Citi Bike to bring 52 new
docking stations to Astoria
22 FEBRUARY 2 0 2 1
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Citi Bike is expanding
its reach in
by adding 52
new docking stations
growing the bikeshare’s
coverage to north of
Ditmars Boulevard and
east of Steinway Street.
On Jan. 15, Lyft and the New York City Department of
Transportation announced the launch of these new local
stations, kicking off the largest expansion year in Citi
"Many of these new stations are in parts of the neighborhood
further away from the subway, and our bikes
combined with upcoming in-app transit information
will make it even easier for riders to get to the N, W,
R and M trains," said Laura Fox, general manager for
Citi Bike at Lyft.
NYC DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole
Garcia said the city is "thrilled" to ring in 2021 with the
new expansion, as more New Yorkers choose cycling
as a "sustainable and healthy form of transportation
during the COVID-19 crisis."
The city constructed a record of nearly 29 lane miles of
new protected bike lanes across all five boroughs in 2020,
with nearly 10 miles of protected bike lanes in Queens.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and
local Councilman Costa Constantinides praised the
"Car use in New York City accounted for over 12 million
tons of greenhouse gases in 2019," said Constantinides.
"If we're going to meet our climate goals, we need to give
New Yorkers as many sustainable options as possible,
and expanding our bike-share network is a great way to
achieve this. That's why I'm so proud to support Citi Bike's
expansion into new parts of Astoria, as every trip not taken
in a gas-fueled vehicle is another step to securing a
truly green and sustainable New York."
Citi Bike, the nation's most widely used bike-share system,
is currently in phase three of its citywide expansion
to double the footprint of the network, which will be completed
by the end of 2023. An additional 18 neighborhoods
were added to the system last year and new stations
will also be added in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the
Bronx following the Astoria expansion.
Citi Bike has more than 18,000 bikes, including 3,700
e-bikes, at more than 1,100 stations and works with
more than 60 community partners across the city. Last
year, Lyft launched the first Equity Advisory Council for
bike-sharing programs, gathering together 20 other
organizations to provide an equity lens and guidance
for Citi Bike's expansion.
An annual membership is $179 with a 12-month commitment.
NYCHA residents, SNAP recipients and members
of select community development credit unions are
eligible to receive discounted memberships at just $5 per
month. Nearly 8,000 New Yorkers access reliable transportation
through this Reduced Fare Bikeshare program.
EXPLORE YOUR BORO
Legends of LIC
The last mayor of LIC
The last mayor of Long Island City was the colorful
and unforgettable Patrick Jerome “Battle–Axe” Gleason.
He was one of those figures from real life who
trumps anything dreamed by Hollywood. Gleason was
a rare mixture combining the best and the worst in
both his private and public lives.
Perhaps if he lived in Brooklyn or Manhattan and not
in Queens, he would be remembered like Boss Tweed,
a figure widely known from American history. But if you
mention his name to any older resident of the community, even after the
passage of 100 years, you will get a nod of recognition.
Gleason was born in Ireland in 1844, and he and his brothers came
to America as part of a great migration from that island in the mid-nineteenth
century. His early years were vague. Some say he spent a few years
in California during the Gold Rush. Others claim that he and his brothers
saw service in the Civil War.
He emerges in Queens history running a whiskey still somewhere in the
great swamp of Flushing Meadows. He later bragged, while mayor, about
how he hoodwinked the revenue officers and played tricks on them.
Gleason somehow got control of the first trolley line on Long Island
outside of Brooklyn, which went through Dutch Kills. It was the only public
transportation that connected the ferry at 34th Street in Manhattan with
the steady stream of mourners going to Calvary Cemetery, which, at the
time, was the largest Roman Catholic cemetery in the country. The route
was very profitable and played an important role in building not only his
fortune, but his reputation within the community.
On occasion during the weekend, when traffic was heaviest, Gleason
had to fill in for a driver. He would scold and order about the passengers.
When they took exception, he gave them a card with the company’s
address and suggested they go to the offices to file a complaint. If they
showed up that Monday, Gleason would emerge from the president’s office
attired in his Sunday best to meet them, promising that the driver
would be punished.
Gleason first got elected to the Board of Aldermen, and later served
as mayor for three terms. As his profile in Wikipedia states, Gleason held
“truly remarkable sway over Long Island City’s affairs” for years when his
power was in its prime “by his keen personal hold on the majority of the
people he ruled. By nature and by political preference he was a Democrat,
but he was voted for simply as ‘Paddy,’ he was obeyed as ‘Paddy,’
and the people whom he had once autocratically governed, and a respectable
portion of whom had been hostile to him, remembered him as
‘Paddy’ to the day of his death.”
On lots he held, he drilled wells and ran pipes into the city. He then sent
city workers out to disconnect the existing water supply. Gleason’s greed
knew no limits. He held property and leased it back to the city at inflated
prices for municipal buildings. One of his buildings offered for a school
was unsafe, but approved by his Buildings Department.
When Gleason was elected mayor, he refused to give up his seat on the
Board of Aldermen and reluctantly did so only when threatened with jail
(which he finally did have to spend a few days in after striking a reporter
who wrote something he did not like). He dismissed the reforming police
chief who then successfully sued Gleason for libel. More jail time.
He was hated by the political establishment. We have few pictures
of him because the press at the time refused to photograph him. They
heaped bitter scorn upon him.
(To be continued.)
BY ANGÉLICA ACEVEDO
Greater Astoria Historical Society
44-02 23RD ST. #219 LONG ISLAND CITY, NY 11101
INFO@ASTORIALIC.ORG / WWW.ASTORIALIC.ORG