Midtown BID May Transform Empty Lot Into Secure Bike Parking

The bicycle parking laws passed in New York City last year were important steps in taking the worry out of bike commuting. But many New Yorkers are still far from guaranteed a secure place to park their bike when they get to work. So this is welcome news: The 34th Street Partnership is looking to help cyclists who commute to Midtown by converting an empty lot on 33rd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues into what they hope will be a state-of-the-art bike parking facility. 

33rd street lot_1.png33rd street lot_1.pngAbove: The possible future home of a midtown bike parking lot. (Image: Google Street View) Below: The bike parking facility in Chicago’s Millennium Park. (Photo: bkusler/Flickr)

The owners of the adjacent apartment building also own the lot, which they decided to give over for community use. "They came to us and said, what are your ideas?," said Jerome Barth, the VP of business affairs for the 34th Street Partnership. When Barth suggested bike parking, the property owners immediately latched onto the idea.

The parking would be operated by the Partnership, which hopes to make it more than just a few rows of bike racks. They plan to have room for at least 100 bikes, and potentially many more. In addition, Barth said he’s hoping to include a repair stand, showers, and a place for customers to buy drinks or snacks. For an idea of what it could turn into, check out this Streetfilm on Chicago’s deluxe bike parking facility at Millennium Park. 

As usual, the main obstacle to completion is money. The property owners have
committed about half the funds necessary, so the Partnership is
looking for another sponsor to provide the rest of the funding. For now, the Partnership wants to hear from cyclists to determine the level of interest in this kind of facility. If you would use secure bike parking at this location, e-mail Lindsey Boylan, the Partnership’s operations manager, at lboylan [at] urbanmgt [dot] com. 

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