Who’s Afraid of Indoor Bike Parking?
In a story about the scarcity of secure parking for bike commuters, the Times captures the irrational phobia of bikes that most landlords and building managers seem to share:
racks are available outside for the convenience of bike riders," said
Maya Israel, a spokeswoman for Tishman Speyer. “Bicycles are not
permitted inside, for the safety of all our tenants and visitors."
While the supposed hazards posed by bikes inside a building remain unspecified, the scarcity of protected space is a known deterrent to would-be cyclists. The lack of secure parking is one of the main obstacles New Yorkers cite when asked why they don’t commute by bike, according to a 2007 Department of City Planning survey [PDF, p. 19]. Not to mention, as Times reporter Colin Moynihan implies, that it’s hardly "convenient" (or secure) to park your bike outside when only about 5,000 racks are available for 131,000 daily riders.
The piece, which omits the New York Times Building’s own anti-bike history, culminates with a quote from bike commuter Robert Kotch that skewers the policies of commercial property owners:
“They work inside these fancy buildings where there’s this inexplicable
hostile attitude towards bicycles,” he said. “It’s an arcane policy
that says bikes are like the bubonic plague.”
Bike-friendly zoning regs can’t come soon enough.