Google Bike Parking

bike_racks.jpg

This is pretty neat: The Department of Transportation just released mapping data identifying the locations of more than 97 percent of the public bike racks in New York City. The data currently contains 5,968 of the 6,100 bike racks that have been installed as part of the DOT’s CityRacks program. The data is in .kml format, which can be displayed on Google Earth and similar applications.

  • Nice!! Although I’m surprised to find there’s only 1 bike rack on my local section of Queens Blvd. I’ll have to go admire it on my way home 🙂

  • Yes, neat to see the rack in front of my home. And to get confirmation of the over-installation along the 9th Ave. cycle track, and of the complete absence of racks on the perimeters of Grand Central and Penn Station, or inside Central Park.

  • Allan

    Is this really useful? I can’t imagine using this unless bike parking was completely nonexistant or full in an area… and if that’s the case then it seems unlikely to help anyhow.

  • I think it’s a good tool to have. Now you can go to business owners and point out just how many blocks away the closest city-owned racks are, and how great therefore is the need to install bike parking for their establishments.

  • Check this out : (work in progress) http://tr.im/mHDs

  • Liam-

    http://nycbikemaps.com

    http://www.ridethecity.com/

    Also, when are we going to get some good organized indoor bike parking? I would love to give my money to someone who promises a place for my bike where it won’t get stolen or wet while I work. I know that there are some west coast operations that provide such a service but why aren’t there any here? Rent to expensive? Land acquisition costs? What about in parks? Most parks prohibit cycling on pedestrian paths and open spaces, but don’t have a good place to lock and store bikes.

  • Curious. One of the two bike racks that used to outside the building where I live, but was destroyed by bike thieves and drivers with poor parking skills, a year or two ago, still appears on the map. Maybe that’s why Cityracks has ignored my requests for replacements?

    So now that we can actually identify bike racks by number perhaps they’ll come up with a way to report vandalism to individual bike racks?

    This really would make a great iPhone app. Then when you can’t find a bike rack in Central Park, Broadway Plaza, or the newly reopened Washington Square Park, cyclists would be able to find one nearby instead of chaining the bike to a tree guard or lamp post.

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3323/3568923176_d364846482.jpg?v=0
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3638/3568111993_8140bc39e8.jpg?v=0

  • Too cool!

  • Sure, you may not plan your bike ride destination based off of it, but this is still a great resource and show’s how many more areas there are to blanket with racks.

    Bigger question though, how often will data be supplied and updated by Cityracks? I already see inaccuracies. The Smith/Bergen intersection in Boerum Hill has racks behind each of 4 entrances to the subway, but its not noted (and even that bike parking there alone isn’t enough…. the more racks we have strategically placed, the more it will become part of the norm and get people cycling regularly)

  • Turns out. there is an online rack repair request form at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/cityrackrprform.shtml

    So I just requested repair/replacement of two bike racks and identified them by the ID numbers on this map. Maybe that’ll help get something done.

  • Steve

    When are parking garage companies in New York going to realize that they can make money off of bicyclists while providing safe, dry spaces for us bikers to park our bikes? I’d gladly pay the same amount I currently fork over for my round trip subway commute, $4 per day, to be able to park my bike in a secure, dry, indoor location by my work. A typical parking spot can fit 16 bikes. At four dollars a day for a typical 8 to 10 hour work day, that spot can earn the garage $64. That’s almost twice the amount the garage would get for that spot when used by a car for the same amount of money. If they use a double level bike parking system like the one featured in the video at Chicago’s bike parking facility, it’s posted here on Streetsblog, they could make twice the amount, $128. Wake up Kinney parking systems!

  • Steve

    When is the evil Time Warner Center going to acquiesce and install bike racks around the perimeter of the building? I work inside the Time Warner Center and the building management refuses to allow the installation of bike racks on any of the sidewalks outside the building. They tried telling us it’s a security issue but the real reason is they don’t want what they considered an unappealing image – bikes chained up at racks – anywhere outside their high priced condos, the five star Mandarin Hotel, or the high end stores in the mall. It’s a disgrace. And they won’t let any of us bring bikes into the building even if we have room for them in our offices and cubicles.

    The Time Warner Center is anti-bike and anti-environment. Spread the word.

  • Kudos to City Planning and DOT for releasing this data as a KML file rather than a big ‘ol PDF file. Now some talented cyclist-programmers can figure out how to make it even more useful. Other city agencies, please take note!

  • Dan @ #6, there are two little-known free indoor bike parking facilities at the AMNH and the Met.

    Steve @ #12,

    And (as I’m sure you are aware) all the other racks in the Columbus Circle vicinity are full of bikes for rent.

    NYC DoT, Dep’t Parks & Recreation, and Planning should collaborate to dramatically ramp up the City’s involvement in Central Park bike rentals and bike parking to go along with it. the current situation is laughable. Tourists astute enough to know about the sole municipal rental concession at the Boathouse are forced to walk to the middle of the Park it in hopes of finding a sufficient number of single speed 150 lb clunkers available to rent. Often they are disappointed, or so I have been told by one of the kids who works the concession. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs are offering a variety of rentals at unregulated terms and prices, surely without paying any taxes to the city, and using up all the available bike parking to do it. Tourists are spending a higher percentage of their money on incidental vendors they happen to encounter while walking around the Park to get to major destinations, instead of fitting in additional destinations (where the real spending and tax revenue generation goes on) by traveling efficiently among them by bike.

    The City should offer (itself or through a concessionaire like Metro Bicycles or Bike & Roll) a fleet of modern rental bicycles and tandems. Locate the rentals at kiosks located near Columbus Circle, the Plaza, 72nd Street on the East and West sides, and the southern terminus of the new B’way cycle track at 44th St., and at 110th & Lenox. Print up self-guided tour maps like the one recently released for Queens, each with a different theme (museums, kids, architecture, explore the park, etc.). Install bike parking (maybe some new “green” design will allay the inevitable aesthetic objections at the major destinations (Zoo, Hecksher, Hans C. Anderson, Carousel, Delacorte, Swedish Marionette, Harlem Meer/Dana, Boathouse, Conservatory, tennis courts, etc.) and at each of the major gates the park. The parking will serve commuters and other non-tourists, as well as tourists. Use such a system as a pilot/launching platform for an expanded bike share throughout Manhattan

    Charge a modest amount for everything, payable by credit card, and the concession will more than pay for itself. It’s so obvious.

  • I applaud DOT for their recent bike rack competition(I really like the winning design) but I would say that we need better designed options for bikes as much as we need a high volume of racks. The planning and the implementation of the current city rack system is great but a bent tube is only going to get you so far. And there really aren’t that many great looking bike racks. Maybe I’m looking too far ahead and at the moment it doesn’t really matter what the bike infrastructure looks like at this level, but I can’t help but feel that unless we are able to make attractive and functional bike racks and bike facilities biking will continue to be marginalized.

  • MisterBadExample

    I see six, count’em, six lockups in a one-mile radius of my nabe (Avenue J between Coney Island Ave and Ocean Ave). in that same radius we have a campus of Touro College, two elementary schools, and a high school. The neighborhood chokes on its own traffic at around 3 PM and doesn’t calm down again unti well after 6 PM. I would assume the store owners object to bike racks because they take away from foot traffic, but there’s no attempt to regulate parking around those areas.

  • Thanks for this link – it is an obvious thing to be able to look up on Google. I think it will really help reduce the number of people chaining their bike to lamp-posts etc if they know that there is a parking spot nearby. Whilst it seems useful for when travelling to new parts of town which you don’t know where to park your bike, it is of limited use to the parts of town you already know because you will have already scouted out where to leave your bike.

    @Steve interesting to hear you would be prepared to pay for bike parking – hopefully someone will provide that one day.

  • To Whole Foods Columbus Circle –
    I am a frequent shopper at your store and am writing with a very specific concern.

    Every time I take my bike to your store, parking is nearly impossible to find. If you look out in front of the Time Warner Center on any given day, you will see scores of bikes chained to trees and signposts. Often, there is no more space for a bike. I noticed yesterday that on one of the signposts on 58th Street, there is a sign saying bikes will be removed if attached to the sign. This is not only not encouraging customers to bike to the store – it is borderline harassment of bikers.

    All of this wouldn’t be so absurd if Whole Foods didn’t have a policy of encouraging people to drive to the store by providing FREE CAR PARKING!

    From your website –
    > Public Parking
    > We offer validated parking with purchase! Park in the garage at The Time Warner Center on 58th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, and you can receive 2 hours free parking when you make a purchase of $150* or more at Whole Foods Market! Simply bring your receipt and parking stub to Customer Service after you check out and they will validate your parking for up to 2 hours.
    >

    I can’t believe that in this day and age – with all the information about the impact of cars on global warming, asthma and other respiratory ailments that Whole Foods Columbus Circle, which sits on top of 5 subway lines and is adjacent to 2 bike paths, would encourage people to use their gas guzzling, polluting and noisy vehicles to shop there – while discouraging a healthy, clean and free alternative. Biking also contributes to community building as bikers interact more with other bikers and pedestrians than people in cars could ever dream of doing.

    The back of your business cards are printed with “Whole Foods Core Values” – there are 6 of them. Number 5 states – “Caring About Our Communities and Our Environment” – I would say that when it comes to biking to your store, you fall far short of approaching this goal and appear to be working against it.

    I know that the Time Warner Center controls the property etc – but as a major tenant there, I’m hopeful you could act in your customers (and the planet’s) best interests by speaking with them and doing whatever is necessary to rectify this wrong. Only by speaking out is change possible.

    My suggestions would be –

    a) take some space in the parking garage and put bike racks in there and make them available free of charge to WF customers.

    b) work with Time Warner and/or NYC Dept of Transportation to install a bike parking facility like the one on the north side of Union Square on the sidewalk near the store.

    I think this would be a great boon for your store – you will be living up to your core values and you can generate some good press (have a ribbon cutting and invite Transportation Alternatives representatives to attend). You will also be making your employees healthier – I just got off the phone with Leticia – a shift manager – who told me that she has heard this complaint before – not only from customers, but from other team members who would like to be able to bike to work.

    I welcome your comments and appreciate your time,

    Steven Kopstein

  • Steven, good news. According to the Bicycle Access Bill, the garage at Columbus Circle, should have 23 bike parking spaces.

  • Emugavero

    Thank goodness!  My husband and I just bought bikes, and this Google Bike Map is a lifesaver.  Thanks!

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