Larry Silverstein: Most Buildings Can Comply With Bikes in Buildings Law

silverstein_photo.jpgPhoto of 7 World Trade: G. Paul Burnett/New York Times.

With the Bikes in Buildings Law taking effect in less than 24 hours, this story in the Times is a must-read. Here on Streetsblog, we’ve mostly covered the more intransigent elements within the real estate industry — the folks clinging to an antiquated cultural aversion to bicycles. But plenty of property owners are coming around, including World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein.

Susan Stellin reports:

"From my vantage point, it’s a huge positive," said Larry A. Silverstein, president and chief executive of Silverstein Properties. That vantage point is an office on the 38th floor of 7 World Trade Center with sweeping views overlooking ground zero.

Although no bike was leaning against his desk that day, Mr. Silverstein said he supported the new law and thought most buildings with freight elevators could comply and that tenants could handle the parking once bikes rolled through their doors.

"If you really want to do this, you find the space," he said. "There’s always space where you can put a bicycle."

  • Geck

    My wife’s office is in a different Silverstein building. To their credit they did put an access plan in place ahead of the deadline and apparently without a formal request. Unfortunately, her employer has no space for her to store her bike and the limited freight elevator hours, 8:00AM-5:00PM, would not work well for her anyway as she works well beyond 5:00PM most days. I suspect limited freight elevator hours are going to be a problem in a lot of buildings.

  • Gwin

    Same with my building, Geck. My office was perfectly willing to allot space for those of us who ride, but the building’s freight elevator only operates until 6 PM, making it useless for me.

  • David_K

    I’ve worked in a building on 42nd Street for the past 11 years, during which time management has let me bring my bike up to my office. Service elevator hours are 8 – 4:30. Bringing my bike down at that time is definitely a pain in the ass, but all in all it’s great to have the bike off the street for most of the day.

  • We thought the freight elevator hour limitation was going to sink bicycle access at my workplace, but once we raised the overall topic and people started talking, they realized that there was basement space accessible by stairs that would work equally well. You don’t know unless you try!

    And if building access is ultimately found to be impractical, make sure your local parking garage is in compliance with the garage access law. As long as no one is asking garage owners to accept bikes, garages will not build the necessary infrastructure and they will have no incentive to accept bikes. Once they are forced to convert spaces from auto to bike parking, they will welcome the chance to put those spaces to work and recoup their investment. If the garage does not comply with the bicycle access law, then file a DCA complaint.

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