Transportation Alternatives call on NYC to expand bike parking infrastructure

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A new report from cycling advocates claims that the only thing harder than parking a car in New York City is trying to find a safe place to lock up one’s bike.

Transportation Alternatives released the study Tuesday morning and are calling on the de Blasio administration to build out bike parking to go along with bike lane infrastructure that is growing across the city as having a place to lock it up will likely influence whether or not New Yorkers choose cycling.

“Simply put, there is not enough bicycle parking in New York City,” Danny Harris, Transportation Alternatives Executive Director, said. “Despite more households owning bikes than cars, bike parking has taken a back seat to free private car storage on our streets. Even peer cities like Chicago and Washington, D.C. have significantly more bike parking per-capita than New York. As more New Yorkers turn to bikes, our city needs to start building more bike parking now. Installing dedicated spaces at scale will send a strong signal that biking is safe, reliable, and accessible for all New Yorkers.”

According to DOT, however, the agency has installed up to 1,150 spots for bikes throughout the five boroughs and will install 13 corrals, which amount to 200 individual spaces, over the course of the winter. The majority of these in 2020 were focused around hospitals, schools, commercial corridors and central business districts.

One obstacle to bringing more bike parking, according to DOT, is a lack of private partnerships.

“NYC DOT takes bike parking very seriously and contrary to the report has without question brought about a successful broadening of parking availability across the five boroughs, and done so facing Covid-related challenges which created operational challenges impacting several of our priorities,” a DOT statement read. “It appears that three of the initiatives mentioned in the report actually fold into one – the secure bike pilot – that DOT pursued assiduously. Please refer to prior DOT responses on this subject provided to Streetsblog. The lessons from that will help inform us when looking at future parking initiatives.”

While the city DOT expanded bike lanes by 28 miles in 2020 which has accommodated a cycling boom, Transportation Alternatives says there has been no significant investment in bike parking and while storage for cars outnumbers those for cyclists by 100 times.

As 2020 turned out to be the second-most horrific year for cyclists since 1999 – 2019 saw 29 fatalities – Harris has called the desertification of New York City streets due to the pandemic in the spring a giant missed opportunity for the city to reserve that public space for pedestrians and bikers.

You can read the full report on bike parking from Transportation Alternative here.

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