Ask the RIOC: May I Park My Bike Tonight?

bikerackafterenforcement.jpgMission accomplished? Plenty of room at the RI subway station rack. Photo: Roosevelt Islander

It seems the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation has altered its policy prohibiting overnight bike rack parking. In an effort to keep them clear of abandoned bikes, the RIOC previously announced that any bike found on the public racks by the subway and tram stations between 2 and 5 a.m. would be confiscated and, if not claimed within 48 hours, donated to the island thrift store.

Now, reports Roosevelt Islander, the RIOC is making allowances for late-night cyclists — providing they let the agency know who they are ahead of time.

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director [Keith] Guerra advises that bikes may
be locked up at the tram and subway bike racks during the 2-5 AM hours
but there has been no change in the policy that prohibits overnight
storage of bikes on a regular basis. The intent of this policy is to
allow late night commuters to use the bike racks, not to allow
residents to use these bike racks as a permanent storage area as some
have previously been doing. As of now, contact the Public Safety Department
each day you plan on having your bicycle locked up at the Subway or
Tram bike racks during the 2-5 AM hours and it will not be removed. If
you need your bike locked up during these hours on a regular basis,
advise the Public Safety Department of your situation. They will
attempt to work out a solution.

Does this sound like a viable step to meet regular island cyclists halfway — or is it, however well-intentioned, another obstacle to getting around by bike? We’re especially interested in hearing from cyclists who have, or will be, "registering" with RIOC.

  • mike

    No. Do drivers need to ask permission to park their 2 ton machines on public property overnight?

    I still don’t understand why RIOC doesn’t implement the policy that NYPD’s 9th precinct has — tag bikes that appear abandoned, and then remove those which haven’t been claimed in 2 weeks.

  • RIOC won’t implement that policy because that’d be more work for them, and there’s no incentive for them to do additional work.

    People respond to incentives, and public servants usually have none save the goodness of their hearts — and God knows that reservoir must be drained pretty quickly in their line of work.

  • Well it also seems pretty complicated to keep a running log of late night bike users. I can’t understand why they don’t just tag and remove old bikes. If it turns out that there are tons of people who use their bike occasionally but can’t store it in their apartment, maybe they could add more racks or some kind of indoor parking. Obviously the goal of this policy is to make the bike rack area look nice for the curmudgeonly people who complain to RIOC.

  • Sounds like a great way to go out of your way to not have your bike ‘donated’ only to have it ‘donated’ anyways. If they’re going through the racks every night and removing bikes, do you really want to just hope they identify your bike correctly and not remove it? I wonder if there’s a layover time from when they remove before they ‘donate’ it. I can imagine someone getting off their night shift, finding their bike gone, only to find it’s already bent sent off to the store. Yeah, tagging delinquent bikes makes a lot more sense…that’s what they do with cars parked on the side of the highway…

    But those are cars, they’re special.

  • The core of the policy is still BS, they message is that if you park your bike here when you are off island during the day you can use the rack but if you take it off island during the day but lock it there while you sleep you can’t. Racks are there to lock bikes on, why should it ever matter when or why you lock your bike there, even if you are using it as storage, if the bike isn’t rusting to pieces, who cares!

  • Do vehicles on the island in parking spots have to report to RIOC? Enough said…

  • There is a one week period of time between the removal of the bicycle from the bike rack and when it gets donated to the local Thrift shop.

  • cr

    I don’t understand – you tell Public Safety that you’re going to leave your bike there overnight (or for a period of time during the night while your working or whatever), but how do they know it’s *your* bike?

  • Cullen

    Why not just build enough bike racks to allow the locals to keep their bikes there too? Perhaps, they could rent bike lockers for longer term storage?

  • Ian Turner

    Whatever happened to this?

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