City Wants To Mandate Bike Parking in New Buildings

The Bloomberg administration wants to require parking for bicycles in new buildings citywide, mandating all large new office and apartment developments to set aside space. The initiative, which could face resistance from the real estate industry, is slated to enter a seven-month public approval process today.

The Department of City Planning, led by Amanda Burden, is spearheading the effort, which takes the form of a zoning change mandating the new parking regulations (details in the press release here). Based on the city’s planned zoning changes, large office buildings would need to set aside one bicycle spot for every 7,500 square feet of office space (meaning a building the size of the 1.2 million-square-foot Chrysler Building would need about 150 bicycle parking spaces). Residential buildings with more than 10 apartments would need to make bicycle parking spaces for 50 percent of the units.

In September, the powerful Real Estate Board of New York seemed to be trying to get out ahead of any city regulation in an attempt to avoid any new laws. REBNY president Steven Spinola sent a letter to his members (which seemed to be referring mainly to a City Council bill requiring existing buildings to create bike parking):

“We have strongly urged the City not to consider legislation requiring office buildings to provide bicycle parking and will continue to do so. But we do need to meet the needs of our tenants and to contribute to the City’s efforts to make it easier for bike riders to ride to work. So I hope you will survey your buildings and find a means to accommodate bicycles within them where possible.”

The letter came in response to a push by Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, and her letter to REBNY is here. The new zoning changes require City Council approval.

City Wants To Mandate Bike Parking in New Buildings