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Local Business Voice Concern over Bike-Share

In just one month bike kiosks could start popping up in a neighborhood near you when the city's long-hyped bike share program finally gets rolling after a series of delays. The most recent delay was the result of equipment damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Under the program, people will be able to purchase daily, weekly, or yearly memberships and pick up and drop off the bikes at any of the city's planned 600 stations.

Phase one starts in May with 293 planned locations for the bike kiosks. In this first phase, the so-called Citibikes will pepper almost every area south of 59th Street in Manhattan and around parts of Downtown Brooklyn.

But not every neighborhood is thrilled about the new addition.

In Nolita for example, there is concern about a planned 43-bike kiosk slated for the corner of Cleveland Place and Kenmare. Paul Shaked, owner of a restaurant on the same block as the planned bike share station, said he and other local business owners are concerned the bike kiosk will eliminate an area of the street used for loading and also cause major safety issues.

But the city says 400 meetings were held to determine the station locations and that no safety issues exist in the case of the Cleveland Place kiosk.

DOT spokesman Seth Solomonow said in a statement: "The locations are the result of this very public process, the most extensive of any transportation project in city history."

The agency said it will work with neighborhoods to refine station locations.

Once complete, Citibike will be the largest bike share system in North America.

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