Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycle Parking

More Bike Parking News From City Council: 20,000 New Spaces on the Way

11:38 AM EDT on August 3, 2009

parking_garage.jpgIntro 780 will require commercial parking facilities to add spaces for bikes -- and signs announcing the availability of bike parking. Photo: 12th St David/Flickr.

Somewhat lost amid the excitement over the Bicycle Access Bill, last week the
City Council passed a second law that will significantly expand options for bike commuters looking for a better place to lock up.
Intro 780, which we mentioned briefly in June, requires commercial garages and parking lots to provide
spaces for bikes at a specific ratio relative to spaces for cars. Prices for the new bike parking will be left up to the market.

All told, the law will eventually create more than 20,000 new bike parking spaces in nearly 1,700 locations, according to estimates given by DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at a City Council hearing on the bill. Most, but not all, of those locations are in Manhattan.

Sponsored by Council Member Oliver Koppell of the Bronx,
the bill applies to commercial parking facilities with more than 50 car parking spaces. It requires facility operators to provide one bike parking space for every 10 car parking spaces, up to a threshold of 200 car spaces. Beyond that, one bike spot will be required for every 100 additional car spots.

The bill was drafted specifically to encourage bike commuting, said Koppell's staff counsel, Jamin Sewell. "By encouraging New York City residents to use cycling as a means to
commute to work through providing increased opportunities to safely
park bicycles, New York City is making an important step towards
increasing the wellbeing of its citizens," Koppell said in a statement.

This marks the third major step to improve bike parking options taken by the City Council this year. In April, the council approved a zoning amendment mandating bike parking in new buildings, and then, of course, the Bicycle Access Bill passed on the same day as Intro 780.

Bike advocates applauded the bill's passage, but until the Bicycle Access Bill had a clear path toward becoming law, they worried Intro 780 might serve as a substitute measure. "Our
fear was that it would supplant Bicycle Access," said Transportation Alternatives director Paul
Steely White.

The Real Estate Board of New York, the high-powered
lobbying group which opposed the Bicycle Access Bill, didn't contest Koppell's bill quite as much, but still frowned on it. Among the parking industry,
positions were divided. Edison Properties, one of the largest parking
companies in the city, supported Intro 780 and was already exploring
ways to supply bike parking, said White.

A caveat: As one city official put it, mandating space for bikes in garages is "a blunt instrument." We're talking about spaces designed for autos, with car traffic coming and going around blind corners. Accessing these spaces as a pedestrian or cyclist can feel awkward or dangerous, and storage areas are not necessarily as theft-proof as keeping a bike in one's workplace.

That said, Intro 780 should serve as an effective complement to the Bicycle Access Bill, especially for commuters who can afford commercial bike parking fees and whose workplaces manage to circumvent the new bike access rules. The Intro 780 requirements take effect in about three months, when facilities with 100 or more car parking spaces will have to comply. Facilities with between 51 and 99 parking spots will have to comply two years after that.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Fed Up Bronxites Tell Mayor To Forget About Bus Ride Invitation After Fordham Road ‘Betrayal’

"I really would think that our mayor would be a little bit more active and speak with us, because he hasn't really made any time with riders. We're not the enemy. We just want better bus service."

September 29, 2023

City Pays $150K to Settle Suit Over Cops Who Harassed Man Who Reported Police Parking Misconduct

Justin Sherwood and his lawyer will pocket $152,000 to settle his federal civil rights suit against the city and several officers who harassed him following his 311 calls.

September 28, 2023

Police Brass Gets Booed During E-Vehicle Safety Alliance Meeting for Applauding Deliveristas

Attendees of the E-Vehicle Safety Alliance's latest meeting castigated a Transportation Bureau deputy inspector for saying that delivery workers are responsive to safety issues.

September 28, 2023

Thursday’s Headlines: Unsafe School Streets Edition

A school crossing guard was injured by a drunk driver on Tuesday. Plus more news.

September 28, 2023

EYES ON THE STREET: Drivers Dominate Former W. 22nd Open Street

Meh. The barriers are gone and the cars are back on W. 22nd, but some spaces for people remain.

September 28, 2023
See all posts