In Hudson Square, Workers and Businesses Demand More Bike Racks

One of 45 new bike racks installed in the Hudson Square area at the request of the local BID. Photo: Hudson Square Connection

Workers in the Hudson Square area are demanding bike infrastructure and employers are helping them get it.

The Department of Transportation has installed 45 new bike racks in response to requests from the local business improvement district, the Hudson Square Connection, which covers Manhattan’s west side between Canal and Houston Streets. The 45 new bike racks are located in a roughly 20 block area, a significant expansion of bicycle parking.

In a press release, Hudson Square Connection President Ellen Baer tied the request for bike racks not only to a desire to make the neighborhood more environmentally friendly, but to demands from area employees. “We are seeing an increasing volume of people biking to work and building owners are receiving a growing number of requests to provide amenities for cyclists,” she said.

The new racks come at a what might be an especially opportune time. The local community board has requested that the city upgrade the Hudson Street bike lane, which cuts right through the area, into a parking-protected lane, a change that if implemented would make cycling a more attractive way to get around the neighborhood.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but no more bike racks over those subway grates! I’m always terrified I’m going to drop my keys while unlocking my bike. 

  • Danny G

    @John_Del_Signore:disqus If they laid down a fine mesh and used the bike rack to affix it to the top of the subway grate, it might be a half-decent solution.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Before I unlocked my bike yesterday afternoon, just three of the 25 hooks in the parking garage in Midtown were I park for $20 per month were empty.

    In February.  February!  What will happen in June?

  • Hudson Sq worker

    This is fantastic.  Coming from Brooklyn to this area is far more convenient by bike, since it’s directly across town from the bridges. 

    The area definitely needs even more bike parking than was requested and I’d love to see some of the street corners in this neighborhood get some sort of daylighting treatment, ideally with on-street bike parking.

    A) It would make it safer for pedestrians, who are often crossing streets as drivers race to and from the Holland Tunnel.

    B) Removing bike parking from the sidewalk and onto the street would free up space for pedestrians, since there’s a dearth of parks and open space in Hudson Square. 

    Eventually, you could replace those circular bike racks with benches and other ped-friendly amenities.  Given the number of food trucks in the area, that would be a real boon to the neighborhood.

  • Mark Walker

    I agree with Hudson Sq worker. While new bike racks are always cause for celebration, ALL vehicular parking belongs on the other side of the curb. The racks should not nibble pedestrian territory. The space occupied by one car could accommodate several bikes.

  • What seems a little silly is the celebration over 45 single racks in a 20 block area, “a significant expansion of bicycle parking”…. I mean, sure, 45 is better than zero but … if anything it seems a painful reminder of how insanely pathetic the bicycle facilities are.

    If they added 10s of thousands of spaces, then sure, break out the bubbly…

  • Ian Turner

    Larry: What, no faith that the market will deliver the needed supply of bicycle parking?

    Near my house there is a garage still asking $175/month (or $10/day) for bicycle parking.

  • Anonymous

    I was just there last night and notices a lot of new bike racks. Alas, there was only one rack on the block where I was going. Fortunately, a spot was available there.

  • Evan O’Neil

    @John_Del_Signore:disqus is right! It should be in the DOT manual not to site these racks over ventilation grates! Just like every corner has a trash can, we could eliminate one parking spot at every corner and replace it with a tree and at least four bike racks. Save the sidewalk space for its intended use: pedestrians.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Larry: What, no faith that the market will deliver the needed supply of bicycle parking?”
    I guess the garage will have to decide if they have a perfectly elastic demand for parking at $20 per month, or an inelastic demand for 25 parking spaces regardless of price.

    “Near my house there is a garage still asking $175/month (or $10/day) for bicycle parking.”

    They’d rather prove there are no takers that make money.  Think of the money they could be making but are not as a political donation in opposition to people who ride bicycles.

  • Joe R.

    I’d much rather see businesses providing indoor parking near the store entrance, right next to where the security guard usually stands. The possibility of having my bike stolen will prevent me from ever using any type of outdoor rack.

  • Anonymous

    Putting a bike rack on a grate like that is like a death wish. I’m never gonna park there, i’m sure to drop my keys into that grate sooner or later.

  • Anonymous

    I could see why businesses would want to encourage their workers to use bicycles, particularly in a city as crowded as New York. No matter if they incorporate online or not, they would want to secure their workers’ safety.

  • The pattern of buying bike shelves for vehicles has been improving quite considerably in latest months. These days, there are so much individuals who want bicycle shelves for protected their motorbikes from robbery.

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