Bikes in Buildings is a program created to implement the Bicycle Access to Office Buildings Law. The Bicycle Access to Office Buildings Law aims to increase bicycle commuting by providing cyclists with the opportunity to securely park their bicycles in or close to their workplaces. The program allows tenants of office buildings to request bicycle access for their employees. In response to a request, a building owner or manager must either grant access or request an exception from the New York City Department of Transportation.
The law only applies to commercial office buildings with at least one freight elevator. It does not apply to residential buildings or any other building that is not primarily composed of offices.
- More information for office building tenants and subtenants
- More information for building owners and managers
- More information for employees
- Download a fact sheet (pdf)
- Download a presentation on the program (pdf)
- If you have questions or concerns, please contact DOT.
How Bikes in Buildings Works
- A tenant or subtenant assesses the number of bikes it would like to accommodate in its office space.
- The tenant or subtenant completes a Tenant Request and sends it by USPS certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Building building owner or Manager.
- The building owner or manager will either:
- Implement and post a Bicycle Access Plan that allows the tenant’s employees to bring bikes into the tenant’s office space within 30 days of receipt of Tenant Request or
- Request an exception for A) alternate bicycle parking facilities or B) or the absence of freight elevators in the building within 15 days of receipt of Tenant Request.
By completing and sending a Tenant Request, you will be asking your building owner, lessee, manager, or other person that controls your office building to allow your employees to bring their bicycles into your office space. You will be responsible for providing a space or spaces in your office to store bicycles; this space must comply with building and fire codes and any other applicable law, rule, or code and must not impede ingress or egress to the building.
Individual employees of businesses in office buildings cannot file a Tenant Request, requests can only be filed by a leaseholding tenant or subtenant in such buildings. Submit a Tenant Request Enter a USPS Certified Mail Tracking Number
In response to a request, a building owner may
- file a Bicycle Access Plan. It should be implemented within 30 days and the Plan or a notice of its availability should be posted in the building’s lobby within 35 days of the Owner's receipt of your Tenant Request by USPS certified mail.
- submits an Exception Request. The Tenant should receive notification from the Building building owner or Manager within 30 days of the Tenant Request.
If you have questions or concerns, contact DOT.
If you're a tenant, and feel that your building owner isn't complying with the terms of the law, contact DOT with specific information including your company name and the building address.
If you have not received a Tenant Request form from a Tenant or Subtenant, you are not required to file a Bicycle Access Form or request an exemption. Submit a Bicycle Access Plan Submit a Exception Request
Creating a Bicycle Access Plan
- A Bicycle Access Plan must be completed by the building's owner, manager or an authorized representative of either.
- A Plan must be implemented within 30 days of receipt of the Tenant Request.
- The Plan or a notice of its availability, must be posted within 35 days of receipt of the Tenant Request.
- The Plan must be submitted to DOT either electronically or by mail to 55 Water Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10041, Attn. Bikes in Buildings Program within 40 days of receipt of the Tenant Request.
- The Plan must provide information about the pathway for cyclists to enter the building, including the entry and exit, route to the elevator, and hours of freight elevator operation (if a freight elevator is used in the Bicycle Access Plan). Other additional details for informational purposes may also be included in the Bicycle Access Plan.
- Plans may not subject tenants to such requirements as the signing of releases, indemnities, revocation clauses, or compliance with building rules and regulations that impose additional duties on tenants and cyclists that are not contemplated by the statute.
Making an Exception Request
A building owner may make an Exception Request:
- If the building's freight elevator is not available for use because unique circumstances exist involving substantial safety risks directly related to the use of such elevator;
- If there is no freight elevator, or other elevator serving primarily as a freight elevator, in the building;
- If there is sufficient, secure, alternate, no-cost, indoor or sufficient, secure, alternate, no-cost, covered off-street bicycle parking available either on the premises or within three blocks or 750 feet, whichever is less.
Exception requests must be sent by USPS certified mail, return receipt requested to DOT, 55 Water Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10041, attention: Bicycle Access Program within 15 days of receipt of the Tenant Request for Bicycle Access in order to comply with the law.
Owners are also required to provide the tenant with a copy of your Exception Request within 30 days of receipt of the Tenant Request.
An additional Tenant Request or a change in circumstances (for example, a renovation that reconfigures the layout of the lobby) may require you to amend your bicycle access plan(s) or request an exception(s). To amend your plan, please contact DOT.
Individuals or employees who wish to bring bicycles into their workplace should ask their employers to request bicycle access from the building owner. Employers (Tenants or Subtenants) who request bicycle access are responsible for providing appropriate areas within their leased space to store bicycles.
If you work in a small office you can probably approach your employer directly. If you work in a larger office, your staff in your Human Resources, Facilities, Administration or Environmental Affairs departments may be helpful for making a request.
The building you work in is subject to the provisions of the Bicycle Access to Office Buildings Law if:
- It is a commercial office building;
- It has a freight elevator; and
- A tenant/subtenant requests bicycle access.
Approaching Your Employer
Show this fact sheet on the Bikes in Buildings program to your employer.
Talk to other cyclists in your office to develop an estimate of how many employees would be interested in an opportunity for secure bicycle parking. This number will be important to your employer in making a Tenant Request and could also provide compelling information about the need for improved parking options.
Bike Storage is Space Efficient
Bicycle parking requires minimal space. Many offices have some unused “dead space” at the ends of hallways, in the reception area, or underneath stairs. A space of 14 feet by 6 feet can store up to dozen bicycles.
More Bike Parking Resources
- Transportation Alternatives' Indoor Bike Parking Resources
- Department of City Planning’s Presentation on Bike Parking - This presentation was prepared as part of a change to the zoning codes for new, residential buildings, but the information contained within is useful to anyone planning bicycle storage.
- Victoria Transport Policy Institute’s Guide to Indoor Bike Storage