Times Building Continues to Discourage Bike Commuting

In the latest episode of the New York Times Building vs. bike commuters saga, building management is tagging chained bikes with notes threatening to clip and "remove" them.

After being promised space in the new, 1.5 million square foot building, cyclists were barred from bringing their bikes in for months. Management finally opened a small room with enough space for 20 bikes, which, not surprisingly, is apparently not enough. Rather than meet demand for bike storage in its "green" building, it looks like the Times is again taking a hard line against clean commuting.

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  • mike

    Beyond the obvious solution of providing more indoor bike parking, why doesn’t the Times just install bike racks outside?

  • No matter how much indoor storage space the Times provides, there is nothing to stop bicyclists who don’t work there from locking up to these lovely pierced girders. Mike’s right that the the Times should install racks if they want to deter folks from locking up to their building.

  • Stu

    That was my thought too, #2. Those girders look like a great place to lock your bike: not at all flimsy.

  • Not to put too fine a point on it … but it’s not the New York Times Building that is discouraging cycle commuting, it’s the New York Times Company, a corporation (I believe) with a board of directors, listed here.

    Any effort to expand cycle access inside and create cycle parking outside the Times Building should target the directors, individually and collectively.

  • ddartley

    Not on the shortage of indoor space, but about the outdoor chaining-up and the notes: I’ll go against most of my feelings on the subject and point out that at least they are leaving warning notes on the bikes, much better than just clipping the locks without warning, like other neanderthals around town have done.

    If their argument is that “it’s our building and we don’t want bikes chained to it,” there’s little rebuttal to that. But if their argument is that bikes are blocking the sidewalk, and they’re responsible for keeping the sidewalks clear, that argument is a zero, because the bikes are, visibly, NOT obstructing the sidewalk! It’s like the architect consciously tried to devise the BEST sidewalk bike parking possible, with those perforated girders!

  • Charlie D.

    It’s really a simple solution:

    1. Provide indoor bike parking and make it clear to employees where it is.

    2. Provide outdoor bike parking that is easy to find or provide signage to point people to it. This would primarily serve visitors and would be overflow for employees when the indoor parking fills up.

    Bicyclists park where it’s easy and obvious. If you don’t want them to do it somewhere, tell them where they should go instead!

  • Mark

    NYC needs a biker’s bill of rights. The U.S. needs a biker law modeled on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Peak oil will put these ideas on the table. Not soon, but eventually.

  • eLK

    It’s Forest City Ratner who is in charge of the security and building services. The NYT stepped aside on this one. The old building, which was run by the NYT, had a very generous amount of secure indoor bicycle parking.

    Twelve spaces is not enough and there are no bicycle racks anywhere within a block.

  • tonk

    Ratner sucks

  • 20 spaces? How many floors tall is this building? How many employees work there? Absolutely ridiculous behaviour.

  • Joe

    The USGBC LEED green building standards specify bike parking for 5% of the expected peak occupant population. If the NYT Building were to meet this part of the LEED rating system, which it doesn’t, that would be 20 spaces for every 400 employees/visitors. I don’t know how many people the building is designed to hold — but it’s many times 400.

    To go with the bike parking, LEED also requires showers and changing rooms for 0.5% of the occupants — no point in creating bike parking if the bike owners don’t have a place to freshen up before work.

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