Posted on December 15, 2009
Lots of bike-related news in New York lately: First came the study about bike lanes being blocked frequently (you read about it here...) and now comes a new law that mandates bike access to office buildings. The law went into effect last Friday; it states that building managers must make bike access plans and allow bicycles in freight elevators. (The law, as makes sense, only applies to buildings with freight elevators.) But like most New York City laws, there’s a catch: Employers don’t have to actually make a space for the bikes to be stored. So you can ride your bike to work, get it upstairs to your office--and then you’re on your own. (Perhaps it can share your cubicle?) Another drawback: Access only has to be granted during the hours the freight elevators run, which can sometimes end as early as 6 pm. Plus, of course, there's paperwork—bikers may need to fill out forms asking landlords to create a bike access plan, and some buildings may be exempt (for instance, a freight area may not be safe.) Still, the law at least makes a start in allowing New Yorkers a greener (and often faster) way to get to work. In addition, it eliminates the worry of having to park a bike on the street. And should you decide to join the cycling hordes, when all around you are gnashing their teeth waiting for the next bus or subway car, you can smile smugly and pedal on.