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

Manhattan CB 7 Votes “Yes” on Meters-to-Bike Racks Conversion for UWS

naked_meter_pole.jpgThese naked meter poles will be reborn as bicycle racks. Photo: Wiley Norvell.

Manhattan Community Board 7 voted last night in favor of converting 240 parking meters to bike racks on 40 blocks of the Upper West Side. The 23-12 vote (with one abstention) was the CB's closest of the evening, but the outcome was never really in doubt. Debate focused on board control over the placement of individual racks more than the broader merits of bike racks. Thanks in part to the strong support of the Columbus Avenue BID, momentum for bicycle infrastructure continues to grow on the Upper West Side. 

The vote was an important step in advancing DOT's plan to recycle defunct parking meters into bike racks. As CB 7 member Ken Coughlin put it during the meeting, the Upper West Side will be "greening a piece of infrastructure designed for the automobile, and without doing almost anything to it, giving it to bicyclists."

Last night's vote got a big boost from the Columbus Avenue BID. The BID, which has worked closely with Project for Public Spaces to develop a vision of the avenue as a livable boulevard, went block by block to determine the ideal placement of bike racks in the neighborhood. On average, they proposed (and the CB approved) converting three parking meters to bike racks per block face on Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues between 67th and 86th Streets. 

George Beane, the secretary of the Columbus Avenue BID's executive committee, captured the importance of bike parking for the neighborhood, noting the purchasing power of New York City's daily cyclists: "We on the Columbus Avenue BID would like those 185,000 bikers to shop in our stores and eat in our restaurants."

Not every CB 7 member was so enthusiastic about bike racks. Member Richard Asche spoke most forcefully against the proposal, saying he didn't want to cede control of bike rack placement to DOT. Asche claimed after the vote, "I'm not an opponent of bike racks; I was an opponent of this resolution."

The vote on bike parking follows CB 7's October vote requesting plans for protected bike lanes on Amsterdam and Columbus from DOT.

The full text of the bike rack resolution reads:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Community Board 7/Manhattan approves an average of six racks per block (three per block front), with the understanding that some blocks will not accommodate three, and some may require more than three, depending on street obstructions, merchant objections, and other placement issues, on Amsterdam Avenue between West 67th and 86th Streets and on Columbus Avenue between 67th and 86th Streets. 

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 19, 2024

What to Say When Someone Claims ‘No One Bikes or Walks in Bad Weather’

Yes, sustainable modes are more vulnerable to bad weather. But that's why we should invest more in them — not less.

April 19, 2024

NYC Transit’s New Operations Planning Chief Wants To Fight ‘Ghost Buses’

One-time transit advocate and current MTA Paratransit VP Chris Pangilinan will oversee bus and subway operations for the whole city.

April 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Gimme Bus Shelter Edition

The days of the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewing every proposed bus shelter in landmarked districts may be no more. Plus more news.

April 19, 2024

Deal Reached: Hochul Says ‘Sammy’s Law’ Will Pass

The bill, though imperfect, has been four years in the making.

April 18, 2024
See all posts