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/ May 1, 2013
Coles CitiBike Station Lies In 2031 Plan’s Shadow Of Destruction

NYU 2031 may sound far off — we’ll all be in our 30s or 40s by then! — but the effects of NYU’s expansion plan will be felt before many of us graduate.

Docking stations for CitiBike, NYC’s bike share set to launch this month, began sprouting up around campus last week. As attendees of Shabbat For 2000 observed on Friday, one of the stations was installed in front of Coles Athletic Center.

Most stations, like those next to Silver and the Law School, were installed on the street or sidewalk. But the 30-bike station on Mercer and Bleecker Streets was installed on the private plaza in front of Coles. The CitiBike station map indicates that the Coles station is “located on private property (pending approval).” Presumably, this means NYU’s property.

The only problem? Coles is slated to be destroyed next year. According to the 2031 plan, Coles will be one of the first facilities demolished to make way for the proposed “Zipper Building.” Beginning this summer, a temporary athletic facility is planned for one block north of Coles’s current location, in a space that currently holds a playground. Then, in summer 2014, Coles is on the chopping block to make way for the Zipper Building.

Which makes us wonder: what will happen to the bike share station? While Coles has a plaza with ample space for the bike dock, the Zipper Building, according to the plans, runs right up to the sidewalk and affords no such space. Could this mean that 30 bikes will be wiped off the grid by the 2031 plan?

Ours appears to be a unique case for CitiBike; a cursory look at a few dozen stations in Manhattan found ours to be the only located on “private property” — the rest are in parking lanes or on sidewalks. It seems misguided — or at least poor planning — to install this 30-bike station which lies in the shadow of destruction of NYU’s expansion plan.

We reached out to NYU and CitiBike for comment on this particular station. Neither responded, but we will update if we hear back. Until then, enjoy the station in front of Coles (while it lasts!)

Images by the author.