Council Members Revive Bikes in Buildings Bill

bike_elevator.jpgThe gathering threat.

The Bikes in Buildings Bill is back on the table. Yesterday City Council member David Yassky re-introduced the legislation, co-sponsored by Council member Gale Brewer, and a transportation committee hearing is scheduled for December 8. The new bill, Intro 871, stipulates that building managers and landlords must allow tenants to bring bikes inside office buildings.

The bill also includes language requiring bike parking in new buildings, mirroring a zoning amendment unveiled by the Department of City Planning earlier this week.

Yassky spokesman Jake Maguire stressed that the bill is about access. "It’s a no-brainer that if you want people to stop driving and relieve crowding on subways, you need to allow people to bring their bikes to work," he said. "Hopefully this bill will have a speedy hearing and a speedy debate in the Council. With the support of 30 members we expect it to pass before the end of the year."

To review: The bill provides for bike access to existing buildings (which will constitute the vast majority of commuting destinations long into the future), and bike parking in new buildings. A few weeks ago transportation analyst Charles Komanoff gave us a quick-and-dirty estimate that bike commuting could rise up to 50 percent as a result of universal access to workplace buildings.

Crain’s Insider has reported that the Real Estate Board of New York opposes the Bikes in Buildings Bill. REBNY President Steve Spinola sent a letter to Streetsblog Wednesday outlining his organization’s stance, and confirmed his opposition to the new bill in a phone interview this morning. He questioned the city’s legal authority to mandate bike access and cited concerns about liability, arguing that access should be expanded voluntarily by building managers. More on that exchange later.

Photo: kate at yr own risk/Flickr

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