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DOT May Shut Down Bike Racks in Municipal Parking Garages, Including Essex Street

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DOT Might Shut Down Bike Racks in Municipal Parking Garages, Together with Essex Avenue

July 12, Picture: Gideon Grudo

The next visitor put up was written by Gideon Grudo.

Six months after shutting it down for no cause, Division of Transportation says it’s planning to reopen a public bicycle area on the Decrease East Aspect.

The Essex Street Municipal Parking Garage — the one public parking storage in Manhattan with an area dedicated to bicycles — unceremoniously deactivated its bike area in early March, pulling all of the racks out of the bottom, posting “beneath building” on the wall and rendering ineffective a as soon as protected dwelling for dozens of bicycles. Why did the town lower the lot down — and can it ever be reopened?

I spent the previous few months looking for out. DOT answered that easy query a number of alternative ways — first it was a deliberate renovation, then it was a wanted improve, and later it was total security, lastly adopted by mercurial hand wringing — it may very well be that nobody actually is aware of.

I first discovered in regards to the closure after somebody stole my bike in Might from exterior my condominium on the nook of Orchard and Stanton Streets, spurring me to lastly take a re-evaluation into the suddenly-forbidden area within the parking storage, in addition to the storage itself.

With entrances on each Essex and Ludlow, the car-park is dwelling to 359 vehicular spots — the storage has been open just about all summer time lengthy, permitting you to pay $8 an hour or $500 a month to maintain your automobile there. These charges had been a lot decrease final 12 months, earlier than New York parking garages raised their charges throughout the board, with the Essex Avenue location yielding the steepest hike: 66 p.c.

On the storage’s DOT itemizing, it boasts 12 out there bicycle racks, permitting for twenty-four bicycles, which had been freely out there all by way of final summer time. Again then, I locked my bike up there often amongst a litany of different bikes, amongst them the electrical selection you see all around the neighborhood, hoisting round supply staff or, as we used to rejoice them every night: Important staff.

August 24, Picture: Gideon Grudo

What made that area so nice versus the out of doors bike racks littering the Decrease East Aspect? It’s effectively lit. It’s 20 ft away from the parking storage attendant. Whereas indicators inform me the town isn’t answerable for my bike, realizing there’s a human close by makes it way more comforting to go away my bike there (for another person, their work automobile). There are cameras throughout. And, lastly, it’s lined. Rain isn’t nice for bicycles. That area, the one free a part of the storage, continues to be closed to the general public as of this writing.

Why did DOT shut down bike racks for six months?

Since late Might, I’ve been making an attempt to determine why the area was shut down and, whereas I’ve been in touch with DOT on the matter by way of months of back-and-forth emails, have discovered completely nothing about why the company determined to take away the racks.

Even after connecting with Senior Borough Planner Jennifer Leung, who was assigned to the matter, all I acquired had been common responses, noting that almost all upkeep and renovation tasks “proceed to be positioned on maintain and can be capable of resume as quickly as personnel are allowed to return at a higher capability.” DOT did re-install the corrals the week of August 17 however, inside days, the racks had been closed off once more for no cause, yellow police tape cordoning off the area. Leung subsequently advised me the storage had “some points” with the newly opened racks, which created “unsafe situations,” including “it was overcrowded and there [was] no compliance.”

I nonetheless don’t know why the racks had been out of fee for six months, aside from a boiler-plate cause that would imply something about something at any time since COVID-19 struck. I additionally don’t know what led to their reopening nor to their subsequent re-closing. Most significantly, maybe, nobody else is aware of, both — the town hasn’t communicated about any of those closures, although it did take away the “beneath building” indicators with out endeavor any building.

August 29, Picture: Gideon Grudo

Municipal parking garages and bike racks in New York Metropolis

There are 36 municipal parking garages and fields in New York Metropolis.

  • Of these, six provide “bike racks” with various numbers of racks, based on their DOT listings.
  • Of these, only one is in Manhattan.

On September 1, I referred to as every of the six to seek out out if their bike racks are open. Solely two parking storage telephone calls (as listed on Google given the DOT website doesn’t checklist telephone numbers) had been answered (Bronx), the opposite 4 both resulting in a wierd, static whistle (Essex) or answering machines (Staten Island and each Queens areas).

Whereas I do know the state of the Essex storage, right here’s what I discovered in regards to the others, together with the bike rack data DOT lists for every:

Jerome – a hundred and ninetieth Avenue Municipal Parking Storage
Open for public use
BIKE RACK: 1 Bicycle rack for 9 Bicycles

Jerome-Gun Hill Highway Municipal Parking Storage
Open for public use however, apparently, not for lengthy: The “metropolis determined they wish to take away them … I don’t know when.”
BIKE RACK: 1 Bicycle rack for 9 Bicycles

Delancey and Essex Municipal Parking Storage
BIKE RACK: 12 Bicycle racks for twenty-four Bicycles

Court docket Sq. Municipal Parking Storage
BIKE RACK: 2 bicycle rack for 11 bicycles

Queensboro Corridor Municipal Parking Area
BIKE RACK: 11 bicycle racks for 22 bicycles

Staten Island Courthouse Storage and Parking Lot
BIKE RACK: 3 Bicycle racks for 45 Bicycles


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