A few business executives have dreamed up a private-sector solution to the problem of secure bicycle parking in New York: the city’s first bikes-only parking lot. They have a space on West 33rd Street. All they need is a corporation willing to pay as much as $200,000 a year to sponsor it.
“We’re really looking for a big number to build something quite spectacular,” said Daniel A. Biederman, president of the 34th Street Partnership. “We want this to be the premier bike parking facility in the country.”
Already, the group has cleared one high hurdle: Stonehenge Management, a developer, has offered a 2,600-square-foot lot next to an apartment building it owns on the north side of 33rd Street between Eighth Avenue and Ninth Avenue, Mr. Biederman said.
The partnership, which is financed by businesses and property owners in a 31-block section of Midtown, has developed a preliminary design for the lot and has ordered up a prototype of the racks it would contain, Mr. Biederman said. At first, it would hold 100 bikes, with room to expand if there is more demand, he said.
Regular users would pay a fee, but some spaces would be available for free, short-term use by cyclists visiting the neighborhood. Those fees will depend on how much the partnership can raise from a sponsor, Mr. Biederman said.
“There’s a huge demand out there for this kind of parking option,” said Caroline Samponaro, bicycle campaign coordinator at Transportation Alternatives, a group that advocates for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Ms. Samponaro said that a similar concept had worked in Chicago, where the McDonald’s Corporation became the long-term sponsor of a bike parking lot that charges $149 a year.
(Source : The New York TImes)