The Case of the Condemned Bike Rack: Solved!

Earlier this week, East Village blogger EV Grieve posted the above picture of an Astor Place bike rack scheduled for removal. He surmised that the bike rack could have been on the way out to make room for the 55-dock bike-share station planned for the location, but fear not: No such personal bike vs. shared bike parking fight is going down.

According to a DOT spokesperson, the rack is being temporarily removed in order to make room for a Summer Streets activity station. The city’s marquee car-free streets event runs down Park Avenue and Lafayette Street and the open expanse that is Astor Place is a perfect spot to place attractions like a “Cyclo-Phone” and to hold some on-street sunrise salutations. The bike racks will be back after the final Summer Streets installment on August 18.

Streetsblog’s own theory about the not-quite-mysterious bike rack removal didn’t pan out either. The city’s plan to reclaim thousands of square feet of street space at Astor Place and Cooper Square, which was unanimously endorsed by the local community board last January, was supposed to be under construction by spring 2012. Neither DOT nor DDC responded to a Streetsblog inquiry on when the city would break ground on that major new pedestrian space.

  • Jeff

    I work right around Astor Pl and I’m always looking for signs of this project getting off the ground.  But alas, it’s always utility work…

  • J

    I have to say, that this is yet another examples of how the City and the DOT still need to work on their communication. How hard would it be to simply write “Bike rack to be temporarily removed for Summer Streets”? Instead they write that it is being removed, and everyone speculates about why. The same is true about Bikeshare delay, Astor Place reconstruction, East Houston Street, Times Square reconstruction, protected bike lanes in East Harlem, etc., etc. The public gets tiny bits of information, sporadically from the City, and we have to speculate about the rest. This type of secrecy makes it seem that the City has something to hide. I love what DOT has done, but they REALLY need to work on this.

  • In July of 2011, I inquired with local councilwoman Rosie Mendez and got a reply from her Chief of Staff, Lisa Kaplan. She said current work on installation of the water tunnel on East 4th Street will be complete in two years, and after that the whole Astor Place area will be reconfigured with some significant
    traffic pattern changes. It could be worth checking in again, but I’m guessing that whole project won’t get underway till next summer if her timeframe was accurate.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Isn’t it wild how bike parking is so in demand these days that bike rack removal becomes news worthy – even here on streetsblog?

  • yeah it is really a good advice to solve the problems with useing the bike racks


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