectacular conclusion; people sit most where there are places to sit..." -William H Whyte 

The Three Minute Park
I found the following passage in a book "A Pattern language" by Christopher Alexander

“People need green open spaces to go; when they are close they use them. But if the greens are more than 3 minutes away, the distance overwhelms the need. … This problem can only be solved if hundreds of small parks-or greens are scattered so widely...that every within three minutes walk of the nearest one.”  -

 This Unified Public Spaces Map shows the  outdoor public spaces with seating  of NYC's Chelsea neighborhood. There are locations, especially in south east Chelsea,  where residents have to walk more than 3 minutes to find an outdoor seating location. The red dots are bike share stations , by adding seating to each of these bike share stations it will help assure that there is outdoor seating within a 3 minute walk of all residents of this community.
  "For most park users, the most common activity is sitting"

 Beyond Docking and Seating

 I can see our Citibike Dock Stations  transformed into  Sidewalk Parks/Community   Recreation Spaces  for the blocks they are near. Each can  offer a variety  of recreation amenities chosen by each block to meet it's own  needs and desires. Here's some examples of possibilities:

Outdoor Reading Rooms

This map shows the Public  Libraries of mid Manhattan. The east side has a lot, see the West Side, there aren't many there. Add seating to the Citibike stations, plus books storage  and we'll have outdoor reading rooms (or as I like to call them Read-Fi Hot Spots)  on our blocks. There's a concept called Little free Libraries , thousands of these have been installed over the world.

image from Little Free Library website
This little free library is located next to a bench, creating a  outdoor reading room 

In this simulation, this person is enjoying a cup of coffee in a Citibike Parklet. To her right is a 3 draw cabinet with magazines , transforming the parklet into an outdoor reading room. .
Lately, I've noticed reading has lost its gusto! As virtual realities and games becoming increasingly prevalent, reading and literacy must be redefined as a fun, engaging experience. An aesthetically pleasing, outdoor reading room can begin to accomplish that-. Books for the People

Active Recreation
"Residential proximity to parks is a critical determinant of park use and leisure exercise."
.-Rand Corp Los Angeles  Study

4 of 5 gym memberships go unused, except maybe in the first days of the new year 

 -The Oregonian

 One of the factors in this low turnout  is that people have to go to the gym. What if we place fitness equipment on our streets and sidewalks so that  there is no more "going to the gym"?

The Chinese have done just that

...and so has the City of Los Angeles...
Spring Street Rendering

This is the nations first active recreation parklet in LA. It has  stationary bikes, and a foosball table.  Could there be room for  stationary active recreation  fitness equipment to be placed in the Citibike stations? If we can then that will give New Yorkers  upwards of  600 leisure exercise locations close to where they live.And if we do this we can also solve a major problem with the Citibike kiosks, lack of sufficient solar power.  (the solution  will be discussed later in this post)

new yorker magazine citi bike cover

Community Gardens

"Community Board 4 has the lowest number of Community Gardens"
-Hell's Kitchen Oasis Garden Gardner

Can there be Community Gardens in the spaces between bike docks ? Why not.  Block residents can be given a place to create Miniatures gardens:

miniature garden example

miniature garden example

Block  Art  and Sculpture exhibits

Often the Citibike Kiosks on West 26th Street/8th Ave , has few or  no bikes in them. Adding a community art exhibition to these empty spaces transforms them into a community art gallery.
My neighbor Blanche Milner(left below)  was the artist of these pictures

I was in Union Square where I had the pleasure of chatting with the photographer Donna Lee Michas. She agreed to be the first professional artist to who will be exhibited when the first Citipark Gallery is established.(Update 6/30/2013 we now have a 2nd artist who would like to do a Citipark gallery exhibit)

-Curated art exhibits that can  travel from dock location  to dock location

 This sculpture is actually a protest against Citibank sponsorship, of Bikeshare. but  it also a really good   representation of  the concept of placing a work of art at a  Bike share dock.

More Seating Thoughts

Rock seating at bike share kiosks is  limited in the number of people that can be seated and has other limitations.  Here's more ways to add additional seating to kiosks. 

 This is a Tree Pit Guard on 10th ave  in Hell's Kitchen

This is the same model  Tree Pit Guard, but with a seat attached and a woman comfortably sitting on it

Here's another example from Brooklyn. This has back support which is essential for some people



 Using computer aided design, more complex shapes can be created that can add more than seating to a dock. Here's one example.

-Table and sidewalk chairs for eating/game playing

 Adding a table to the dock seating greatly increases its functionality for users.  Should the table be separate or integrated with the seating?


This table/chair combo shows how it's possible to create a  shape that can be molded to fit the Citibike docking stations.

And here's a idea for sidewalk sheds, that might also work for Bike share docking stations

Softwalks adds functionality to sidewalk sheds, could a modified version add seating to Citibike stations? Would a folding seat at the docks be better than a fixed seat?

Studies by Robert Sommer showed that seating at a 90 degree  angle is preferred for talking, and William H Whyte  found that moveable is preferred by people.  Here's more on the subject of seating preferences link

Citibike Dock Station  Exercise

 Nancy Bruning has created a system Nancercize: 101 Things to Do on a Park Bench. In it she shows 101 exercises to do on a park bench.

My neighbor, Adrienne Robbins, demonstrates one possible Citicize dock exercise,  and she has volunteered to create a series of exercises for the docks.

Special Events Uses

The Penn South Flea Market was held on June 1st. 2013 The Bike stations on 26th Street  got new uses on that day.


Here's Some Possible benefits for Citibike Users

Moving the Kiosks from a space exclusively for Citibike users to a shared space model will also benefit Citibike Users here's how.

Bicycle Electric Generator
Citibike stations powered by sunlight are experiencing a problem of not enough power.
  Some stations run on solar power, which the New York Post reports doesn't work very well in the rain or overnight. Others run on batteries, the New York Times notes, which means that on nice days, "the sun can help sustain a station, but ideal riding conditions beget heavy use, which can drain batteries."

Jimmy Sing, who works for a subcontractor responsible for battery maintenance, said the solar system was the major issue. “Most of the batteries are draining at night,” Sing explained as he swapped out dead cells at the Great Jones St. station in NoHo. “If there’s no battery working, the system locks out,” he said. “You cannot dock in or dock out.”  NY Daily News

Voltatic Systems  figures the cells are generating a maximum of  210 watts .     They also show a solar bikeshare system in Montreal  that can be powered with 30-40 watts.  So I would guess somewhere between the two numbers would power our system.

This stationary exercise bike  will generate up to 300


If a unit like this is installed at Citibike kisoks...

-Neighborhood residents get free use of bike exercise  equipment, without having to "go to the gym". Equipment in turn charges Citibike battery.

- If  a Citibiker still finds a station without currently  enough power in battery  to run station, Citibiker can always use fitness equipment  for a few minutes to charge the dock.

see also:

Navjot Kaur, a co-founder of The Charge Cycle, a company that makes bike stations that can charge personal electric devices using pedal power told us that his company has also considered the idea of adding generators to Citi Bike stations. “We think it’d be an added benefit to the bike users and to even people that need a charge when a bike is docked,” he wrote to us in an email. “The Citi Bikes are already using a dynamo to power the front and back lights of the bike. To add the ability to charge a phone would be an integration into the PCB on board.”
So the technology exists, but, just like everything else in New York, it all comes down to money – something that, right now, Citi Bike says it’s fresh out of. “I’d guesstimate each [generator unit] would run around $350,” Maschmeier told us. Of course $350 x 6,000 (the number of bikes in the bike share program) is well over 2 million bucks, so installing generators on every single dock is probably a longshot. But what if only one bike dock per station was equipped with a generator? With 330 stations (the current count), we’d be looking at about $115,500 to install one generator per station. Or, generators could be installed only at the stations that need a little extra juice (remember that some riders have been complaining that solar-powered Citi Bike stations oftentimes don’t work on cloudy days). According to Maschmeier, the system’s credit card machines don’t use much power, so it would likely only take one person pedaling for about 30 minutes to store enough charge in the battery to keep the station up and running for the day. Half an hour spent pedaling on a stationary bike may sound grueling to some, but let’s not forget that some people are already doing it just for the sake of their figures.
In addition to powering up Citi Bike stations themselves, pedal-powered generators could also come in handy during blackouts (something we’ve been worrying about quite a bit in NYC these days). If Citi Bike docks were outfitted with pedal-powered charging equipment, it’s possible that people could use them to charge phones, medical equipment, computers, radios or lights in times of emergency. Of course, we’d also have to make sure that the generators themselves – which sit on the ground – are sealed up tightly enough to keep water out

Read more: How Citi Bikes Could Be Used to Generate Pedal-Powered Energy for NYC | Inhabitat New York City

Helmet Locking Stations
  The thing about toting a helmet around is that I’ve never found a really good way of carrying one around. link

Where helmets are optional cities generally see 4% to 30% usage rates.  For some people the reason they don't wear a helmet is they just don't want to wear a helmet. For these folks other than having a mandatory helmet law nothing will get them to wear a helmet. For others the reason may be people don't want to carry it around    

So how to make it so you don't have to carry around  a helmet? One solution  is to lock and leave  helmets at docking stations

Locking the helmet at a parking pole near a dock ,Advantages: this can be done now, disadvantages: ,to do this you must carry both a lock and cable,  probably no more than 2 helmets can be easily placed on a single pole.

Adding this to Citibike stations  would allow 16 helmets to be locked on the ends

Using   "Loopy Poles" would allow greater density

                                                  Loopy Pole Example

Flexible cables would be added to the loops. You can then lock your helmet to the pole at a station and retrieve it on your return trip,. No longer must you carry it around with you.

Citibike users would still need to carry a lock with them for this to work. The above locks are around $6.00

Research has shown that adolescence believe access to helmet storage would increase helmet usage
-NYC Active Design supplement p 34

Bicycle Rest Stops 

Bicycle Rest Area Madison's first bicycle rest area was installed on the Capital City Path near its junction with the Yahara River Parkway Path. The rest area has two benches, bicycle parking for 5 bicycles and a bicycle repair station including an air pump. Across the path is a water fountain and a map of area bicycle facilities.

Convenient bike rest stops  in  Arizona 
Citibikers need rest stops too.  Where a Citibike Kiosk is adjacent to a park,  Citibikers have easy access to a place to rest. Adding seating to the docks could turn most Citibike Kiosks into bike rest stops for both Citibikers and non Citybikers.. 

Display Rules of the Road 
 Frank Holuzbiec noted that while Citi Bike has been generally well received, little work has been done towards creating a public awareness program that serves to instruct cyclists on the rules of the road.Chelsea Now
On top of the Citibike Docks. Rules for the use of Citibikes can be placed so that Citibike users can better learn the rules.

101  Things To Do At A Citbike Docking Station

Nancy Bruning 101 Things to do with a Park bench is inspiring. I bet there are at least 101  Things to do at a Citibike Kiosk. I'm now putting together a  list of 101  starting with the ones already stated in this post:

1 Creating 3 minute Parks
2-Lean on Docks
3-Sit on Citibikes
4-Dine on Citibikes
5-Hold conversations, while leaning on docks
6-Outdoor reading rooms
7-Stationary bicycle exercise
8- Miniatures gardens
9-Community Art exhibit space

10-Merchandise display during block flea markets
11-Petal power electric generation
12-Nancercize for Citybike Kiosks
13-Helmet locking station
14-Bicycles rest stop
15--Rock seating
16-Shade area
17-Trash basket
18-Rules of the Road

19-Community/Block  Bulletin Board
Block events happen on a regular basis  in our neighborhoods. Unfortunately there are few places to legally post notices of these events. A single panel community bulletin board can be placed in the space between the docks.

20-Activities partner bulletin board

21 Walking/Wandering  the Neighborhood   Rest Stops
 Walking is the healthiest way to get around outside of cycling and a third of New Yorkers do just that. But it's really  hard  to find a place to sit down Providing pubic seating is very important. . ” Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner, NYC DOT

 Every minute you walk can extend your life by 1.5 to 2 minutes.    By adding real seating at the docks it gives walkers a  comfortable  places to rest. The addition of other functionality like the outdoor reading room materials, something to do while resting.

 “Walking and wandering are two very different things. Walking is functional; it is merely the act of getting from A to B on our own two legs. But when we wander, it is the journey–not the destination–that matters”-Brian Crain
This  printable    Park Chelsea   map lists all the publicly accessible walking  rest stops in Chelsea. The red dots are Citibike docks, adding seating to them would transform them into walking/wandering rest stops.

22 Charge Cellphones

  Citizens of New York City will no longer have to awkwardly go into a carrier store and ask to use their chargers and outlets. Thanks to Goal Zero, AT&T and Brooklyn design studio Pensa, NYC is getting several free solar-powered charging stations across the city.... they also have the potential to provide Wi-Fi and lighting

23 Neighborhood Emergency Communications Hub
During Hurricane Sandy, with electricity gone, communications was down in much of lower Manhattan. Citibike kiosks have internet access, are powered by solar( and I'm suggesting they be powered by pedal power too). Add a epaper screen internet display to them and during an emergency with no electricity these stations could double as communications between the city and residents.Add a cellphone charge  adapter and the hubs  become cellphone charging stations during an emergency.

The West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs are our emergency community gathering sites in case a major disaster occurs that makes it impossible to get information and help in the usual ways.
 Emergency Communicatio Hubs sign
In an emergency West Seattle residents have to be able to shown on a map(above)  where their emergency hubs are. In areas of NYC with Citibike docks all you need to do is let people know to go to their nearest Citibike Dock.

24 Citibike Kiosk  Wi-Fi Hotspot
 Adding a Wi-fi hotspot to Citibike kiosks, plus seating will allow neighborhood residents to spend more time outdoors surfing  the web, rather then indoors. Solar power the WiFi and it becomes part of the  neighborhood emergency communications hub mentioned above.

25 Bioswales
Bioswales absorb waterDuring storms, they can absorb water rather than the water overloading our sewage systems.

 There is an area in each Citybike station that is a buffer between it and the rest of the street(lower left corner of above photo).First off,  I have almost tripped on the low white object a number of times now.  Not good. Something more visible must replace it. One thought if we transform it into a  bioswale  it can help the city in it's quest to substitute green sewage infrastructure for building new gray  sewage infrastructure. Doing this can save the city tens of millions of dollars in construction costs.

The Columbus Avenue bioswale.
 While the Columbus Avenue bioswale’s performance during stormy weather has yet to be assessed, the DEP said that their bioswales (they warned that the building specifications, and therefore performance, of other bioswales may vary) soak up 2,244 gallons during storms.
Columbus Ave Bioswale

26 -Leave an item, take an item cabinet
-Adding a  a recycling cabinet at docks, to create a node in a Freecycle Network™
Freecycle -. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.

27 Do a good dead for  people you'll never meet

tip: turn the seat backwards if there's a problem to alert other users. Press the wrench button, too.


28-Tying Ones Shoelace

This fellow  uses a dock to tie his shoelace

29 Stage Prop

Citi Bike Makes Surprise Cameo At Upright Citizens Brigade

Charlie Todd, a performer at UCB and devoted Citi Bike fan, said the ride was incorporated into the theater's improv wrestling show, UCBW's Pay Per View with one character, The Parking Defendant, using the bike to viciously clothesline Old Fishtix, Bob Dylan and Idaho Jones link
(see also item 96)

30 Dining Table
View image on Twitter
@citibikenyc basket did a good job of holding my iced coffee / turkey sandwich from @wichcraft 32nd/Broadway      

If one sits on the bikes to eat,or stands next to them,as this fellow shows the basket  can be used as a dining table

31 Eating/drinking  stand 
Hinged this will flip down when not in use.  

32 Seniors Schmoozing  Spot
 “ (seniors) care about benches, trees, gardens and open spaces closest to where they live. Big parks are for occasional  visits in most cases.”  -Creating an Age Friendly NYC, One Neighborhood at a Time

On W 25th St at 10th ave, a group of seniors like to bring out chairs and sit and talk. The Citibike Parklet could have  seating to allow this to occur.

33 Municipal Government Literature Rack
I've been to the community office of my local City Council Rep. There are two tables in the office with all sorts of handouts from all sorts of City agencies. Most community residents, never get to the office. A  City Gov literature rack at the kiosks would allow agencies to leave handouts to the community at the docks.

34- Spin Cycles
An article in the NYT talked about the use of Citibikes as backwards spin cycles. . I checked and found another  article in the NY Times that says it's useless as exercise, which wouldn't matter because it seems fun, but the article also said it may also cause injury so I wasn't  gonna include it on the list until I learned more.  Then I viewed  this flashmob  video from London where the bike shares there were transformed into forward spin cycles.

35-Job Creation
Fellow posted this: 
 "I see here the potential, which I know will be unrealized, for CitiGroup to create jobs by having trained people at the stations to prevent vandalism and theft, maintain the stations, assist potential customers when stations don’t unlock to remove or return bikes, assist tourists who may not read English or may have questions because they're unfamiliar with how the program works, perform maintenance and repairs to the bikes and otherwise make the program more

6/26/2013 update: Turns out this is creating some jobs. Today I ran into a Ciibike employee Guy on 21st and 6th Ave. He  has a territory from 6th  to 9th ave, Street.  His job is to help people with Citibike questions. In the short time I was there he helped about 5 people. he is one of 20 Citibike employess with this specific job.

Guy helping 2 other guys

from Citybike in Copenhagen
Citybikes provide jobsThe city bikes are maintained by Incita, a local non-profit organization using the citybikes to train and support hundreds of rehabilitees every year. The program is a succes.

 36 Book Holder

Grant Tinker who was head of NBC did not sit down while he worked. For those who like to read while standing, a Citibike dock can  becomes a handy book holder

37 Dock A Bicycle
I can't believe I got to #37 before adding this use.

38 The Whole is More Than the Sum of Its Parts
The 300+ Citibike kiosks already meet this maxim for bikers. With the change of 1 one word they could do so for everyone. 

The Whole is More Than the Sum of Its Parks
Some city planners would like to use parklets more assertively. “So far each one has been something in and of itself, but we’re beginning to think about their potential as tools for larger change,” says David Alumbaugh, who directs the department’s City Design Group, which includes the parklets team. He contemplates using a series of parklets as a way to pull people into neighborhoods that otherwise might be avoided by outsiders, or concentrating them in such a way as to form a sort of traffic-calming system: “There might be ways to tie several of these spaces together…. A few years ago, any proposal to do something in the street was met with such resistance. Now that they’re popular, it’s ‘Why not do more?’”   link

38 Take Surveys at  to better serve  everyone



39 Citybike +Citybench
Given the space between most docks, designing custom seating to fit should create the best designs. In some cases there is no space between the docks (21st and Broadway for instance). Here the Flatiron Partnerships benches are in the adjacent plaza.

Flatiron Plaza benches(below)adjacent to Citibike Docks(above)


  In other locations Citybenches can be placed on the sidewalk adjacent to the docks,to create rest stops for bikers and microparks for everybody else.

40  Leaning and Texting

41  Senior Volunteers to show how to use Parklet
The Citibike docks also help put retired people to work.  Yesterday I saw this fellow try to help a neighbor of mine dock a bike that wouldn't dock on 26th at 8th Ave.

42 Crash Barrier/Bollards Replacement
Throughout Manhattan you'll find bollards in front of buildings. What about replacing the bollards with Citibike docks?

43 DEP Water Station Demos
The NYC Department of Environmental of Protection, has folks demonstrating their emergency water system at Union Square Park on a regular basis. Demonstrations can be done at high traffic Citibike Parklets

44 Water Fountain
At  Kiosks where it is possible install a public water fountain

45 Bike Air Pump
Gas stations are becoming an increasing rarity in Manhattan, those that exist in lower Manhattan are mostly near the edges of the island. Manhattan has 76 bike shops, better distributed then gas stations, but still leaving some neighborhoods with sparse Air refill coverage   Adding a air pump module to the parklets will help make them a community  amenity for ALL bikers, not just Citybikers. .(BTW Manhattan has a fair number of bike shops, but Queens has just 26 bike shops, the Bronx has just 6)

46 Citibike Restrooms Program

This is a  idea that originated in  Santa Barbara

The Visitor Restroom Program, which is cosponsored by the city council and the County Redevelopment Agency, was created in response to a shortage of public restrooms downtown. Under the program, several State St. businesses receive $200 a month for allowing the public to use their restrooms. Funding for the program comes out of the county general fund. link
“There is a need for bathroom accessibility and downtown businesses have been crying out for them for a long time,” Williams said.


The Santa Cruz City Council has initiated a pilot Visitor Restroom Program modeled on those operating successfully in the cities of Santa Barbara and Venturalink

Businesses that took part in the Visitors Restroom Program found providing public restrooms was well worth the expense. sales improved due to increase foot traffic.-The Great Neighborhood Book p101


. Citibike pays local business X dollars a month to open their restrooms to Citibike users. Restrooms are open by your Citibike key.

47 Rest Room in Plazas and Parks near Citibike Docks
At  Citiparks that are in plazas or near parks without restroom. install a restroom adjacent to them, if no restroom currently is at the location.

I checked with a Porta John company. These can be installed at a cost of under $2,000 a year. That means 20 of them can be installed in City parks throughout the Citibike area for $40,000. Considering Citibike memberships are now taking in $5 million dollars a year, they can easily afford to pay for this. The problem is can the Porta-Johns be placed in the parks? 

   Fit City 8 was held on  June 24th. One of the NYC Commissioners made the comment that CemUSA is required to install 20 public restrooms in NYC, trouble is no one wants them and they have only been able to install 4. Now these automated restrooms cost more than $100,000 each. So we're talking 1.6 million dollars worth of uninstalled restrooms. Assuming the restrooms havn't been built yet reallocating the 1.6 million would pay for a LOT of locations offering to open their restrooms if paid $200 a month.

To locate the nearest restroom to you go to

48 Portable Community Maps distribution point
I have created portable neighborhood open space maps for several  Manhattan neighborhoods. The maps list   all public spaces in the neighborhood plus restrooms, Citibike docks  and public recreation.

 I distribute the map at our neighborhood library and senior centers. This limits the people in the community  who  can get a copy of the map.  The installation of a "take one " bin at Citibike docks would allow greater distribution both to people who live in the community and Citibikers who would with it in hand  have a portable local map of docking stations  and rest stops in the community. The map could be restocked by the Citibike reps whose territory the docking station is in. The cost of printing the map could be defrayed by offering advertising space on it to local businesses

49 Citibike Photo Opportunities
The fellow in the middle, Guy, told me that this was the first Citibike ride of the man on the right. The woman on the left decided that it was a good photo opportunity.

50:Citibike Kiosks as Artificial reef 

 A worker on a barge stands near retired New York City subway carriages before they are dropped into the Atlantic Ocean to create an artificial reef near the coast Of Ocean City, Maryland, May 16, 2008. REUTERS-Tim Shaffer
 After four decades carrying millions of New Yorkers, 44 of the city's subway cars are now home to millions of fish.
 The worn-out cars were dumped on Friday into the Atlantic Ocean, 21 miles off the Maryland coast, to create an artificial reef, designed to attract fish for the state's lucrative sport-fishing industry.

Jeff Tinsman, Delaware's reef program coordinator, said a 600-car reef in that state's waters had increased the local fish population by 400 times, and boosted the number of angling trips to 13,000 a year from 300 before the reef was created.

The reefs attract fish because they provide protection from predators, and generate food like mussels, shrimp and crabs that quickly colonize the structure. About 95 percent of the seabed off the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast is naturally bare sand, which is much less likely to attract fish, Tinsman said.


Think of our 300+ Citibike Kiosks as artificial reefs, to attract not fish, but block residents who will colonize the structures.


 51 Community Performance Space
Who will be the first to perform Hamlet in a Citypark?

52 Unofficial program ambassador.

Anyone on a Citi Bike automatically becomes an unofficial program ambassador. Folks called out questions from sidewalks, taxis and food carts: How's the ride? How does it work? What's the cost?
Wall Street Journal

53 Kiosk Tours
Chelsea Garden Club does a treepit tour every season. If Citibike Parklets are allowed to be artfully customized a walking tour of the unique Kiosks can be offered. Neighborhood blocks that "gussie up" their parklets can join with other blocks that have done so to give a Once a year tour, showing off their handywork.

54 Jane Jacob's Eyes on the Street
 "One of Jane Jacobs great discoveries is that people on the street provide more safety than police cars -The Great Neighborhood Book-P82
Seating at Citibike Kiosks allows  people to be Jane Jacobs's "Eyes on the street"

. Jacobs argues that increased street traffic, day and night, not only help communities flourish socially and economically, but also acts as self policing which deters criminal and anti-social behavior. Jacob’s theory holds that populated areas are less likely to have criminal activity if the criminal believes there is a greater likelihood of him being seen or caught by others. link

55 Citibike Fringe Festival
Just about any performance in the NY  Fringe festival, if it was offered as a stand alone entity, would  never be reviewed in any major publication. But put them together as part of a fringe festival, and it becomes an event worthy of NYT press coverage.  By aggregating events over multiple Citibike kiosks, a similar phenomena can occur.

Examples: I have talked to a number of artists willing to exhibit their works at Citibike Kiosks. If say 25 or more Kiosks in a adjacent area were used for an art show, we're talking Citywide coverage of this as an event. Also given the geographic distance of the kiosks, we're talking event+ ACTIVE RECREATION.

Museum Fringe Festival at Citibike Kiosks

The Homeless Museum of Art
The Homeless Museum may well be the world's smallest museum. It fits just 2 people. A yearly Museum Fringe Festival offering the Citibike kiosks as museum locations for Homeless Museum sized museum ideas, would be both an event and active recreation offering for both bikers AND walkers. 

Pictured here Philipe Notradame director Homeless Museum, with Florence Cayote, the Museum director of Public Relations.

56 Solar Trash Basket

Solar Trash Compactor in Union Square
 The site Union says, “Big Belly’s Greening Union Square – USP is the first business improvement district in NYC to pilot the use of Big Belly solar-powered trash compactors. Three units were placed at some of the district’s busiest corners at 14th St & B’way, 14th St & University Place, and 17th St & B’way to gauge their effectiveness. The compactors have already made a huge impact by reducing garbage collection frequency by nearly 70% at these corners.”...
Philly just unveiled 500 of their solar compactors last week. Read about it here:

59: Citibike labs. 
Designate one or more Citibike Kiosks as Citibike labs. There are a lot of ideas here, some of which are viable, but should be tested before implementation throughout all kiosks. The Citibike labs will be the test locations.

60 Give retired politicians a chance to help people and make statements
The Citibike docks also help put retired people to work.  Yesterday I saw recently  retired from the State Senate,  Senator Tom Duane  try to help a neighbor of mine dock a bike that wouldn't dock on 26th at 8th Ave.

As he tried to help her dock I mentioned my idea for seating at the docks, and he said " I'm for anything that creates more seating."

61 Community Citiparks maps distributed at Citiparks.
 A full Citibike kiosks map is pretty large and unwieldy. A portable 1 page map of the Kiosks around the area you are presently in  is easy to deal with. A variation of this   ParkChelsea map  is what I'm talking about.

62 Citipark Passport

This is an event. each weekend in a different neighborhood the  Citibike Passports self guided tour   will be held. Passports will be issued at Citiparks to anyone who wants to participate. Biker or walker. The goal get your passport stamped at as many Citiparks as you can on a given day. for this event refreshments will be served to all.
 Passport to the Arts


63 Passport Program with Flea Markets at Docks
same as above, but with block flea markets happening at many of the neighborhoods Citiparks.

Photo by Andra Gabrielle

64 Pedometer for walkers
 Are there other functions possible for a Citibike key?  Yes. The first was discussed above,  Restrooms that open only to those who have a Citibike key. Here's another one ,  a key for walkers. For instance for walkers who use the Citiparks as rest stops it could  record the speed and distance statistics of people who were walkers in the neighborhood much more accurately then a pedometer.  

65 Fire/Police  Alarm Boxes Replacement
 On blocks with both a Fire Alarm and Citibike Kiosk, replace the fire alarm boxes with a fire alarm/police call  function button  at Citibike kiosks.

66 Blackout  Transport
During Hurricane Sandy all public transport was out. Citibikes can offer transport in a blackout , IF the system is designed to work under blackout conditions

67 Citibike  Goods Carriers
A basket like add on  that you can purchase, that will allow you to carry more items  on a Citybike than the build in carrier will allow.

68   Citibike Explorers  Club
Sign up at the Kiosk to do join other in your neighborhood to bike as a group to explore other neighborhoods together

69 Citibike Excercise Club
Sign up at the Kiosk to do a X mile exercise biking  together with neighbors  on a weekly  basis

70 Citibike Trailer
Allison Aldous
  When our daughter Cameron was born in 2003, we were determined to figure out how to continue commuting by bike. So we purchased a bike trailer.

Hauling her around in a bike trailer soon led us to using the trailer for hauling just about anything that's haul-able (groceries, loads of lumber, small furniture, 50 stuffed animals).  link

71 Sept 20, 2013-Parking Day
PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.  This year it's also the day where
artists, designers and citizens transform Citibike Kiosk  spots into temporary public parks!

72 Improv Everywhere at Citiparks
 Do a Improv Everywhere mission at a Citibike Kiosk

Improv Everywhere is a New York City-based prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 100 missions involving tens of thousands of undercover agents.

73 Street Buskers at Citibike Day
A yearly event, Street buskers will position themselves at Citibike Kiosks around the city.  This could happen the same day as parking day, or it could be on it's own day.

74  Citibike  Distributed  Events Series
The Highline ,  Madison Square Park and other City parks constantly throw events why not Citibike throwing a distributed events series.

75 Find the  Lowest Citibike Number
I saw a picture of Christine Quinn posing  with Citibike number 2 before Citibike opened. Since it's opened I've been looking if I could see any of the lowest numbers. I finally saw 11 the other day.
 Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan takes a ride on a new Citi Bike.
Number 1

Number 2

My sighting of Number 11

76 Site Specific Dance performance
Have a dance company choreograph a dance to be performed at Citibike Kiosks.

 The NYPL pays groups to put on shows/talks at libraries, this would be a similar deal.

77 Give someone you don't know a Free Ride
When you join you get a Free Ride coupon. Tape it to a Kiosk.

77a  So I'm sitting at the Citipark and this fellow asks me how to use it. I say to him I got a coupon, how'd you like to ride for free. he says yes...

 and Al Primo the creator of Eyewitness news, get a to take a  free ride from 26th St and 8th Ave  to 38th St and Broadway.

78 The Citibike Key : Membership has it's privileges
The Citibike key allows for a number of interesting things to occur
-It can open locked restroom, and shower facilities
-It could be used as a key for lockers that could store helmets or other items
-A pedestrian version  can be used to keep statistics on walkers using the sites as rest stops on "Walking Trails"

Stores have installed Amazon Lockers. The Installation of Citibike lockers around town would allow users to store their helmets and other items.

Bikeststion Santa Barbara allows members access to Restrooms and Showers in a single location.. The Citibike key would let Citibike members into shower facilities and Restrooms. Perhaps a deal could be made with health clubs and NYC Rec centers  around the city for the shower function.

79 Name A Kiosk
Usually you have to be  famous or rich, or do something special to have a site named after you.  
For the past several years I have been playing the role of Ranger Bob, Park Chelsea Parks Commissioner. This role is performance art and as  a work of art  I have the First amendment right  to informally name sites on a temporary basis..

Origami Place June 22nd-25 2012

Theodore Gadsden Place Aug 4, 2012

When Citibike Kiosks become Community spaces they will be a natural place to name to honor members of the community either on a temporary or permanent basis.

80 Activating  Side Streets

I was walking down 25th street between 7th and 8th Ave when I saw a group of people eating pizza on chairs outside of a brownstone. The kind of scene that happened everyday in the Broom street picture above.

I talked with one of the people there,  Rafael Orzoco and and learned that he use to live on the block many years ago and for 35 years now, he and other of his friends who lived on the block return once a year to celebrate their time on the block.

In the 1950's  this block was their park. In those days he said  you could play stickball, stoop ball and kick the can on the streets.

35 years from now when all cars are self driving,  streets like this will once again be safe enough for  people  to play stickball on them. Until then those side streets with Citibike Kiosks on them can be at least transformed into a place where neighbors can hang out together without having to bring their own street furniture.

81 Citibike Store that Sells Accessories
Either floating or fixed  this would be at several large stations. Sells accessories of use to Citibike users.


Ever worry about getting too close to the 30/ 45 minute limit? A timer could help..



With everybody around the world either already bike-sharing or about to, we need more accessories to make getting around by bike-share bike easier to do. Whether this means a built-in water-proof seat cover after a drenching rain, a mobile phone charger while you bike, on-bike directions, or a helmet that covers your bald spot so the sun doesn't get through, there are a lot of creative bike-sharers out there who are thinking of ideas to make cycling easier and make a few bucks at it for their entrepreneurial ideas.

Here's an idea from Israel with their TikTak bag which can be used on any Tel-O-Fun bike in Tel Aviv, or any Call a Bike/StadtRad bike for that matter. Check it out.

 Citi Bike Helmet
 Becky Stern of Adafruit has created a “smart helmet” that directs users to the nearest Citi Bike station using an LED strip and a Flora GPS. link

82 Citibike Demos
Photo: Come join us!
Photo: We're at the Brooklyn Half Marathon pre-party and T.A.'s Bike Home from Work Party both tonight in DUMBO. Come by and say hey!


83 Nearest Citibike Kiosk  signs
Where is the nearest citibike Kiosk? For those with a smartphone it's easy to figure out. For the rest of us not so simple. Place signage on each street corner directing to the nearest kiosks.


84 epaper WiFi Enabled Signage
Taking #83 a bit further. This epaper wifi sign is used in Tokyo for disasters. During quiet times it could be used for dynamic Bike Share information.Showing a map of stations near the sign that are full or empty.

Tokyo's E-Paper Disaster Signs Help You Escape Earthquakes, Godzillas

85 Time of Day Based Space Sharing
I was on the Broadway Plaza in the 30'saround 8 PM  and found that table sand chairs  had been moved into spaces where bikes should be docked.

86 Mobile Shops that can use the kiosk  space when no bikes are in Place
Taking #85 a bit further

A lot of us run on coffee, and what better way to run your coffee shop than with bikes? Kickstand Coffee is a new mobile java shop in New York that is inspired by, transported by and powered completely by bicycles. They set up shop for the first time this past Saturday at McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and were met with rave reviews. Read more

coffee, shop, stand, portable, kickstand, bike, bicyle, alternative transportation, alternative energy, human powered, brooklyn, new york, williamsburg, new york city, food
coffee, shop, stand, portable, kickstand, bike, bicyle, alternative transportation, alternative energy, human powered, brooklyn, new york, williamsburg, new york city, food

87 Shades
Along with the seating at the Citibike Rest stop/community space  add a shading attachment to select docks.

 Metal Patio Shade



89  Bike Route Maps Can be available at Citibike Kiosks
The Flatiron BID   offers bike route maps at their kiosk on 23rd and Broadway. Citibike Kiosks are a obvious location to hand these out too.

90 Citibike for Dogs and Cats

Tagalong Wicker Bicycle Basket

92 Stop Some of the Citibike Protests
Currently there are groups protesting the Citibike docks. Given that the docks are of great benefit to the small number of people who use Citybike and are not of use to the vast majority of people who don't use them, these people in many cases have a legitimate gripe

Total Citibike Users: 30,741 (annual,  7 day and 24 hours  users  June,3,2013)
Total  Non-Citybike Users:1.571.259 (1,602,000-30,741  Manhattan Population:  2011)


 If the docks can be transformed into Microparks that benefited the community would this change? I wpould think in at least some cases the answer would be yes.

93 Citibikes and people can share space together in NYC too
At the beginning of this post there was a picture of a parklet with people and bikes sharing space in some unknown city.


Now there are pictures of this occurring in NYC also

On the Broadway mall at 36th street Citibike docks, people and a public market are all sharing space together
 This use intermingles Citibike docking and people sitting, our recommendation is to seperate the two functions. Bike docking on one side of the docks. People sitting on the other side of the docks. that way there is less interference between the two uses.

94 Bikeshare Cafe Singles: Unicycle seeks to become Bicycle

I got to talking to Matt the fellow in the above photo and found that Matt  is a rock musician who is a Unicvcle at the moment, he seeks a female for a bicycle relationship. To contact Matt, either look for him at the Bikeshare Singles Cafe or  email him at mcward25   (at    )

93  Stop to catch your breath while carrying heavy items. 

Here Jessica is carrying some heavy items and uses the Citibike docks for  a few moments to stop and catch her breath before continuing onto where her car is parked.

94 Card  Games for Seniors Space
A 1996 study by David Gray  in Pasadena California found that on an average day 150 to 200 seniors  were willing to walk 5 minutes to a park to play bridge or pinochle together.

A table at the Kiosks plus sets of magnetic playing cards would allow this to occur
 Kling Magnetics Playing Cards - Complete Game Set Ages 5+

95 Board Games for Seniors
Given a table Travel Scrabble and  other windproof  board games can be played in these spots too.

linkTile Lock Scrabble

96 Waiting Line Seating
Across the street from where I live  is the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. They do over 100 shows a month. There is no lobby with seating in the theater,  so people have to wait outside and stand or sit on the ground. The theater holds 200 people who land up waiting on line. There are 35 Citibike docking stations here, that can hold either the first 35 people on line, or alternatively anybody who would have trouble standing.

96a On Tuesday I took the above picture. On Wednesday I was sitting down at the Citibike Kiosk, when a passerby says to me this is a great use of the space.  We take a photo and when I ask for his name he says he's Will Cleveland and works at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (above)

I tell him the waiting line idea and that I will be talking to the city about it.

97 A More Walkable City Infrastructure

Citibikes are creating a  more bikeable city through their creation of a distributed biking structure. We can use the Citibike Kiosks to create a more walkable city through their use as part of a  distributed walking structure.

98 The Citibike Garden Club
  When Chelsea's bike lanes were first put in, the city left practically  essentially barren tree pits in the lanes.
 2011:A bikelane tree pit on 25th St and 8th Ave  , in the beginning  nothing but a tree and some soil.

  A  bunch of people including Missy Adams, Luis Lujan and others transformed the treepits of the bikelanes into community gardens. What happened was taking the bike lanes,  an item  of no benefit to anyone but bikers,  and turning it into a community treasure.

Congratulations to Luis Lujan!
Chelsea Garden Club  tree pit, winner of Most Beautiful Tree Bed in Manhattan in the MillionTreesNYC Beautiful Tree Bed Contest--for his sunflowers at 25th & 9th

I and several of my neighbors are members of the Chelsea Garden Club, we have a tree pit bike lane garden in front of the building we live in. We know next to nothing about plant gardening,  but a great deal about "community" gardening, we have a great time with the garden, mostly talking about it.    Actually we've  transformed this 6 foot x 6 foot tree pit into the  nationally and internationally renowned Thumblina Park and Community Garden.
2013: Thumblina Park and Community Garden 8th Ave and 25th St

The new Citibike kiosks offer this kind of community involvement opportunity to occur again .For neighbors to get together and transform a piece of their block into a blocks community space.

99 Decals & Patterns-
Again, aesthetics - come on, boys, where's your sense of the artistic? How about some fun patterns? link

100 Sidewalk art

101 Customizing Citibike Parklets
  Parklets are generally designed as unique at each location they are placed.


This allows for unique wonderfully creative parklets.   However each must be designed from scratch  and go through  a city's approval   process for each new one created.

Mix and Match Modules
For some communities adding amenities like seating to the parklets, could be done as simply as requesting standard furnish modules from DOT. Working this way through City  approve furnishings means that no designing or additional approvals will be necessary to get a CitiParklet up and running.

Working with a standard form does not mean that these Parklets will lack uniqueness and creativity.

 For blocks that want to be more creative, custom furnishings and graphics can be done.

For example, here are several benches from Rochester's Benches on Parade.  working within the constraints of a standard bench form each bench was uniquely  customized by the sponsoring group.



201 Things to do at a Citibike Docking Station

Having reached 101, 201 seems to be a reasonable next goal. the list for the next 100 is here