New York City May Implement Tough Bicycle Parking Requirements
New York City, which has been working hard to promote cycling of late, has now proposed "bicycle parking rules that could be among the toughest in the nation, requiring one secure bike parking space for every two units in new apartment buildings and one space for every 7,500 square feet in new office buildings." This comes on the heels of City-sponsored bike rack design competition, the unveiling of a new cycling master plan and several initiatives which have resulted in a rise in bicycle commuting in the Big Apple.
The new proposal, if approved, would help ease a significant "stumbling block preventing New Yorkers from cycling to work or to perform errands": a lack of secure parking for bicycles.Both the League of American Bicyclists and Transportation Alternatives support the initiative, which would "require weather-protected, lockable bike parking spaces at apartment buildings with at least 10 units, at commercial office buildings and at stores, hospitals, universities and automobile parking garages." On the other hand, developers are concerned about the usual undue burden on them. One concern in particular is that there won't be demand for all the new bike racks that are built.
As part of the LEED certification, building owners can earn points by installing a minimum amount of bicycle racks per occupants, so in many ways NYC is simply putting into law what LEED enables developers to do voluntarily. With respect to cost concerns, bike racks simply aren't that expensive, and compared to parking spaces, take up very little space. What's more, providing sufficient bike parking will prevent riders from locking up their bikes to fences and street posts. Finally, bike racks can be made to be very attractive--even artistic.
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