How ironic that the NY Times will do this story about bike parking when it is clear that their building on 41st Street will not allow bikes inside or locked to the grid that covers the building, nor provide outdoor racks.
Even for those willing to park outdoors, space is limited. Although it is common for people to secure bicycles to signposts or parking meters, Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the city’s Transportation Department, said that it is a violation of a city ordinance to lock a bike to anything other than a bicycle rack. In addition, many businesses and buildings post signs warning cyclists not to chain their bikes to fences or railings.
As usual in NYC we must talk about the lack of bike parking that keeps so many people from riding. Having just completed my study of bike commuters in NYC, however, I find that this is not the case. My results illustrated that while bike parking is important, daily commuters are more concerned with a bike network and on-street safety. Yet we cannot get past the fact that people will never ride their bikes if they can't bring them inside to the office!
Instead let us focus our advocacy efforts on rider safety and getting DOT to do a complete bike network. I have not heard of anyone being killed or injured because they didn't have a spot to park their bike. Once again, the NY Times pulls the covers over our eyes by addressing a issue, but not the most critical one. Check out the comments section and this post from Streets Blog.