If you need to park your bike outside in New York, you never really know if all your components will be there by the time you get back. Though commercial garages have to provide bike parking options by law, affordable secure bike storage is still in short supply. DOT is looking to change that.
The agency plans to build parking structures that fit 29 bikes at three locations, with an eye toward expansion if the pilot is successful:
University Place adjacent to Union Square
Broadway at 42nd Street
Myrtle-Wyckoff Plaza in Ridgewood
The Ridgewood station, DOT notes, is an ideal location where bike parking can help people connect to transit.
DOT is currently seeking vendors to operate the 25-by-12 foot structures the agency has designed as bike valet stations.
According to DOT's request for proposals [PDF], the stations will be staffed from at least 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Those hours could limit their usefulness, if bikes can only be deposited or retrieved while staff is present.) Vendors would be expected to keep bike parking prices "nominal and as low as possible," with revenues coming primarily from other bicycle-related retail and services.
Bike valet stations were mentioned in the five-year strategic plan DOT released last year. These first three locations are a test run. The RFP says they "may also lead to the establishment of more permanent secure, high-capacity bicycle parking facilities in the City for the future."