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November 10th, 2008

Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471

Comprehensive Initiative is Part of City Strategy to Promote Cycling

November 10, 2008 - City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden today announced the Department of City Planning’s (DCP’s) initiative to require secure parking for bicycles in new multi-family residential, commercial and institutional buildings throughout the city.  A new zoning text, which will enter the Public Review Process on Monday, November 17th, would encourage bicycle ridership by providing a long-term and secure place to store bikes at home and at work. Recent studies by City Planning have found that the lack of safe and secure bicycle parking is a leading factor preventing people from cycling to work. In addition, the lack of bicycle storage facilities in residential buildings can make bicycle ownership impractical. The proposal is the most comprehensive bike parking zoning requirement of any dense U.S. city and will cultivate a more green and healthy urban environment.  It is part of a coordinated multi-agency effort with the City Department of Transportation (DOT) to promote New Yorkers’ use of bicycles, which is a key component of Mayor Bloomberg’s strategy for a cleaner, healthier city.  
"Our proposed citywide bicycle parking requirements will make it possible to secure one’s bike at home and at work, thereby making it easier to commute to work, to school and run errands by bike.  Increased bicycle use will improve New Yorkers’ fitness and reduce carbon emissions produced by motorized vehicles, helping to create the more sustainable, green and healthy city that Mayor Bloomberg outlined in his PlaNYC 2030 initiative," said Commissioner Burden.  "This is one key piece of a larger package of city efforts to support bicycle ridership. Our zoning for bike parking, coupled with DOT Commissioner Sadik-Khan’s efforts to increase bike lanes and outdoor bike parking and her collaboration with owners of existing buildings to provide space for bikes, will contribute to a better quality of life and a healthier New York."

"Bike commuting is up 35% in the past year alone, which underscores the need for more bike parking," said NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "Providing secure bike parking in residential buildings, on sidewalks and at work is critical to meeting the City's sustainability needs."

The new zoning would require that bicycle parking spaces be enclosed, secure, and accessible to designated users, such as residents, employees, or in the case of public parking garages, the general public. To ensure the new requirements do not encumber new developments, required bicycle parking would not count against the permitted floor area.  The new zoning provides that:

  • Residential buildings with more than 10 units must provide secure bike parking for 50% of the units, or one space for every two units.  

  • Commercial office buildings must provide one space for every 7,500 square feet.

  • Retail and most other commercial uses, as well as most community facility uses, would be required to provide one space for every 10,000 square feet of floor area.  Smaller buildings, where three or fewer bicycle spaces are required, can waive the requirement.

  • Universities and hospitals will be required to provide secure bike parking but special provisions would allow these institutions to locate spaces more flexibly in a campus setting.

  • For industrial and semi-industrial uses, religious institutions, and certain other facilities with varied employment densities or unusual space demands, bicycle parking would not be required but would not count against permitted floor area.
  • Public parking garages would be required to provide one (1) bicycle parking space for every ten (10) automobile parking spaces.

  • Requirements would apply to new buildings, enlargements of 50% or more, and conversions to residential use.

  • Fifteen (15) square feet would be required per bicycle parking space. The amount of parking space required per bicycle can be reduced to as little as 6 square feet per bicycle with the submission and approval of a more efficient layout.
  •  In order to address a wide range of building configurations, bicycle parking may be provided in a variety of locations, including on the ground floor of a building, in a cellar or in a parking garage.

The Chairperson of City Planning Commission may authorize a reduction or waiver of bicycle parking spaces when subsurface or below-ground infrastructure conditions make bicycle parking  infeasible.

The initiative complements other City efforts to promote cycling and increase bicycle infrastructure throughout the city, with the goal of doubling bicycle commuting by 2015 and tripling it by 2020. Among these:

  • City Planning recently incorporated requirements for bike parking in commercial and community facility parking lots;

  • The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has committed to completing the on-street portion of the City's planned bicycle network by 2030.  The bicycle network was outlined by the Department of City Planning and DOT in the New York City Bicycle Master Plan. In the last two years DOT has already completed over 140 lane miles of new bicycle routes.

  • DOT is installing 5,000 new outdoor CityRacks by 2011.

  •  To increase bicycle parking opportunities in office buildings, DOT is working with the real estate industry to help develop model solutions in existing buildings.

The new city-wide requirements will be considered by 59 Community Boards and the five Borough Presidents.  Following receipt of their recommendations, the proposal will be reviewed by the City Planning Commission and the City Council.  For more information on the public review process or the specifics of the plan, please visit

Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.

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