DOT Will Try Out a New Way to Provide Secure Bike Parking

The agency plans to build parking structures that fit 29 bikes at three locations, with an eye toward expansion if the pilot is successful.

DOT's preliminary design for the new bike parking structures. Image: DOT
DOT's preliminary design for the new bike parking structures. Image: DOT

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.

The proposed location for valet bike parking at the Myrtle-Wyckoff transit hub. Image: DOT
The proposed location for valet bike parking at the Myrtle-Wyckoff transit hub. Image: DOT

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.”

Vendors can apply to manage the booths on the DOT website through January 16.

  • qrt145

    I wonder how much they can make from “other bicycle-related retail and services”. On most days, it is likely that none of the ~29 parking customers (depending on turnover) will need maintenance or parts. They can also sell stuff to people who are not parking, but would that be enough?

    As for nominal, I think the parking fee needs to be lower than the price of a round trip subway trip, since one of the biggest attractions of cycling as a mode of transportation is that it is the cheapest option (other than walking). If you take that away, you are going to lose most customers.

    Also note that in addition to labor costs, the city also expects to be paid a concession fee. The amount is unspecified; it is up to the respondents to make an offer.

  • email me on info@cyc-lok.ie with the amount of lockers needed and if you require the paid model, I can quote you.

  • Concerned Citizen

    I’ve worked in several office buildings, and none of them have provided easy to use bike parking. Few people are going to report their employer to the city, and even if they did, if you think DOB will come out and fine, LOL.Garages offer expensive bike parking, as you suggested. If one of these stations was close to me, I’d sign up.

    I think the issue is, as you pointed out, that they’re only a few of them. And also, they’re only open from 7-7, what if you’re getting out of work late?

    My last bike was stolen on the bike rack in front of my office. I just gave up on bike commuting.

    Also, it’s one thing to require bike parking as part of zoning (garages) it’s another to tell them the price they can charge. Legally speaking, it’s a whole different animal. It’s like the government coming in and regulating rents, and the industry would push back pretty hard.

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