New parking lots for bikes are about to roll out all over New York as part of the city's broader effort to provide a secure environment for cyclists.
This spring, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will roll out "Mini," a prototype of Brooklyn-based company Oonee's six-bike corral, at five different high-traffic locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Each parking pod will stay put for 29 days and then move to a different location. During each period, DOT will compile data to analyze the product's impact on bike parking security.
You must be wondering why the prototypes have to be moved every 29 days. According to Streetsblog, that has to do with the city's franchising laws. Trial periods longer than 29 days automatically require the review and approval of the local Franchises & Concessions Review Committee—red tape that the project seeks to avoid.
"As cycling has grown more popular during the pandemic, we know that finding safe bike parking is among the obstacles riders face – and Oonee expertly meets that need," DOT commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said in an official statement about the news. "We want to send a clear message to cyclists this spring: try out a 'Mini' so that we can better learn what cyclists need as we work to bring more bike parking spaces around the city."
Each parking pod is equipped with interior illumination so that cyclists can find their bikes at any time of the day. Other features include insurance coverage for all users, a rapid-response customer service and "Oone Care" staff that keeps the structure properly maintained (including greenery around the product meant to keep the pod "more attractive").
The first "Mini" has already been installed in the Meatpacking District, at 400 West 14th Street. Four more pods will be rolled out in the upcoming months as follows:
- April: On the Lower East Side near the Essex Street Market
- May: At the Southeast corner of 14th Street and Fifth Avenue, near the New School in Union Square
- June: Near 577 Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights
- July: At 31st Avenue Open Street, near 34-02 31st Avenue, in Astoria, Queens
The news comes at the heels of yet another transportation-related announcement made by the DOT last week, one relating to the arrival of raised crosswalks all throughout New York's streets.
We're delighted to witness all that the city is doing to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe.