MTA's Big 'No' to Requests for Secure Bicycle Parking at Grand Central
The request T.A. and a dozen federal, state, and local elected officials made to the MTA for secure bicycle parking at Grand Central Terminal received a big "No" last month. The MTA wrote: "The installation of bicycle racks would not be an appropriate addition to Grand Central Terminal." They also listed several unsubstantiated reasons for their opposition. One of the most bewildering points is that "bicycle riders are not MTA Subway or Metro North riders." This is simply not true. In fact, the MTA has been issuing bike permits to Metro North riders since 1983, it issued 4,000 bike permits last year. The MTA also distributes a brochure instructing cyclists that they may use the subway 24 hours a day 7 days a week. These facts lead one to wonder what the MTA is basing their assertion on. Representative Carolyn Maloney was dismayed by the MTA's response to her support letter for secure parking at the Terminal. The Congresswoman commented: "The MTA's unwillingness to try making the bicycle rack available is troubling to me."
The list of supporters for secure bike parking at Grand Central consists of both Republicans and Democrats and includes Congress Members Jerrold Nadler, Caroline Maloney, and Sue Kelly; State Senators Tom Duane, Suzi Oppenheimer, and Roy Goodman; Assembly Members Richard Gottfreid and John Ravitz; City Council Members Christine Quinn and Gifford Miller; and Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. The Department of City Planning also wrote in support.
T.A. has worked with Metro North and the MTA over the past three years to get secure bicycle parking installed at Grand Central. Their change of heart is discouraging, but all is not lost. The New York Times covered the issue in December and drew the attention of the 34th Street Partnership. This led to new plans for secure bicycle parking at Pennsylvania Station. When the parking is installed, T.A. expects to replicate Penn Station's example at its cousin to the east.