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Citi Bike bicycle share program preview

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The Citi Bike bicycle share program funded by Citibank and run by the city starts May 2, 2013, Memorial Day. 250 CitiBike stations have been plopped down in Manhattan south of 60th Street and in Brooklyn.

A demonstration for reporters was set up in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The three-speed bikes can be rented for unlimited 30- or 45-minute segments, depending on which program you purchase, from $95 for the year to $9.95 for one day. It is touted as especially good for short trips, tourists, and the environment.

Bicycle enthusiasts have welcomed the program, but residents with bike stations on their block have criticized it.

The city's Department of Transportation has said that the city has consulted with residents and boards about the bike stations. But at 175 West 13th Street in Manhattan a bike station was placed overnight in front of the building's entrance without any consultation, according to the president of the co-op board. He said that the elderly and handicapped in the building now must go to the corner to get in vehicles.

On Carlton Avenue in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, a bike station took away several parking spots.

The city said it will reconsider bike stations in loading zones but not those that have taken away parking spots.

One resident of Chelsea said he does not mind a Citi Bike station on 22nd Street and 8th Avenue, which took half dozen parking spaces, because he doesn't own a car in the city. Right around the corner on 23rd Street, a Citibank branch with a very wide sidewalk that could have a bike station but does not.

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