So You Want Bicycle Access to Your Building. Now What?

In the weeks ahead, cyclists will get plenty of tips about how to take advantage of the recently passed Bicycle Access Bill. If you feel like you can’t wait to reverse your building’s bike policy, here’s the best advice we can give at the moment: Bide your time and be prepared.

The law doesn’t take effect for 120 days, time that you can use to plan a strong request for bicycle access to your building. In the process set forth by the bill, if you work in an office building with a
freight elevator, the initial step is to have your employer file a request for bicycle access with the building
manager. But before you ask your employer to do that, you’ll be in a much better position if you lay some groundwork first.

Here’s how reader BicyclesOnly put it, in a very helpful comment:

  1. You get nothing unless the commercial tenant you work for requests a bicycle access plan. You stand a much better chance of convincing your employer to sponsor a request for a plan if you have your "ducks in a row" first. Don’t raise this with your employer prematurely! Begin talking with co-workers who bike about what a plan for your building should look like, anticipate the likely concerns of your employer, and look for guidance on how to make a successful proposal from TA and others in the coming weeks.
  2. Freight elevator access is another key issue. Once a building operator with a freight elevator gets a request for a bicycle access plan, freight elevator access may mysteriously dry up. Tomorrow, when you first get in to work and when you leave, take a peek and see if the freight elevator is in operation. Do this a few times over the next few weeks, and keep a written log of what you see.

We’ll post more advice soon, but for now, just keep in mind — don’t go off half-cocked.

Also, in what probably takes the prize for best use of StreetsWiki ever, BicyclesOnly has put together an entry breaking down the Bicycle Access Bill into plain English. It’s still in the "first draft" stage, but I’d say it’s essential reading before you start hatching your plan.

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