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Bicycle Parking

Sneak Preview: More Queens Bike Lanes and Bike-Friendly Zoning

2:31 PM EDT on May 16, 2008

If only a zoning amendment could retroactively require the New York Times Building to provide bike parking.

Some interesting nuggets are coming out of DOT bike coordinator Josh Benson's ongoing Q & A with readers of the Times' City Room blog. In yesterday's installment, Benson outlined upcoming additions to the Queens bike network: 

In Queens, specifically, we have a number of bike lane projects
either under way or on the drawing board for the coming months,

  • 35th Street, Astoria (1.7 miles)
  • Linden Boulevard, St. Albans (3 miles)
  • Sunnyside Connector to the Queensboro Bridge, Woodside, Sunnyside, Sunnyside Gardens (5.2 miles)
  • Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, Astoria (7 miles).

Then, responding to a question about the need for more indoor bike parking, he said a zoning amendment to mandate bike amenities in or around certain buildings is in the works (no sure thing, of course, but certainly encouraging). A City Planning spokeswoman told Streetsblog the department is aiming to introduce the amendment by the end of this year. Benson's full response comes after the jump.

Many readers have mentioned this issue and indeed a Department ofCity Planning study confirmed that one of the biggest obstacles toincreasing bicycle commuting in NYC is not safety, but rather the lackof secure bike parking. That is why in PlaNYC 2030, Mayor Bloombergcommitted to pursue legislation that would require large commercialbuildings to make provisions for bicycle storage either on site orreasonably nearby. The Department of City Planning has been followingthrough on this and they are working on a Proposed Bicycle Parking TextAmendment which will need to go through public review. This amendmentwould require bike parking in new buildings. Amending the zoning codescan be a long process, so we are also exploring the possibility ofother legislative avenues.

In the meantime we are trying to lead by example in city government.As I mentioned, department headquarters provides indoor bike parkingand the Department of City-Wide Administrative Services offers bikeparking for all city employees in Lower Manhattan at 100 Gold Streetand 280 Broadway.

I would encourage readers to begin a frank discussion with theirbuilding managers or owners about the importance of indoor bike parkingto the health of the building’s employees and for the environment ofNew York City. As more property managers and owners become educated onthis issue it will become easier for us to enact and enforce measuresto ensure that indoor bike parking becomes the norm, not the exception.

A third round of answers is due out later today. 

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