For a Reasonable Price on Bike Parking, Try Brooklyn

Cheap_Bike_Parking.jpg

The Bicycle Access to Garages Law is in effect, but just because you can park your bike in a garage, doesn’t mean you want to. At many garages, the prices are absurdly high. At 62nd and Columbus, a month of bike parking costs $175. One garage at Bowery and Canal charges $211.19 for a month and asks cyclists to pay the same daily rates as car owners.

A Streetsblog reader sent along the above photo of a relative bargain: $4.59 for a day of parking, $22.96 for a month. This garage also doesn’t charge the illegally inflated 18.375 percent tax rate, which is supposed to be applied only to motor vehicle parking. 

The garage is in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (on St. Marks Avenue, between Underhill and Vanderbilt, to be precise), so we’re not talking about a big commuter destination. While the comparison to Manhattan garages might not be apples-to-apples, this could still be an attractive bike storage service for someone who lives in a fourth floor walk-up or needs all the space they can get inside their home (it sure beats the prices at StorageMart).

It also shows that bike parking prices can range by at least a factor of ten. That drives home the need for some way to compare bike prices. There are already websites that offer this service for car parking. With such a wide range of prices in this new market for bike parking, it could be an even greater service for cyclists. 

  • Ian Turner

    What is the charge for monthly parking for cars at this garage?

  • Not only would $22.96 seem like an attractive alternative to hauling a bike up several flights of stairs but it would also allow apartment dwellers to own tandems, adult trikes, and all forms of utility bikes and trailers that might be impossible to wedge through the hallways of the average New York City apartment building.

    Comparison shopping may be difficult now but I’m sure if there was an actual demand for bicycle parking in garages, or even a perceived demand, someone would develop an iPhone app just for this purpose.

  • Yeah, $25 monthly including tax is a great deal!

  • My building charges $5 a month, but of course we have a long waiting list and are going to build a separate outdoor area for bikes under a shelter. Before we started charging, there was a severe case of dead bikes taking up useful space. When we asked around, most people thought even $10/month was a good deal for indoor bike parking.

  • I could really use a garage in Greenpoint! No place to keep my poor rusting bike in my tiny apartment.

    In case they are any entrepreneurs out there. Good bike garages aren’t just in demand for commuting hours, I suspect there is a high residential demand for a place to stow it…

  • If these places were reliably offered where I lived and worked this year, I might have biked instead of taking the wonderful, wonderful M72 all the way crosstown.

    Just one weird thing: why are those parking rate numbers cited without tax? Wouldn’t it be easier to say daily parking is $4.99 with tax and monthly parking $24.99? (More generally, why is it even legal to cite prices without taxes?)

  • Geck

    How about as an add on to Bike the City?

  • vjulie

    I think that the Bicycle Access Bill is wonderful but it’s awful that parking garages are charging ridiculous prices! It makes no sense that the price to park a car and a bike is the same. But $25 a month is pretty good! What’s also good is that with Commuter Nation you can save up to $20/month in bicycle vouchers and use that money towards bike repairs and equipment. Check it out at http://www.commuternation.com/nyc

  • flp

    ok, but what jobs are available in that neighborhood aside from local shop and itinerant contract work?

  • I’d also imagine affordable bicycle garage parking would be popular with families. If carrying one bike up four flights of stairs is a drag just imagine what it must be like for families with two or three kids – not to forget finding space inside a small NYC apartment for all those bikes!

  • The other day I paid the posted daily rate of $15 for parking at the garage on the north side of West 83rd St between Columbus & Amsterdam. The bike rack was on the second floor and I had to schlep my bike up on the elevator (the garage staff has suggested that I use the stairs). Worse, the rack was one of those grid-style racks that are impossible to lock your bike to without putting the front wheel over the top bar.

    However, the garage was clean, nobody touched my helicopter, and they didn’t charge tax. I was renting a car from the same garage, so it was extremely convenient to park there and I didn’t have to worry about leaving my ride parked on the street and driving 75 miles away from it. More surprisingly, at 7:30 am there were two other bikes parked there; monthly customers, I imagine.

    To my mind, the Met Museum garage still sets the bar for Manhattan garage parking with its convenient ground-level parking, staple racks, and (best) no charge.

  • j mork

    I took the photo. I’ll get one of the car rates next week.

  • Mike

    At $15 a day, I bet the other two bikes belonged to garage employees.

  • R. Thibault

    Garages are a huge waste of space. Tear them down so we can grow food. Bike parking should be free.

  • Ian — the monthly “24-hour” rate for cars at this garage is $226.50.

  • Ian Turner

    10:1 is a reasonable ratio, far better than any offered by the garages near my work (they are closer to 2:1).

  • Virginia Dooley

    Does anyone know if there is a garage near 11231 that offers a similar rate for bike parking? 

  • Mark Roos

    I’m new to this blog, but I just found a great place that has enclosed bike storage  by Prospect Park, 348 Coney Island Ave. It’s called Park Circle Storage. It’s a brand new place, very clean, and is a stones throw away from the park, which is where I bike. Thought I would pass it along…

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