DOT Vows: Missing Bike Corral at 78th Precinct Will Be Replaced

Dude, where's my bike corral?
Dude, where's my bike corral?
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That’s one way to combat combat-parking.

The Department of Transportation says it will replace a bike corral that was mysteriously removed from in front of the 78th Precinct station house last year or earlier this year, responding to attacks on social media that the NYPD had removed the corral to create more room for police parking.

First, the backstory:

Earlier this month, a Streetsblog reader who tweets under the handle DoorZone posted a picture revealing that a bike corral that was installed in 2014 at the bequest of a former commanding officer known to be bike-friendly was missing from its spot near the corner of Sixth Avenue and Bergen Street :

Subsequent online wags were appalled. Dave Abraham posted Google street view pictures showing the bike corral remaining in place for many years. Those pictures follow this narrative arc:

No bike corral in October, 2013. Photo: Google
No bike corral in October, 2013. Photo: Google

But then the precinct (and StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure, in yellow jacket at right in photo below) was very excited about the corral when it was installed:

And it remained in place for a few years (albeit surrounded by illegally parked cars) …

Here it is in October, 2016.
Here it is in October, 2016.

And then (still surrounded) …

Here's the bike corral in November, 2019.
Here’s the bike corral in November, 2019.

But then …

The bike corral was still in place in October, 2020.
The bike corral is gone by October, 2020, after an apparent repaving.

And last week — more than 13 months after the above picture was taken — Streetsblog visited and confirmed the hard truth: The bike corral was still missing:

As Hall and Oates once said, "She's gooooone! Oh, I, better learn how to face it."
As Hall and Oates once said, “She’s gooooone! Oh, I, I better learn how to face it.”

Many activists assumed that the 78th Precinct was behind the removal of the corral, especially given the circumstantial evidence from a precinct that’s home to rampant illegal parking, terrible driving records by its off-duty officers, and its status as perhaps the only precinct to put in writing that the NYPD has, by name, legalized “combat parking.”

But a Department of Transportation spokesman said that the agency always intended to restore the corral, which will be reinstalled late this year or next. The agency also said that Commissioner Hank Gutman’s promise to install 10,000 bike racks by the end of next year was well underway, thanks to stepped up installation of bike corrals. The city says it installed 3,824 racks in 2021. That’s more than the last four years combined.

“We have installed an unprecedented number of bike corrals this year as part of our pledge,” said agency spokesman Vin Barone, adding that the city has created 86 bike corrals this year, the highest number ever, and up from just 13 in 2020. In all, the de Blasio administration says it has installed 137 bike corrals since 2014, though it’s unclear how many of those corrals have been uninstalled, as Choresh Wald noted the other day:

 

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Eyes on the Street: The 78th Precinct Gets Its Bike Corral

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After a request from 78th Precinct commanding officer Captain Frank DiGiacomo, DOT has installed a four-rack bike corral in front of the precinct house on Bergen Street in Prospect Heights. N. Wayne Bailey, chair of the precinct’s community council, snapped photos of the new bike parking yesterday. The 78th Precinct has established a reputation for supporting livable […]