Bicycle storage regulations get Council OK

Amendment requires wide range of developments to provide indoor bicycle parking space. On April 22, 2009, the City Council approved the Department of City Planning’s bicycle parking text amendment. The amendment requires developers to include secure indoor bicycle storage space in new buildings, conversions to residential use, and enlargements of 50 percent or more. The new requirements apply to multifamily residential, community facility, and commercial uses, as well as public parking garages. The number of spaces required differs among uses and will not count against floor area limitations. 6 CityLand 25 (March 15, 2009).

The City Planning Commission revised the proposal to address concerns raised during its public review of the plan. The modifications allowed the Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development to grant a waiver or reduce the requirements for affordable housing developments, and changed the formula used to calculate the required storage space for dormitories in order to make enforcement less challenging. 6 CityLand 43 (April 15, 2009).

At Council’s March 31st Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee hearing, Amanda M. Burden, Chair of the City Planning Commission, and Howard Slatkin, Deputy Director of Strategic Planning at the Department of City Planning, gave a detailed description of the proposed regulations. After the presentation, Chair Tony Avella criticized Planning’s decision to exclude the required bicycle storage space from floor area limitations. Avella characterized the exemption as a “bonus,” and stated that developers should not be rewarded for “doing the right thing.” Avella also expressed concerns that the proposal would allow developers to avoid the storage requirements if they simply received building permits rather than “having shovels in the ground” before the amendment’s approval. Avella believed this approach deviated from Planning’s usual practice, and questioned whether this amendment would set a precedent for future zoning text amendments. Avella laid over the vote to further discuss these issues.

The Subcommittee reconvened on April 22nd, and approved the amendment with only Council Member Simcha Felder voting no. The Land Use Committee approved the amendment, and the full Council followed suit.

Council: Bicycle Parking (N 090191 ZRY – text amend.) (April 22, 2009).

One thought on “Bicycle storage regulations get Council OK

  1. I live in a 130 square foot apartment (rental) on West 75th Street. Needless to say, a space this small has room only for a small bed, a small bureau, a small desk and a folding chair. I am constantly tripping over my bicycle (I cannot mount it to the wall because the landlord would take money out of my security deposit if I use any nails or screws in the walls). There is no bicycle storage room in this huge building. So I was very happy when I learned of this Amendment that was passed in 2009, requiring public parking garages to provide space for bicycle storage. I just called the garage where I keep my car, and was told that yes, they have bicycle parking but that they charge $100 per month to store a bicycle. That is an obscene amount of money– that is $1200 a year !!! It’s just the same as if they had no place for me to store my bike at all– with that price tag, it might as well not exist. Is there no recourse ?? I would pay $50 a month, even though I think that is exorbitant. But $100 per month to store my bike, it’s ridiculous. Will anyone read this comment ? Can anything be done to fix a ceiling price so that no garage can do this kind of price gouging ? My bike is possibly worth $300, but no more. If I pay the garage $100 a month, in essence I will be buying a new bike every 3 months. Surely the City Council did not intend this new regulation to, in effect, prohibit ordinary middle class citizens from storing bikes. I can’t tell you how depressing this is for me. I am so so tired of tripping over my bike in this tiny apartment !! Thank you.

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