Yesterday the City Council approved a zoning change that mandates secure bike parking in new construction, putting the rule into effect. The amendment will help cyclists avoid the risks of locking up on-street by requiring new apartment buildings and offices to provide space for people to put their rides. (Check out this table from the Department of City Planning [PDF] for details.)
We’ve said it before and it’s certainly worth repeating: This zoning change is a good step forward that will bear fruit in the long run; the missing piece — and it’s a big one — is bike access to existing buildings. To that end, the Bicycle Access Bill (Intro 871) would provide a much more substantial and immediate benefit to bike commuters by allowing them to bring their rides inside the workplace, if their employer consents. The legislation aims to reverse the policies of New York City landlords and property managers, most of whom don’t allow bikes inside. By drastically reducing the risk of theft, the bill could boost bike commuting by as much as 50 percent.
After holding a committee hearing on Intro 871 last fall, legislators are currently tweaking the bill’s language. We have a request in with sponsor David Yassky’s office to determine when the revised bill will come up in committee.