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Monday, May 18, 2009

Roosevelt Island Bike Rack Storage Saga Continues But Bike Sharing Plan Being Explored

Roosevelt Island Subway Bike Rack

In response to RIOC's recently announced decision to remove all bicycles from the bike racks near the Tram and Subway station (they will delay implementing this policy at the other Roosevelt Island bike racks until further notice) because some bikes may be abandoned or are unsightly, a reader forwards the following suggestions. Why not just:
...Clear the racks twice a month to identify abandoned bikes

Ticket bikes that violate the clearing rule and then remove them at the next clearing....
The full comments are below
Typical for RIOC, there has been no vote, quorum, consensus. A few complaints, someone makes a decision, and the safety force spreads the news in an ungrammatical laminated note dangling from a plastic twistee. Have you given it any thought?? How about the people commuting into the island who leave the bike overnight at the subway? Should the safety patrol take possession of bikes during the b(n)ight instead of keeping the island safe? Also, declaring a rule on Saturday for Monday is the most crazy implementation of any rule in an municipality. Nobody has time to move or sell their bike.

Here are 4 smart ways to handle it:

Move the bike racks

Put in more bike racks

Clear the racks twice a month to identify abandoned bikes

Ticket bikes that violate the clearing rule and then remove them at the next clearing.

The RIOC solution to the problem of unsightly (abandoned) bikes is absurd. Less bikes means more cars. These bikes are a solution to another problem – pollution, crowding, fuel usage. Amsterdam has accommodated thousands of bicyclists for hundreds of years without a moronic governmental response. These rules are making people less environmentally conscious, less likely to buy things at your stores on the island, less likely to visit overnight , less likely to move here, and more likely to use their cars. Buildings are all going to have to clean up the mess of bringing bikes into the buildings during the winter. That is also quality of life.

Of course, we will all see the delivery bikes all over the subway area despite this new rule. The bike rule will be as selectively implemented as the parking rule that allows certain people to park their cars right in front of Manhattan Park, RIOC’s office and the hospitals.
As to some bikes being unsightly, another reader responds:
Is it so hard to just remove the bikes that seem to be abandoned? I think not. Also, my bike is a clunker and not a pretty sight but I used it daily. Because the way my bike looks like it needs to be removed? What if I was driving a clunker of a *car*? Would I be allowed to park it on the streets?
In other Roosevelt Island bicycle news, RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin reported during the May 13 Operations Committee Meeting (web cast here) that he is actively seeking a vendor to establish a bike sharing program for Roosevelt Island.

For those interested in more information on Bicycle Sharing, the NYC Department of Planning released a very comprehensive report on issue this spring.

Here's how Washington DC's Smart Bike sharing program works and the recently established Montreal Bixi Bike Sharing Program - the largest in North America.


You Tube Video of Montreal Bike Sharing

As an aside, Montreal is a beautiful City and one of my favorites to visit. If you are looking for a quick weekend vacation from NYC - it's a great place to go.

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

RIOC's policy was covered on Streetblog a couple of days ago. A lot of good comments there and I was surprised to read that Shane actually reached out to Streetblog and gave a comment. I hope the policy will be refined and a solution will be found that will not discourage bicycling. It is Bike Month here in NYC after all.

Anonymous said...

If your bike is not stored overnight, you have no problem. If you use the bike racks for overnight storage, you'll have to move it or lose it. Sounds pretty simple.

Bike Racks said...

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