Since Law’s Passage, 106 Commercial Buildings Submitted Bicycle Access Plans to the Department of Transportation, Welcoming over 1,700 Cyclists into Office Buildings
New York City, May 20, 2010 – In celebration of National Bike to Work Week and National Bike Month, New York Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, together with Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Transportation Chair James Vacca and Bicycle Access Law sponsor Gale A. Brewer, announced that in just five months building management companies submitted more than 175 bicycle access plans to the Department of Transportation. In 2009, the City Council passed the Bicycle Access Law which requires owners and managers of commercial buildings with suitable freight elevators to allow employees to enter the building with their bicycles. The announcement took place at Silverstein Properties’ Seven World Trade Center which features bike racks, space for bike rooms and bicycle accessible freight elevators.
“As our city expands its cycling infrastructure across the five boroughs, more and more New Yorkers are choosing to cycle to work,” said Speaker Quinn. “Since the Bicycle Access Law went into effect five months ago, over 300 commercial building tenants have requested that their buildings file Bicycle Access Plans with the city. As we work together towards a greener and healthier city, the Bicycle Access Law makes it easier for cyclists to park and store their bikes, ultimately encouraging even more New Yorkers to commute on bike.”
“If you provide the access, they will bike,” said NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “By helping provide, safe, secure bike parking, this landmark legislation is already making biking as much a part of New York’s daily commute as grabbing a newspaper or a cup of coffee.”
If a commercial building tenant requests bicycle access to the building, the Bicycle Access Law requires owners and management companies of buildings with suitable freight elevators to file a bicycle access plan with the Department of Transportation (DOT). The Bicycle Access Plan, which must be posted in the building lobby, must disclose the entrances and elevators that cyclists may use, the routes to such elevators, and the hours of freight elevator availability. If the freight elevator can not accommodate or is unsafe for cyclists, the building owner or management company may file for an exception request with DOT. Additionally, building owners or managers may apply for a building access exception request if they provide alternate bicycle parking options.
“It is great news that in less than six months after passage of the Bicycle Access Bill hundreds of requests for bicycle access to commercial buildings with freight elevators have been made,” said Council Member Gale Brewer, co-sponsor of the law. Managers of office buildings are responsive, and are either providing on-site access or finding space within 3 blocks, as stipulated by the law. All of this means that many more people commute to work by bicycle because there is a safe place to put the bike, and the law has only been in effect for a short time! I am delighted to stand with Speaker Quinn, Chair Vacca, and advocates to publicize the law so that more people can bike and leave their transportation in a safe place.”
According to the Department of Transportation, the city has received:
• 346 Bicycle Access Tenant Requests
• 2,881 Bikes Included in Access Plan Requests
• 176 Bike Access Plans from Building Management Companies/Owners
• 1,764 Bikes Included in Access Plans and Alternate Bicycle Parking Plans from Building Management Companies/Owners
• 38 Alternate Parking Exception Requests
• 19 Freight Elevator Exception Requests
New York is on a roll when it comes to making our streets, our parks, and our businesses more bicycle-friendly,” said Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca. “The success of the Bicycle Access Bill proves once again that if you build it, they will bike, as thousands of employees across the city will now feel safer commuting to work in a healthy, environmentally conscious way. As Transportation Committee Chair, I look forward to continuing to promote cycling as a viable transportation alternative in the months and years ahead.”
“After only six months in effect, the Bicycle Access Law is already proving its worth to thousands to cyclists. With every building that opens its doors to bike commuters, New York City becomes a greener place,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives.
The law does not require building owners or managers to create bicycle storage; employees may keep their bicycles in their offices upon approval by their respective employers and must follow proper fire code rules when parking their bicycles. More information on Bicycle Access to Buildings can be found at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/bikesinbuildings.shtml.