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Upper West Side Residents: Citi Bike Racks Installed With Little Community Input

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There's fighting in the street over the recent addition of Citi Bike racks in the Upper West Side.

"Put the bikes where they're not going to obstruct parking for residents; that's all I'm saying," said one woman talking to another man on the street.

Racks set up to hold as many as 60 bikes have taken up prime real estate on Riverside Drive, West 82nd Street and West 76th Street -- just to name a few, CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported.

"This is an atrocity. There's no reason why you should have 60 plus stations when in the last week alone the most I've seen of bicycles on this station have been 10," said Upper West Side resident Joseph Bolanos.

According to the Citi Bike website, station locations are based on population and transit needs, and were selected through a participatory public input process.

But folks living along Riverside Boulevard in the Upper West Side said they had little to no warning at all about the rack off 67th Street installed in the last week, Sanchez reported.

"I had no clue they were coming," said one woman.

"(Sanchez: Do you feel you had a say on if this thing went up?) No. There was no say. We were just notified," said Suzanne Mullen.

State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who represents the Upper West Side, said residents were given many opportunities to be heard.

"DOT did do meetings and some hearings and got input from people," Rosenthal said. "However, people need to feel that the input they give is being listened to, and that didn't happen at all the sites."

"The people are really emotional about this, but at the end of the day, they don't listen," said Bolanos.

Public opinion has made a difference for some stations like the one on West 76th Street. It was originally planned to go up on West 78th, but locals there were so adamant they didn't want it, that it got placed a few blocks away instead, Sanchez reported.

The next stop for the expanding Citi Bike program is Harlem, where public hearings are planned.

The Department of Transportation denied CBS2's request for an on-camera interview to respond to residents' complaints.

In a written statement, the DOT said it held many meetings in the community to hear feedback and concerns, CBS2 reported.

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