Guarded bike racks are secure but far more expensive than allowing tenants to bring their bicycles inside.
Tenants who bike commute to the Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street in Manhattan can be assured that their bikes locked under the south archway will be secure during the workday. This spring, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which manages 53 City-owned buildings, installed new bike racks under the archway and stationed a daytime guard to watch them.
Citywide Administrative Services instituted the guarded bike parking after T.A., eight city council members and Municipal Building tenants asked Commissioner Martha Hirst to create a policy that would allow tenants to bring their bicycles inside all city-owned and -managed buildings.
While the new guarded bike parking at the Municipal Building is a boon for nine-to-fivers, it leaves cyclists with other work schedules vulnerable to thieves and vandals. When the City allows tenants to bring their bikes inside, it sets a good example for private building owners and managers who may not have enough resources to hire an outdoor bike guard.
In 1999, the Department of City Planning revealed that the lack of secure bicycle parking is the number one obstacle to potential commuter cyclists in New York City and recommended that the Department of Citywide Administrative Services establish a policy allowing its tenants to bring their bicycles inside its buildings. This spring, Citywide Administrative Services reversed a ten-year old policy of allowing Municipal Building tenants to bring their bicycles inside and maintains that it has no plans to allow tenants to bring their bicycles into any of its buildings. Anecdotally, tenants can bring their bicycles into thirteen of the City's fifty-three buildings.
Write to Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Martha Hirst and ask her to allow bicycles into all City-owned buildings:
Commissioner Martha Hirst