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TA: Zoning Great for Tomorrow; Bike Access Can Improve Today

4:11 PM EST on November 10, 2008

From a statement released by Transportation Alternatives in response to this morning's bike parking announcement (emphasis added):

Transportation Alternatives applauds the Bloomberg Administration's announcement thatthe zoning code will now require indoor bicycle parking at all new office and apartmentbuildings. In enabling future New Yorkers to undertake zero emission commutes, this is alarge and necessary step towards a more sustainable city. It also makes good economicsense, as more and more tenants are demanding bicycle access so their workers can takeadvantage of this green, low-cost commuting alternative.

Even if the fortunes of the building industry improve, however, it will take decades for thisnew code to have a meaningful impact. Therefore the City must also act to enable bicycleaccess in the stock of existing buildings, which will still comprise at least 85% of NewYork City's building stock in 2030. Most commercial building operators refuse bicyclesaccess, even when the tenant has space set aside for bike parking in his or her office.

“Mayor Bloomberg's push for indoor bike parking in the zoning code is an investment inthe future. We need to match it with bicycle access to the office buildings of today,” saysPaul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives.

Legislation that would require existing commercial buildings to allow bicycles throughtheir doors has long sat idle in City Council. It is critical that the Council pass legislationrecognizing that in buildings throughout the city, bicycle space set aside by buildingtenants is not being used because building owners and managers are prohibiting workersfrom bringing their bicycles through front, side and even back doors and freight elevators.While it is unreasonable to require all owners of existing buildings to immediately setaside rentable space for bicycle parking, buildings should immediately be required toallow their tenants bicycle access to their own space.

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