Sections

Push is on to allow bicycles in Brooklyn buildings

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

City Councilmember David Yassky and other cycling advocates convened on the steps of City Hall last week to push Yassky’s bill requiring office buildings to accommodate bike parking for people who work in them.

The bill, which Yassky originally authored in 2004 but has not gotten out of the City Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee, currently has the support of more than 30 of the 51 councilmembers.

“Thousands of people in this city want to bike to work, but they can’t do it if they’ve got to worry about their bikes being stolen or ruined by the weather. New Yorkers want a greener city, and they’re ready to help us build one,” said Yassky at the press conference.

Yassky said he plans on reintroducing the bill in committee sometime this year.

“This bill has waited long enough for its chance at a vote. Now, with over 30 councilmembers supporting this legislation, I am optimistic that we can finally pass it and take the next step toward becoming a truly bike-friendly city this year,” he said.

Many suspect the bill’s inability to get beyond committee owes to the opposition of the Real Estate Board of New York, or REBNY, the city’s largest and most powerful real estate trade association.

Marolyn Davenport, senior vice president of REBNY, told this paper in July that the bill was “not realistic at all.”

“What if there’s no space for bikes? What if there’s mechanical equipment in the basement? And you can’t mandate that people be allowed to put bikes on freight elevators. What if somebody is moving in and out? It’s just not practical,” she said.

While the bill requires landlords to accommodate bikes, it specifically avoids stipulations on how that access must be afforded. Instead, it allows landlords to develop individual access plans.

“The strength of this bill is that it recognizes the unique ability of landlords to decide how to accommodate bikes in their own buildings. This is something every building can do without negative consequenc­es,” Yassky said.

According to a study by the Department of City Planning, lack of secure bike parking is the number one factor in people not biking to work.

Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives, the cyclist and pedestrian advocacy organization, said it was “astounding that New York City’s commercial buildings allow strollers and handcarts indoors, but frequently refuse bicycle access.”

“The Bikes in Buildings bill will instantly enable tens of thousands of New Yorkers to ride their bike to work without fear of bike theft,” he said.

Other supportive councilmembers touted the bill’s environmental, transportation, and health benefits.

“Secure bike parking in buildings allows choice in transportation, which promotes a greener and more sustainable New York City,” said fellow Brooklyn Councilmember Letitia James.

“Bike access has become a necessity as we move forward to support bicycling to work, as well as encourage health and wellness in this new century.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: