legal question - bike parking

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Anonymous's picture

I was told this morning whilst chaining up my bike that Brookfield, the developer that owns the World Financial Center, has prohibited bike parking on the pavements around the WFC, and that my bike would be removed if I left it there.

Is this legal? Can a private company rule our sidewalks?

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
Legally, no.

But will they go ahead and do it anyway? Without a doubt, yes. Who's gonna stop them, the police who've been confiscating bicycles?

Think about it, this could be just the start of negative fallout from the NYPD vs Critical Mass morass, and you can be sure there's more to come.

Anonymous's picture
Ed Ravin (not verified)
It's worse than you think

"NYC DoT has been sending the text below in response to people who ask about the City's bike parking policy:

Current City policy states that bicycles chained to street lamps,
signs, and other street fixtures are in violation of the New York
City Administrative Code section 16-122(b). This chapter of the
Administrative Code involves Sanitation Department matters and may
result in removal.

The 5BBC has been making queries about whether ""other street fixtures"" includes bike racks. DoT and NYC Dept of Law, on the phone, told us no, that is, parking at a bike rack is still legal, but they have yet to send us written confirmation.

This law has been on the books for decades. Previous administrations didn't apply it to bikes. To complain, visit:

As for Forest City Ratner or any other property owner cutting bikes off the public sidewalk, that's called ""bike theft"". This comes up from time to time and the building owners usually get away with it. The Port Authority did reimburse Jon Orcutt for his cut lock when his bike was snatched by the PA at the WTC several years ago, but that's the exception."

Anonymous's picture
esass (not verified)

I had the same issue with Forest City Ratner in the Metrotech area. I was parking my bike for a few months in front of my building to a lightpost. Got a call from building security telling me the same as you were told. It was Bike to Work day no less.

I tried going through my facilities manager, but he said I would have to go through FCRC on my own.

Anonymous's picture
m (not verified)
bike parking at WFC

Last week, I noticed a bike rack under the stairs at the corner of Vesey St and West Street. There were not any bikes in it.

Anonymous's picture
my educated guess..... (not verified)

In my experience with city work that although the owner of the building does not own the right-of-way sidewalk they are responsible for maintaining it. This includes maintaining access (in the event of emergency) as well as clear space around the building.

So I would GUESS the insurance on the building says no obstructions to prevent emergency personel from getting to the building. (Or that there's a tenent in the building that put as a stipulation in their lease that they don't want to look out their windows and see bikes locked all over the place. Yes there's a specific instance on 5th ave that I'm working on now that has this in their lease.)

Write a letter and petition to have a bike storage area. I believe that legally they have to provide you with an alternative parking area.

Anonymous's picture
yawn (not verified)
educated guess

one right guess

the owner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in all of its aspects. See the Department of Transportation website

one wrong guess

there is no right of bike parking although I wish there was! Imagine if there was an equivilant right of car parking!!!

Anonymous's picture
my educated guess..... (not verified)

it wasn't the maintenance I was guessing about it was the locking part.....

Anonymous's picture
Natalia Lincoln (not verified)
Isn't there bike parking at 80 Pine Street?

My job moves down there Thursday. I've been trying to get secure bike parking at One New York Plaza but so far, no luck. (There's a big fat GARAGE for cars under the building... I'm going to talk to them about putting in a bike rack... already filed for a CityRack months ago)

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