Bicycle Blueprint

NYC Cycling
1. NYC Bike Policy
2. State of NYC Cycling
3. Cyclists & Streets
A Bike and a Prayer

Riding Infrastructure
4. Street Design
5. Bridges
6. Road Surfaces
7. Greenways
8. Parks
9. Bicycles and Transit
10. Reducing Traffic

11. Bicycle Theft
On-Street Parking
13. Indoor Parking

On the Job Cycling
14. Bicycle Messengers
Fifth, Park & Madison
15. Freight Cycles
16. Gov't Cycling

Reducing Risks
17. Accidents
Three Who Died
18. Air Pollution

Bicycle Education
19. Schools
20. Public Education


      Chapter 12:
On-Street Bicycle Parking
 The Need for Bicycle Parking Facilities
b) Different Types of Bicycle Parking
c) Bicycle Racks
d) Chapter 12 Recommendations

The Need for Bicycle Parking Facilities

Read the latest news on this subject.

In the 1990 New York City DoT survey of Manhattan office workers discussed in Chapter 1, 80% of those willing to commute by bicycle called secure bicycle parking a critical issue. A dozen years earlier, a study commissioned by the NYC DoT also reported that lack of adequate bicycle parking facilities was a major obstacle to increased bicycle use. [1] Similarly, in the 1992 City Cyclist survey, 55% of respondents (462 of 839) said that better outdoor bike parking was “very important,” although only a small fraction of these made it their highest priority. (See Chapter 13 for survey results regarding indoor bicycle access.)

For models, New York can turn to dozens of cities and countries that have developed safe and successful parking systems. In locales with comprehensive programs of bicycle encouragement, a wide variety of bicycle parking facilities have been constructed or upgraded in tandem with bicycle-conscious street designs and bike access to bridges and mass transit.

In Japan, a boom in bike use beginning in the 1970s led many municipalities to construct large, high-tech bicycle parking sites as an antidote to “bicycle pollution” — masses of bikes crammed haphazardly next to train stations and in urban centers. In the early 1980s, Groningen, Netherlands, as part of its comprehensive bicycle transportation policy, installed 1,400 outdoor bike parking spaces throughout the town. Later, six guarded facilities, each with room for up to 1,600 bikes, were built in central destination areas. The indoor parking facility at the central rail station holds 3,000 bikes. In addition, a guarded bicycle shed was opened in part of Town Hall, in the town center. [2]

In Bologna, Italy, the rail station offers free bike parking outdoors and indoor parking for a nominal fee. The Toronto City Cycling Committee — part of the municipal government — has installed 1,700 bike parking spaces on Toronto streets since 1983 (see Chapter 1). Closer to home, the City of Chicago's first bicycle-related ISTEA grant provides $750,000 to create bicycle parking sites throughout the city. As many as 1,500 racks may be installed by the spring of 1993, and the cycling community is assisting the Chicago DoT in selecting sites and hardware. [3]

As in Japan 15-20 years ago, increased bicycle use in New York City has led to parking problems here. Signposts, parking meters and even trash cans are saturated with locked bicycles in some areas. Unlike Japan, however, authorities here have not moved to provide bike parking facilities. Citing a perceived incompatibility of parked bikes and aesthetics, some building managers have even prohibited bike parking in their environs, rather than installing racks to channel bike parking to appropriate sites. Though a few such prohibitions have been overturned by the bicycling community, [4] the parking bans are an all too predictable measure in the absence of a clear official policy to promote and facilitate bicycling.

1. Manhattan Commuter Bicycle System Study, New York City Dept. of Transportation (prepared by Edwards & Kelcey in association with Trans-portation Alternatives), 1978, pp. iii and 11.
2. Velo City '87 Proceedings, “Cycling Policy in the City of Groningen.” See also Groningen: An Integrated Approach in Town Planning and Transport Policy, Gerrit van Werven (Groningen City Council Member), Proceedings, Velo City '91, European Cyclists' Federation, Milan, 1992.
3. Chicagoland Bicycle Federation News, August 1992, p. 1.
4. See Charles Komanoff, “Bikes Just Lack 'Curb Appeal',” op-ed page, The New York Times, Sept. 1, 1990; also “Hyatt Busts Bikes,” City Cyclist, Dec. 1987 / Jan. 1988, p. 13.

 The Need for Bicycle Parking Facilities
Different Types of Bicycle Parking
c) Bicycle Racks
d) Chapter 12 Recommendations