Inside the Pine Water Garage, among the BMWs and Jaguars whose owners pay $20 for up to an hour to park, sit two bike racks with space for eight bicycles. Yesterday, like most days, the racks here, a block from Wall Street, were full.
The racks at the Pine Water Garage, installed a few years back, are for the public -- even though there’s no sign advertising the racks outside -- and the spots are first come, first serve, a parking attendant explained. A sign absolves the garage from any responsibility for the bikes. (Photo: aharon rothschild/metro)
The price is unbeatable: it's free.
Free space -- or any -- for bikes in garages isn't the norm. Of course, there are street racks, including David Byrne's new designs. But advocates -- who praise the city for adding new bike lanes and boosting cycling with the 7-mile car-free Summer Streets event -- complain there's not enough safe and accessible parking for bike commuters.
Roughly 70,000 bikes are stolen annually, with fewer than 2 percent recovered, according to Transportation Alternatives.
"Secure indoor bike parking is really the missing link in the city's efforts to get more people to bike to work," said TA's Wiley Norvell.
His group is pushing legislation requiring office buildings to provide space in basements, storage rooms or just letting bikes inside so employees can bring it to their desks.
"You can roll handcarts, cellos or baby strollers into office buildings, but often you can't bring in a bike," Norvell said.
The Real Estate Board of New York's Steven Spinola supported bike space for new office buildings, but opposed legislation for existing ones.
"In some cases it might work. In some cases it clearly would not work," said Spinola, citing safety and insurance concerns. REBNY is working with the city on a voluntary program, he said.
The wave of the future?
Various iterations of legislation requiring office buildings to allow bikes inside have been introduced over the last decade, the most recent of which was introduced by Brooklyn City Councilman David Yassky four years ago. With the Bloomberg Administration's push for a more eco-friendly city, advocates anticipate a friendlier environment for the legislation.
Submitted by forrest on October 29, 2008 - 16:49. categories [