Yankees Trail Mets By 10 Racks in “Subway Series of Bike Parking”

yankee_stadium_bike_parking.jpgImage: SI for Kids.

Yesterday, my Mets got shut out by the last-place Nationals, falling 10 games behind the defending world champion Phillies. Meanwhile, the Yankees grabbed sole possession of first place — for the first time in months! — after beating Baltimore. It pains me just to type the words.

But take heart, Met fans, at least our team provides bike racks at the ballpark. Not so the Yankees. Sarah Braunstein at Sports Illustrated for Kids reports on a recent outing to their new stadium:

Whenever I bike anywhere, I always check to make sure there is a
safe place to park. First, I checked out the New York City Department
of Transportation to find the closest bike rack to the stadium. The
closest one is at the Bronx Supreme Court, about four blocks from the
stadium.

I figured in a city with so many bikers, and with hundreds of miles
of bike lanes, there had to be something closer. So I did what any
adventurous biker would do and called the Yankees themselves.

The
answer to all my questions was ‘NO.’ There are no bike racks at the
stadium. There is no bike parking. They cannot offer indoor bike
parking, even for reporters. There is no possibility of parking a bike
at or in the stadium.

The Mets, Braunstein discovered, have ten bike racks outside CitiField. In the grand scheme of transportation sins, Yankee Stadium’s lack of bike parking pales beside its wanton profusion of traffic-generating car parking. And the Mets, despite their bike racks, are admittedly no livable streets angels (though the approach from the Willets Point station to CitiField is way nicer than the walk to Shea used to be).

Mostly, I just hope the Orioles’ bike-commuting number one starter, Jeremy Guthrie, reads this and gets a little more fired up every time he pitches in the Bronx.

  • Yankees Suck!

    Mets rule even when they suck!

  • m to the i

    In San Francisco, Giants Stadium (whatever it is called now) has an enclosed bike room inside the stadium. I only went to one game but you’d just bike up to the door, hand your bike over to the attendant and get a number to pick up your bike with. It was really nice and convenient. Too bad with all the public funds spent on the new stadiums there was no forethought.

    Would the new Bikes in Buildings bill change that? Hopefully it won’t, but if the Barclays Center ever gets built, we should make sure that there is a big bike room since it is supposed to be transit-oriented development not car-oriented.

  • Geez, even our local AAA team in Sacramento has valet bike parking: http://www.rivercats.com/raley/green/
    And my Chicago White Sox have closer bike parking than the Yankees do: http://www.chicagobikes.org/bikeparking/multiple.php?zip=60616

  • Adam

    I bleed orange and blue, even when we’re sucking. And this goes to show you how just out of touch the Yankees are and continue to be with people who actually live in the city. SNY actually airs sports or NYC-related programming when they’re not airing the Mets; the Yankees air business news.

  • That leaves the flag poles, sign poles, and other poles (but not human Poles) to chain the bicycles to. My guess that there is some rule made up by some Robert-Moses-want-to-be that would stop me from doing even that.

  • vnm

    Small comment, but that map points to the old stadium. The new one is on the north side of the 161st Street.

    Besides that, I’m really ambivalent about this post.

    On the one hand, it is ridiculous that the Yankees could spend $237 million in bond proceeds and a $70 million grant from Empire State Development Corporation to expand and renovate parking for cars but not spend a cent on bike parking.

    On the other hand, the new Yankee Stadium is the best served MLB stadium in terms of mass transit: two and a half subway lines, three commuter rail lines, two ferries, and local, express, and plenty of charter buses. And it’s located in a very ped-friendly neighborhood, and there are many pedicab entrepreneurs around on game days.

    So it would seem that nominally, the only mode that’s left out is bicycling. But then again, the nearest official bike parking is, as noted, on the Walton Avenue and 161st Street sides of the Bronx County Courthouse. That’s just 1,000 feet or two and half short blocks away from the stadium. The block between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Manhattan is 910 feet long. Really, is the Courthouse all that far away? The main problem is that these racks aren’t being promoted by the Yankees, because I rarely see anyone using them on game days.

    Now, none of this should be construed to be a defense of the Yankees front office. They didn’t pay for the Metro-North station, and the elevated subway predates the first stadium by six years. And of course the nearby bike racks are not their doing. Their good decision was to keep their present location, which enables them to benefit from the richness of transit modes offered by this close-in urban neighborhood.

  • @vnm,

    They didn’t really “keep their present location,” since they saw fit to steal Macombs Dam Park from the people of the Bronx, as you alluded to in your map comment.

    And that’s why the Yankees are cursed.

  • vnm

    True. But I’m withholding judgment on the park theft until I see the quality of the replacement parks. I am very excited to see what promises to be a vibrant and popular waterfront park taking shape just west of the new Gateway mall. The section of park they stole was in a sad, sorry condition. As you can see using Google satellite view, it was used for parking hundreds of cars, wrecking the grass every game day.

    Of course, the new parks could have been built anyway, without the need to cede a section of Macombs Dam Park, but that strikes me as unlikely.

  • Doug

    Secure bike parking at Wrigley Field, Chicago:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/planetgordon/2437786948/in/photostream/

    Picture was taken when there wasn’t a game happening, but you can see that it’s fenced in. Not sure if you have to pay, but even if you do…

  • Doug

    I should add that Wrigley is very well served by public transportation in the form of the El, the bus, and pedestrian access, yet they still see fit to provide bike parking one baseball pitch’s distance from the stadium.

    Fenway, in Boston, is also well served by public transport, yet there are bike racks all over the place.

    vnm, Yankee Stadium is in a ped-friendly neighborhood only if you are already in that neighborhood. Getting there from Manhattan or other parts of NYC requires more than walking.

  • Here in DC, The Nationals might be first in war, first in peace, and (VERY) last in the National League, but they have outstanding bike facilities. Bike racks circle the entire stadium block, and they have a secured valet underneath the outfield parking garage.

    They have so many racks around the stadium, that they’re never full. And they designed a special one with the “W” logo to surround the stadium.

    Valet: http://www.flickr.com/photos/harry_hunt/2661959929/

    Racks: http://www.flickr.com/photos/afagen/2374230723/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/anorangecountygirl/2375541723/

    They’re small in this one, but you can see how close they are to the stadium. You can literally lock up your bike within 50 yards of the entrance:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/harry_hunt/2662729094/in/set-72157606133997711/

  • Josh

    Oh, well, NOW I feel better about how crappy the Mets are.

  • MetsFan

    Good to know! CitiField has lots of racks near Left field. I have tried ferry and the train but I prefer to bike to CitiField. It’s less crowded and a nicer way to travel. For me it is about 45 to 55 minutes door to door. The train would be longer.

    So i will go to the new Yankee stadium sometime this year, but I’m really surprised to hear that they did not think to put in a bike rack. It seems absurd. I guess I’ll just park on the street to a pole or meter.

    Another reason to love the mets and hate the yanks 😉

  • J

    Doug,

    Fenway only got sothered in bike racks within the past year. There are however, more than 25 posts holding two bikes each next to the stadium.

    Very few people use them, as there are two subway stations, commuter rail and a bus terminus/depot within a block

  • Doug

    Yes, and if Fenway — an old ballpark set among Boston’s narrow streets — could do it, the surely a brand new stadium with nearly unlimited space that could have been designed any way the owners and architects wanted to could have put in a tiny bike rack somewhere, anywhere, nearby.

    Actually, from the game I went to a few weeks ago at Fenway, LOTS of people bike to the game. I saw bikes attached to every parking meter, light post, etc.

  • James

    The Bronx is badly served when it comes to the provision of bike racks. In the corner of the Bronx where I live, we don’t have a single rack, which is especially odd given that it’s situated between two trailway systems (South County Trailway in Westchester and Hudson River Greenway in Inwood) and contains Van Cortlandt Park. Come on DOT, send some CityRacks our way!

  • So Uh… is anyone going to start writing letters and calling the Yankees to have them put some in? From the Yankee General Info number (718) 293-4300 they told me to write to:

    Rob Bernstein President of Fan Relations

    1 E 161st St, Bronx NY 10451

    rbernstein@yankees.com

    Lets get them to install some!

  • Go Braves!

    Two racks about 100 feet from two gates at Turner Field. The first time I noticed them was at the start of the 2008 season.

    You’re also allowed to take your bike on MARTA. Nice to have given that the train does not go to the stadium.

  • J. Mork

    I just noticed that the Mets also talk about bikes on their website.

    Fans that wish to use their bicycle as a mode of transportation to Citi Field can utilize any of the 10 bicycle parking racks located on the outside of the ballpark. The locations of the bicycle parking racks are as follows: First Base side of the Rotunda, Third Base side of the Rotunda, outside the Right Field Gate on 126th Street, outside the Left Field Gate.

    http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/nym/ballpark/guide.jsp#guide_b

    I’m not a Mets fan, but it’s endearing that they are talking about bicycle transportation.

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