Some Citi Bike Commuters Laugh in the Face of Snow

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 11:34 AM

This morning's wet snow has made the morning commute more of a slog than usual. But that hasn't stopped some New Yorkers from continuing to commute using the city's bike share program.

There were 4,185 trips Tuesday morning, according to Citi Bike.

Christopher Totaro, 49, was one of them. He has some advice for fellow bikers navigating the streets in nasty weather: "The tires are slick, so be really aware and watch out for big trucks splashing," he said.

Totaro is looking on the bright side, while it's usually hard to find a spot to park his bike in the SoHo location he frequents, he said that the weather ensures that's not a problem.

New York City's Department of Transportation says it will relocate Citi Bikes from major streets as soon as heavy snow hits. It may lock down stations temporarily if the weather makes biking unsafe.

The head of the Department of Sanitation John Doherty told reporters Tuesday morning that he doesn't think the bike docks will be a problem for the city's snow plows. "Most of them are on a one-way street or on the left hand side of the street. We plow to the right," he said.

"I don't see them impeding our operation in anyway," he added. "Worst case scenario if they were on the side of the street where we're plowing in a good storm, they'd probably have a lot of snow piled up there."




Comments [8]

Chang from NYC

Bronxite, You sound like very experienced bikers of all seasons then why don't you give some advice to first year bikers in winter for specific tips? Not just general tips but in winter in Manhattan (not "NYC"). I meant actual experience in biking in winter condition than black ice alone. Drivers in first year before first winter don't have experience of driving on icy surface and don't know how to handle at the moment of skidding different from just wet surface or walking on ice. Plus first year to "winterize" car. Any manual is better than nothing but just manual. Drivers have to experience by driving car by himself.
So this is first winter for CitiBikers who will do experiment out on the road next to cars, hopefully not near first year drivers. But it is always better to prepare for inexperienced unknown peculiar situation by instruction besides slowing down.
Not you, Bronxite, but the city (Manhattan) bikers are like spoiled children by a bad mother. Whatever you do, it's ok honey. Children should be taught right or wrong and spanked for wrong doing. No shared rules or norms between themselves or with others sharing road. I think the city is responsible for this kind of bikers behavior or bike culture. Only hardware of bike lanes "reengineering", not software of how to. Same with peds: sticks, planters, markings for safety but not much of software of how to cross streets safely, sensibly, savvy in Manhattan traffic and crowd. Standing anywhere on the road, bike lane of course, with dumb eyes not even sensing how they are irritating others. It's endless to talk about. Some more next time

Dec. 17 2013 07:01 AM
Bronxite from NYC

Chang, I think most people in climates that sustain temperatures below freezing are familiar with "black ice". Ice also develops on sidewalks.

Bicycling is easily achieved during the winter so long as your are dressed appropriately.

Tal,fortunately for us in NYC, snow doesn't significantly accumulate but a few days a year.

I'm actually more worried about out of control drivers sliding into Citi Bike Stations. There's a video floating around the net which captures a vehicular collision in Brooklyn which sent a sedan hurdling towards a docking station, damaging at least 3 bicycles. Ice will only make these collisions more common.

Dec. 13 2013 02:16 AM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

The only reason they may still be using the bicycles is only because the snow isn't that deep. However, when the snowfall gets greater, I won't be surprised if that number of users for Citibike will be dropping. Let's just see how they will move when the snow is almost up to a foot. I still find most of those who use their bicycles to only go when they are weather permitting, and for the most part, I am right about that. Then again, it could just be another flash mob from Transportation Alternatives just making it look like it's in big numbers especially when it comes to photo-ops and PR movements, otherwise it would just be viewed as a boondoggle.

Dec. 12 2013 02:28 PM
Cycler from NYC

You DO realize, that every time Citibike workers dock and un-dock one of those bikes, for redistribution or maintenance, it's counted as a "trip". I'd bet most of those snowy "trips" were workers moving them off street and onto sidewalk docks as they said they were going to do.

Yawn, just more bogus stats from DOT...

Dec. 12 2013 11:00 AM
chris m

First snow of the year. Maybe drivers will take the subway, stay off the roads or drive slower. That behavior would make citibikers, pedestrias and drivers safer.

Dec. 12 2013 09:29 AM
TOM from Brooklyn

"If the weather makes biking unsafe."! Someone at NYC DoT said that? Get their name.

Dec. 11 2013 04:36 PM
Chang from NYC

CitiBike riders' first winter. Are they warned for black ice? I wonder bikers have heard of that. As a motorist by necessity, what I observe is that most of bikers in Manhattan don't own the cars and don't even have driving experience.
Good luck.
But not to be a victim myself witnessing or involved (knock knock) any road tragedy like road kill in icy condition, CitiBike should provide more surviving tips and training in winter not anywhere else but on Manhattan road next to yellow cabs with no sympathy.

Dec. 10 2013 09:45 PM
Russ from NYC

Check out these transport options as reviewed in the WSJ

Dec. 10 2013 12:32 PM

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