Roosevelt Islanders Denied Overnight Bike Parking [Updated]

RIrack.JPGPhoto: Roosevelt Island 360

Just in time for Bike to Work Day: Cyclists on Roosevelt Island were informed by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation this week that bikes may no longer be parked on public racks overnight. Here’s the vaguely Orwellian RIOC memo from yesterday, care of Roosevelt Island 360:

While we wish to encourage residents continuing to ride their
bicycles as it is a healthy activity, we wish to discourage residents
from storing their bicycles overnight on the bicycle racks throughout
the island.

Bicycles will be removed by the
Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department between the hours of 2:00
a.m. and 5:00 a.m. and stored at Public Safety for a period of 48
hours. If the owner retrieves their bicycle during the 48 hour period
there will be no charge for storing their bicycle. If the owner does
not retrieve their bicycle during the 48 hour period it will be donated
to the Thrift Shop.

Storing the bicycles on the
bike racks has been a quality of life issue for many residents, thus we
wish to address this quality of life issue.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

How using a bike rack for its intended purpose could offend one’s quality of life sensibilities is an open question, and we have a call in to the RIOC for clarification. In the meantime, wonders one Roosevelt Island 360 reader:

Where else are we supposed to park our bikes over night? Is the RIOC
going to offer us any alternative? Are we supposed to bring our bikes
into our apartments now? How about we don’t allow cars to park on the
streets over night anymore?

Update: We got a call from RIOC President Steve Shane, who basically confirmed what Eric of Roosevelt Island 360 had to say. According to Shane, the new no-overnight parking rule is meant to keep racks clear of "rusty, abandoned bikes," and to make it easier for regular commuters and recreational cyclists to use them. Shane says the abundance of derelict bikes has caused an unwelcome "spillover," leading cyclists to chain up wherever they can. RIOC is still working on a permanent fix. "We are never finished looking at ideas," Shane said.