I’ve said many times that a lack of secure bicycle parking is a major reason we don’t see more people using bicycles for transportation (particularly for commuting). According to an article in today’s New York Times, the city government is taking steps to remedy the situation in New York.
“You have to reach a certain critical mass for this to work, and we’re there,” said Amanda M. Burden, the city planning commissioner. The new zoning requirements, adopted in April, include one bike space for every two residential units in buildings with more than 10 apartments, or for every 7,500 feet of commercial office space. In other words, if the Empire State Building had been built under the new rules, it would have around 350 bike spaces.
The impetus behind the new zoning requirements is a City Department of Planning survey which found a lack of bike parking the primary reason more people aren’t commuting by bike (read the report →).
Councilman David Yassky is currently pushing a bill that would grant bicyclists access to all office buildings in the city (read Intro. 0038-2006 Fact & Support Sheet →). He’s confident he has the votes to get the bill passed within the next few weeks. Here’s an excerpt from the fact sheet:
Intro. 38 will amend the city’s administrative code to require building owners and managers to (i) evaluate reasonable ways by which employees may access their building with a bicycle and (ii) determine possible locations within the building for bicycle storage.
Hallelujah! Now, hopefully, the example being set in New York will have an influence on planners in other cities across the country.