CB 7 Committee Votes for More UWS Bike Parking, Overriding Co-Chair

Last night, the transportation committee of Manhattan Community Board 7 signed off on plans for more bike racks on the Upper West Side and the neighborhood’s first on-street bike corral. The two resolutions mustered more than enough support to overwhelm the objections of committee co-chair Dan Zweig, and both will advance to the full committee in December.

DOT's Jennifer Harris-Hernandez presents the plan for an on-street bike corral at Broadway and West 105th Street last night.

DOT has installed five on-street bike corrals in Manhattan, but none on the Upper West Side. The corner of Broadway and West 105th Street, in front of Henry’s Restaurant, would be the neighborhood’s first.

“It’s replacing a parking spot that we just gained from the change to muni-meter,” restaurant owner Henry Rinehart told Streetsblog. “Any time you turn a parking spot into a bike corral, you have a net gain of seven to nine potential customers.”

DOT’s Jennifer Harris-Hernandez explained that the corral design includes planters as protective barriers, though the committee’s resolution, approved 7-1 with one abstention, asked DOT to swap out the planters for more bike racks after some meeting attendees said the space was needed for more bike parking. Zweig was the lone vote against the bike corral.

The committee also considered a list of potential bike rack locations compiled by the Upper West Side Streets Renaissance Campaign, whose volunteers had fanned out across the neighborhood to identify 136 spots that are both in need of bike parking and meet DOT’s CityRack installation standards.

The UWS Streets Renaissance sent business owners a letter informing them that the sidewalk in front of their establishment had been identified as a potential bike rack location, asking if they wanted to opt out of the program in advance of last night’s meeting. After 45 businesses opted out, the remaining 91 bike rack locations were presented to the committee.

But this outreach wasn’t enough to satisfy Zweig, who wanted committee members to talk to business owners and property owners themselves. “I think we ought to investigate more clearly,” he said, according to the Columbia Spectator. Despite Zweig’s opposition, a resolution supporting the installation of bike racks and referring the matter to DOT passed, 7-2.

Zweig’s fellow co-chair, Andrew Albert, was absent from last night’s meeting.

Bike parking isn’t the only livable streets issue before CB 7’s transportation committee. DOT is scheduled to present its plans for protected bike lanes on Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues on December 11. Zweig, appointed to the community board by Council Member Inez Dickens, and Albert, appointed by Borough President Scott Stringer, both voted against the initial leg of the Columbus Avenue bike lane in 2010 but seemed increasingly isolated in their opposition to protected bike lanes at last month’s committee meeting.

  • 91 locations presented to the committee?! awesome! Even if they were ALL made into bike corrals, there would still be a lack of bicycle parking in the UWS so I’d like to see DOT start planning and installing these in batches. they are desperately needed. 

  • UWSer

    These car-mudgeons need to find another community to keep in the stone age. May I suggest New Jersey?

  • How much more clear can it be when 70 percent of businesses say yes bike corrals? (I’ll leave aside the question of whether business owners have any legal entitlement to giving any this a thumbs up or down when the sidewalk is public space for the use of all, I get that it’s political b.s.)
    When I worked uptown I used to drop by Henry’s regularly. I don’t get up there much now, but it’s a short detour off my evening #bikenyc commute. Sounds like it’s time to pay a visit. Sounds like locking up nearby is going to get a lot easier in the near future.

  • Anonymous

    This great.  Now we need to reduce the speed limit there on Broadway to 20 or 25 mph.  Too many people (mostly pedestrians) are getting run over by cars there.

  • Jeff

    I think there’s some misinterpretation going on here.  The 91 locations presented to the committee were for sidewalk racks (i.e. the CityRack program).  Not bike corrals.

  • moocow

    Mental note: go eat at Henry’s at 105 and BWay

    Your vote may not count, but your dollar does.

  • Albert

    Been there (Henry’s), done that (very much enjoyed its excellent food & ambience) and will continue to in the future — probably more than in the past.

    Also sending this article around to my UWS friends & family and encouraging them to patronize Henry’s.  Was very impressed with and appreciative of Rinehart’s performance at a recent CB7 meeting. It’s clear why Henry’s has been a success: its owner is a smart businessman who knows that bicycles mean business.

  • Anonymous

    I love the fact that the transportation chair’s myopic attitude was overruled by people who respect the research and  outreach that this community group has undertaken.  Whether their assessment was for sidewalk or on-street bike parking, they proved the need and now reasonable people are responding.  This is how change happens.

  • Sean Kelliher

    As “Born Again Bicyclist” pointed out, on street parking spots and the sidewalk are public property. Why the DOT would need to seek the approval of businesses to alter property that they do not own is odd. Also, it’s an approach that could lead to very uneven infrastructure: ample bike parking in areas with agreeable businesses; little or none in areas with businesses who say “no.”

  • Andrew

    According to the Columbia Spectator article:

    Another concern raised was that the corral, which takes up one parking space, would infringe upon increasingly tight parking space in the neighborhood, especially with the M106 bus taking up several spots on 106th Street.

    Committee member Marc Glazer said that, though he supported both proposals, he feared retail businesses would lose patrons due to the lack of parking spaces.

    “My concern is the parking,” Glazer said, adding that traveling on a bike is not an option for some.

    I am glad to see that Mr. Glazer is concerned about people who do not have the option of traveling on a bike.

    Perhaps he is unaware that about three-quarters of the residents of his community do not have the option of traveling in a car, because they do not own cars. He may also be unaware that, of the quarter who do own cars, few use them to travel within their own neighborhood. Despite that, nearly all of the curbside space on the Upper West Side is set aside for car parking.

    As for that bus stop, it serves far more people per day than it would if converted to car parking.

  • Adam Anon

    This is all nice and dandy, but I’d like DOT to start paying attention to Queens. I’m tired of Manhattan and Brooklyn news. Thousands of people commute from Queens and we hardly have any bike lanes here.

  • W 83rd St

    Zweig’s logic: not everyone can travel by bike, so let’s continue to maintain conditions that ensure that no one does.

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