CB7 Puts a Wrench in E-Bike Hub at 72nd Street

Delivery workers congregate on Broadway, several blocks north of the recently proposed e-bike hub.

A proposed e-bike charging station which would turn an out-of-use newsstand into a hub for delivery workers to charge their rides and rest was rejected in a 27-8 vote at Tuesday night’s full Community Board 7 meeting.


The initiative led by Mayor Eric Adams and Senator Chuck Schumer received support for its objective, but CB7 ultimately felt the location – by the southern entrance to the 72nd Street Subway on Broadway – is too congested and filled with pedestrians. The city’s lack of specific details about the station was also cited as a deterrent.

“There was simply no community input or outreach done by the city before this location was chosen,” said Parks and Environment Committee co-chair Natasha Kazmi during opening remarks. Kazmi noted Community Board 7 “filled that outreach gap” since the beginning of February with 215 pieces of written testimony from the community and more than 85% of that input being “overwhelmingly against” the hub.

Four key points were emphasized by Kazmi for CB7’s opposition to the e-bike hub. Citing studies which show 15,000 people use the 72nd Street subway every single day – with 12,000 on weekends – the location of the hub with three narrow entry points simply has too much congestion. Piggybacking on traffic, Kazmi’s second point was that this subway station is in the top 5% in terms of ridership in the city.

The dangers of lithium-ion batteries were also cited as a problem for this location. Kazmi noted this concern as “the most important to me,” citing that NYCHA has banned lithium-ion charging on its premises, and so have “many private buildings.”


The fourth and final point made for CB7’s opposition noted a lack of clarity on which agency would be responsible for the design, operation and maintenance of the e-bike hub. The board also cited a lack of clarity on where the funding would come from for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the facility.

Kazmi ended by citing the resolution which asks Mayor Adams to choose an alternate location for the delivery worker hub.

President of the West 71st Street Block Association, Katina Ellison spoke on behalf of her block while also representing the West 72nd and 73rd Street Block Associations. “The hundreds of us that are a part of these associations are absolutely opposed to this project for the reasons that Natasha mentioned.” Ellison noted the sentiment many others echoed over the course of the evening, saying “We are not against delivery workers or any workers but we think this is a very, very dangerous thing to do.” Ellison called out the bow-tie intersection at West 71st, calling it “the bow tie of death,” which she said is known to be a problematic area and urged the city to choose another site “strictly because of safety concerns.”

William Medina, a member of the worker’s support group Los Deliveristas Unidad, advocated for the e-bike hub. “I’m one of the 65,000 workers who worked through the pandemic to ensure medication and household items were comfortably delivered to New Yorkers across the five boroughs.” Medina highlighted working in the cold rain and snow and a physical space to rest and charge their bikes would accommodate their basic needs.

“I think the deliveristas deserve a whole lot better than what this tiny little postage stamp represents,” said CB7 member Mark Diller. “They deserve better from us and as a community that’s being served by them, they certainly deserve better from GrubHub and DoorDash.”


On Feb. 16, Chick-fil-A opened a pop-up rest stop called The Brake Room at 1477 Third Avenue for delivery workers to go to use the bathroom, charge their phones and rest in a lounge setting. While not permanent, the concept is a sound start in addressing the needs of the 65,000 food service workers in the city.

While Community Board 7 is opposed to the e-bike hub at the West 72nd Street Subway, Mayor Eric Adams will have the final say on whether or not it’s implemented at this location.


Sharing is caring!

Latest Comments

  1. Jay March 8, 2023
  2. DK March 8, 2023
    • Jay March 9, 2023
  3. good humor March 9, 2023
  4. Nick March 9, 2023
    • Paul March 9, 2023
  5. Jim Zisfein March 10, 2023

Leave a Reply