March 26, 2009 DRAFT
Council Member Melinda Katz
Chairperson – Land Use Committee
Council Member Tony Avella
Chairperson – Zoning and Franchises Subcommittee
New York City Council
250 Broadway, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Re: Bicycle Parking Zoning Text Amendment
Dear Council Members Katz and Avella:
The Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association commends the Department of City Planning (DCP) for its effort to encourage cycling as a travel mode by amending the zoning text to require bicycle parking in new buildings and other specified developments. This proposal would add an important link in the overall bicycling network of New York City which has been recently expanded with the development of bike lanes and on-street bike racks by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
The addition of off-street bicycle parking requirements will help eliminate one barrier to increased cycling and enable greater modal choice, with the hope that parking availability will induce more widespread cycling. We support increased cycling as a form of sustainable transportation with tremendous health benefits that can help reduce traffic and transit congestion.
We would suggest the following recommendations to help make this requirement a success:
– DOT and DCP should conduct a periodic review of the results of the new requirement, including surveys of building managers and building users across the boroughs regarding utilization and operation of the required parking facilities. We urge the Council and the Administration to pursue grant funding of follow-up studies for this and other zoning initiatives
– In the event high rates of utilization are found, DCP should consider reducing the requirements for vehicular parking associated with new development while also expanding bicycle parking requirements
– DOT and DCP should work together to develop recommended guidelines for the location, layout, fixtures and operation of the required bicycle storage to assist architects and developers who may not have experience with providing bicycle storage
We urge the City Council to vote in favor of DCP’s proposal, and we further hope that you will help to encourage the implementation of these recommendations.
About the APA Metro Chapter
The New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association represents more than 1,300 planners, designers, engineers and other professionals involved in planning for the region’s communities. Our members work in the private sector, in nonprofit organizations and in government agencies to address planning issues affecting the physical, social and economic environment of the metropolitan region (New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley). We are part of the American Planning Association whose 46,000 members are dedicated to creating livable communities of lasting value.
The NY Metro Chapter is particularly committed to promoting planning-related public education, encouraging broad participation in planning decisions, and collaborating with other organizations to advocate the highest standards of the planning profession.