It’s been nearly two years since the city passed a law mandating bicycle parking at work, a few rich people have bike valet service, which others got on Broadway briefly, and of course parking lots now offer affordable bike parking, but most apartments (and airports) barely have enough room for people to park themselves, let along their bicycles. That’s slowly starting to change, though, as an increasing number of cyclists become prospective condo-buyers.
In Friday’s Times real estate section, Elizabeth A. Harris surveys some new buildings in Chelsea, Williamsburg and Fort Greene where developers have responded to demands by creating dedicated rooms and parking areas for bicycles, and checks in with the types of buyers for whom the absence of such amenities has become a deal-breaker. Like Manhattan-based writer Natalie Danford and her translator husband. Danford said:
There was an apartment we put a bid on, and then it occurred to us to ask about bike storage. That was one of the reasons we backed out. We can’t afford a 3,000-square-foot apartment, sadly, and a bike takes up a lot of room.
Other buildings have set aside space for bike storage, only to see it fill up overnight.
The developers of 80 Metropolitan, a condo building in Williamsburg that opened in 2009 and is being marketed by Halstead, originally set aside 24 spaces for bicycles, all free. When those filled, they added 42 more. When those were taken, in went a hanging system in the garage for 22 more bikes. Now, there is a plan to add enough storage to accommodate the 12 cyclists on the waiting list.
The trend extends to rental buildings, although a pair mentioned by the article in Manhattan charge over $100 per month for a space in their bike parking areas. At that rate, hanging your bike in your apartment starts to look appealing again. But the suggestion that—as cycling in New York City becomes more widespread and an activity practiced by people with substantial buying power—actual building practices have begun changing to make room (and entire rooms) for bicycles, is certainly a heartening development. Of course there’s still only one building offering bike valet, but that’s bound to change.