It’s Official: Bicycle Access Bill Signed Into Law

bloomberg_sign_871_1.jpg

This was the scene at City Hall yesterday afternoon as Mayor Bloomberg put his signature on the Bicycle Access Bill. The mayor also signed Intro 780, which will increase the amount of bike parking in commercial garages and lots. Bill sponsors David Yassky (dark tie) and Oliver Koppell (red and navy stripes) were on hand, as were buildings commissioner Robert LiMandri (far left), DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan (center) and TA director Paul White (glare in his lenses).

The new rules governing bike access to buildings won’t take effect for a few more months. In the meantime, the best strategy for eventually reversing your building’s bike policy is to talk amongst your co-workers (not to your employer just yet) and hash out potential bike access plans.

The passage of these bills elicited many pro-bike pronouncements from elected officials, some of which have been reprinted for your reading pleasure after the jump.

Bill sponsor David Yassky, in a press release before the City Council passed the Bicycle Access Bill:

“In a city in which one in eight kids has asthma, this bill is a long overdue step towards reducing carbon emissions, improving public health, and building a sustainable transportation infrastructure,” said Council Member Yassky. “I look forward to the Council passing this bill tomorrow so that we can begin the implementation of this important piece of progressive legislation.”

An email blast from speaker Christine Quinn’s office after City Council passed the bill:

Dear New Yorker,

Good news!  Last week the New York City Council took steps toward creating a more sustainable transportation infrastructure in our city by passing two important pieces of legislation:

Intro. 0780-A (Koppell) – bicycle parking in garages and parking lots.  (To view a copy of the bill click here.)

Intro. 0871-A (Yassky) – bicycle access in commercial buildings.  (To view a copy of the click here.)

One of the main obstacles to bicycle commuting is the inability to park your bicycle in a secure location once you have arrived at work. 

These bills address this problem by improving bicycle access in commercial buildings and creating thousands of bicycle parking spaces in city garages and parking lots.  The legislation also encourages cycling by creating a bicycle commuting task force that will explore partnerships with private entities to build sheltered bicycle parking in public and/or private spaces.  The task force will issue its report by December 31, 2010.

Together, these proposals will improve public health, reduce carbon emissions, and provide a more affordable option for New Yorker’s daily commute.

Remarks by Bloomberg in the press release sent after yesterday’s bill signing:

“Making bicycling a safe, low-cost, and fun means of getting around town is a key component of PlaNYC, our Administration’s vision for a greener, greater New York.  Under the leadership of Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, the Department of Transportation has made great strides in turning that vision into a reality: over the past three years, we’ve seen a 45 percent increase in bicycle commuting in our City, spurred by our creation of more than 200 miles of bike lanes as well as the installation of 3,100 bicycle racks and 20 sheltered bike parking structures.  Also, the Council recently adopted zoning requirements crafted by the Department of City Planning to ensure that new buildings over a certain size will be designed to include bicycle parking facilities.

“These two pieces of legislation aim to take these successes several significant steps further."

  • vnm

    This is something I’ve always wondered. Why does the Mayor need like 27 pens to sign legislation?

  • Finally, some good news today.

  • the mayor has all those pens so he can hand them out to folks afterwards, like candy from a parade float. i got mine!

  • vnm

    Awesome. Congrats to all involved. That pen deserves a place of honor!

  • bc

    Sweet! Good on ya, congrats Paul.

  • J

    Why are you advising people not to talk to their employer? If your employer isn’t in board with space in the office, bike access through the lobby is moot.

  • I mentioned it to my office administration and they shot me down. Said I wouldn’t be able to bring my bike in…boo-hoo

  • When the law takes effect, people will have to talk to their employers. But jumping the gun might spoil their chances.

    For now, the most important thing is to build a strong case for bike access to your building, so in 100 or so days, when the law does take effect, you’ll be well-positioned to take advantage.

    By then, the bike advocates should also have some sort of support system in place to help everyone navigate the process.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Any entrepreneurs out there? Between this bill and the real estate bust, there might be some office buildings willing to rent less desirable space (say second floor or basement on a side street) for bicycle a storage service.

    Given that one could park on the street for nothing, what might someone be willing to pay? I might be tempted at $10 per month, if a tire pump and a few other amenities were provided.

    One could charge more if showers and towels were also provided, though I generally do not find them necessary. One might also offer office clothing storage. I’m not sure which model is more likely to succeed — just protected storage or full service.

    On just needs to wait for the bankruptcy and foreclosure sale, and deal with the bank or new buyers (or new RTC if it gets bad enough). Given what merchants located in the same zip code as bike lanes give as a reason for declining sales in a consumer led recession, I hope the default of buildings purchased at the top of the commercial real estate market aren’t blamed on this bill.

  • David Camacho

    This is a tiny, itsy bitsy step towards a greener NYC. Ya must start somewhere.

  • Arlene Perry

    I am not against bicyclists but they should be made to follow the laws of the roads. As someone who has nearly been struck by bikers who fail to stop at red lights, travel the wrong way on a street or yield to those of us who prefer to walk, I find it dangerous. You give them all of the rights and power but fail to make necessary stimulations so that ecveryone is protected.

    Let’s protect everyone’s right to a safe and environmentally friendly city and enforce the laws for all.

  • Ian Turner

    Arlene,

    You find bicyclists “dangerous”, but it is automobiles that maim and kill thousands in our city every year. Scofflaw bicyclists are annoying, but scofflaw drivers are deadly. Let’s keep our eyes on the things that matter.

    Cheers,

    –Ian

  • I want my necessary stimulations!

  • The Opoponax

    Arlene, as commuting by bike becomes more feasible for ordinary 9 to 5 folks (facilitated by this law), scofflaw behavior will go way down. Especially as the city provides more facilities for cyclists and manages traffic better. Part of the reason people on bikes are willing to act scary towards pedestrians is that it’s better to freak out a few people without hurting anybody than to be hit by a car.

    More and more, it amazes me that most people’s real problem with bikes boils down to “they were insufficiently deferential!” or “they scared me!” Especially when these complaints are leveled at cyclists who were actually doing the right thing.

    Not to mention that I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been almost run down as a pedestrian by DRIVERS. And also can’t count the number of times that I’ve almost been killed by a reckless driver while I was driving.

  • Alex

    I bike on a regular basis, yet I don’t get why some bikers here use the “we’re not as bad as cars” argument when a pedestrian expresses a negative experience with a biker. Might as well say, “Well, you should see how MURDERERS act with their GUNS! THEY’re REALLY dangerous!” Using the relative danger of automobiles vs. bikes is a lame way to mask the fact that bikers can employ behavior that is dangerous to pedestrians.

    A lot of US bikers are driven by the same human nature as drivers, yielding similar results: we are impatient, so we run red lights, or stop at crosswalks so we can inch our way through the intersections faster. We don’t yield to pedestrians on tracks like the west side highway one. We weave through crosswalks at high speeds so we don’t get slowed down. It’s really not that different than automobile drivers from a behavioral standpoint. In some ways, we’re worse, because unlike automobile drivers, we cling to this idea that we’re “better” simply because we’re not in cars. Really, that just makes us hypocrites.

    The reality is that, many times, and I’ll include myself here, we’re selfish and we compromise the safety of others because of it. Time to fess up.

  • Ian Turner

    Alex,

    Do you have any evidence that bicyclists “compromise the safety of others” to any socially significant extent?

    Thanks,

    –Ian

  • Using the relative danger of automobiles vs. bikes is a lame way to mask the fact that bikers can employ behavior that is dangerous to pedestrians.

    It’s not a way to mask anything. It’s a way to measure the relative cost versus benefits, and to put things in perspective.

    People have an incentive to go places. They could use bicycles. If you discourage cycling, AND you discourage taking the bus and subway by underfunding it, AND you encourage driving by providing “free” bridges and highways, then you’re giving people incentives to switch from cycling to driving, which greatly increases the danger to everyone on the street.

  • Just to add to the memorabilia mix, here’s a fly-on-the-wall view of the initial hearing back in 2008
    http://www.galfromdownunder.com/movies/bikesinbuildingsnyc

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Bicycle Access Bill Clears City Council Transpo Committee

|
Bicycle Access Bill sponsor David Yassky, who first introduced his legislation in 2006, speaks at a press event earlier today. As anticipated, this morning the City Council transportation committee voted in favor of Intro 871, the Bicycle Access Bill. The tally was 9-0 with one absence, sending the bill to the full floor for the […]

John Liu Stalls Bicycle Access Bill in Committee

|
A few months ago, John Liu was all for bikes in buildings. After months of negotiations and fine-tuning, the Bicycle Access Bill was expected to come up for a vote in the City Council this afternoon. Despite the support of Mayor Bloomberg and 29 co-sponsors, that’s not going to happen. For many thousands of cyclists, […]

Good Signs for Bikes in Buildings Bill at City Council Hearing

|
No vote was held at yesterday’s City Council hearing on the Bikes in Buildings Bill, but supporters outnumbered opponents among those who testified. The measure, which would smooth the way for commuter cyclists by greatly expanding bike access to commercial buildings, is expected to go before the transportation committee again next month, after undergoing some […]

Bikes in Buildings: So Easy, So Effective

|
Front row l-r: Tish James, Paul Steely White, John Liu, David Yassky. Photo: Mike Infranco. With the fallout from Wall Street taking a toll on city coffers, Mayor Bloomberg has a lot of tough calls to make. The "Bikes in Buildings" bill [PDF] is not one of them. It’s a lay-up — a simple rule […]

Take Action: Tell John Liu to Support the Bicycle Access Bill

|
Last September, John Liu stood on the steps of City Hall to support bicycle access to buildings. Will he follow through on that commitment? This email alert from Transportation Alternatives just hit our inbox. The Bicycle Access Bill (Intro 871, sponsored by David Yassky), is scheduled for a City Council committee hearing tomorrow and possibly […]