Eyes on the Street: NYC’s First Bike Corral Underway on Smith Street

Reader Jeremy Charette sends this shot from the corner of Smith Street and Sackett Street in Brooklyn, where a crew was installing what I believe to be a genuine first for NYC: on-street bike parking.

Eight bike racks are getting bolted into the blacktop in what’s currently a no-standing zone. In addition to the added convenience of the bike parking, anchoring the racks in the pavement will keep the sidewalk uncluttered and prevent illegally idling and/or parked cars from obscuring sightlines at the intersection.

The safety dividend should be significant, Jeremy writes:

Since I moved in seven years ago, I’ve seen countless car accidents at the corner of Smith and Sackett in Brooklyn. Problem is, drivers coming from Sackett Street can’t see around parked cars on the Southeast corner of the intersection, making it a blind corner. Cars tend to roll through the stop sign on Sackett Street, and at least 1 or 2 a year get t-boned by vehicles coming down Smith Street.

This year they finally put up a “no standing” sign for the two spots before the corner, but cars and trucks STILL park there!

I came out this morning to find this! They’ve painted the no parking zone, put up a curb, and are installing bike racks!

In Portland they call this on-street parking set-up a bike corral. NYC DOT has reclaimed curb space for bike parking before, but that always entailed building out the sidewalk, which is pleasant but comes at a considerable expense. This new treatment effectively preserves pedestrian space too, at a much lower cost. (There’s also a hybrid treatment at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station, where DOT added bike parking to an epoxy-and-gravel sidewalk extension.)

It’s great to see bike corrals arrive in NYC.

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