New MTA Grates Double as Seating, Bike Racks

Grimshaw1_Mail_947_.jpg

Not to steal anyone’s thunder, but the MTA has rolled out the second of three prototype grates designed to keep stormwater out of the subways while doubling as street furniture. The first design, though incorporating a bench, is more artful and less functional than the prototype shown above, which includes seating as well as bike racks. Fifteen of the bench/bike rack prototypes will be coming to Lower Manhattan, along West Broadway between Chambers and Leonard Streets, and on Varick Street between Leonard and Franklin.

Said DOT Commish Janette Sadik-Khan via an MTA press release: "The fact that this new street furniture does more than double-duty as protection from stormwater by providing seating and bike racks shows that good design can turn problems into assets."

Indeed, the MTA deserves credit for this innovative project (the grates were developed in conjunction with DOT, the Public Design Commission of the City of New York, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the Municipal Art Society). However, as Second Avenue Sagas points out, the new designs will consume already scarce sidewalk space. The ideal combo: multi-purpose grates plus wider sidewalks, especially for pedestrian-packed areas like Lower Manhattan.

Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Rob Wilson

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Hoboken’s Main Drag Set for Ambitious Complete Streets Overhaul

|
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has unveiled a plan to transform Washington Street, the Square Mile City’s main drag, with a two-way protected bike lane, super-sized curb extensions, and bus bulbs. The plan also includes expanded loading zones, new seating, bike racks, and bioswales for stormwater runoff. The final design concept [PDF] was released at a meeting Tuesday night, capping nearly […]

DOT Launches Bike Rack Design Competition

|
The days of the U- and wave-racks are numbered Think you can build a better bike rack? Now’s your chance. Yesterday the city announced an international competition for a bike rack designed "to be an icon for New York City cycling." The competition is a partnership between DOT and the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design […]

Sneak Preview: The Jay Street Protected Bike Lane

|
Tonight, DOT will present plans for a protected bike lane on Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Community Board 2 transportation committee. DOT shared this rendering of the redesign with Streetsblog this afternoon. Jay Street is an essential connection for bike commuters traveling over the Manhattan Bridge, but it’s chaos during rush hour, when cyclists must weave around a slalom […]

NYCDOT Ups the Livable Streets Ante in Revised Strategic Plan

|
NYC bike-share on the horizon? DOT says it will explore a "large-scale" public bike system for Manhattan and environs. Image: Department of City Planning. Last April, DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced the "New York City Model" — mapping out a strategic plan to prioritize greener, more efficient modes and turn city streets into world-class public […]

Now the MTA is Stealing Bikes in Williamsburg

|
Back in July, New York City’s Department of Transportation built sidewalk extensions and bike racks on a few automobile parking spaces-worth of street space near the Bedford Avenue subway stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was the first time ever that on-street car parking had been replaced by bike parking in New York City. The Bedford […]