New York Buildings Become More Bike Friendly

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May 06, 2016

While the electric car has become the talk of the town as far as environmentally friendly modes of transportation go, many people, especially in more urban areas, are turning to a vehicle that has been around for nearly 200 years and is as environmentally friendly as it can get: the bicycle.

As bikes have again risen in popularity to levels not seen since Paul Newman and Katharine Ross went for a ride on one inButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, developers and building owners are beginning to create bike storage rooms for residents to keep their bikes while not in use, The New York Times reports.

These storage rooms aren’t dark, musty rooms that used to be a utility closet, either. They are state-of-the-art spaces with their own entrances, bike pumps, repair stands, and hooks for hanging bikes and helmets. In some buildings, door attendants will even act as a bike valet.

The changes to these buildings come in large part because of an increase in the number of people choosing to ride bikes as their primary mode of transportation. A 2014 survey by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that up to 20 percent of the population across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens cycled several times a month.

Even with the increase in designated bike rooms, many buildings still can’t keep up with the demand and have had to institute waiting lists. And thanks to a 2009 amendment, any new building that has 10 or more apartments must have at least one bike space for every two units.

Buildings will usually charge to store a bike in a bike room, but the amount can vary widely. Some places may only charge $10 a year while others may charge $10 to $100 a month. It often depends on the demand for a spot in the room and the amount of features offered.

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