NYC to roll out secure bike parking pods at five high-traffic cycling spots

March 15, 2022

All images courtesy of the NYC Department of Transportation

Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez last Friday announced the city will be piloting a new bike parking model this spring. DOT will be testing Brooklyn-based company Oonee’s “Mini,” a prototype of the company’s six-bike corral, at five high-traffic locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens over the next couple of months. The pilot program is part of the city’s broader effort to expand secure bike parking.

Once installed at each location, DOT will compile data over a period of 29 days to see how much Oonee’s prototype is used. After 29 days, the bike corral will be moved to the next location where the agency will continue to analyze its impact on bike parking security.

The planned locations for the pilot program are:

  • As of March 11, 400 West 14th Street, Manhattan, in the Meatpacking district.
  • In April, Broome/Essex near Essex Street Market, Manhattan, on the Lower East Side.
  • In May, the Southeast corner of 14th Street & 5th Avenue near the New School, Manhattan, in Union Square.
  • In June, Vanderbilt Avenue Open Street near 577 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, in Prospect Heights.
  • In July, 31st Avenue Open Street, near 34-02 31st Avenue, in Astoria, Queens.

“DOT is proud to support a minority-owned business based right here in New York City, with an idea that has met its time,” Rodriguez said. “As cycling has grown more popular during the pandemic, we know that finding safe bike parking is among the obstacles riders face – and Oonee expertly meets that need.”

“We want to send a clear message to cyclists this spring: try out a “Mini” so that we can better learn what cyclists need, as we work to bring more bike parking spaces around the City.”

Features of the Oonee Mini include:

  • Interior illumination that allows cyclists to find their bikes at all hours.
  • Insurance coverage for bikes included for all bike and scooter users.
  • “Oonee Care” staff that keeps parking maintained, including greenery that makes the pods more attractive.
  • Rapid-response customer service

Shabazz Stuart, Oonee Founder and CEO, said: “Speaking on behalf of the entire Oonee team, we are excited and humbled to work with the Department of Transportation and these incredible community based groups to introduce this much needed cycling infrastructure to our streets.”

“Personally speaking, as a kid who grew up in Brooklyn, this is just a dream come true. Together with the DOT and the Adams Administration we are creating new, green public transit options that are going to enhance quality of life for all New Yorkers. It’s simply a dream come true.”

The reasoning behind the oddly specific 29-day duration of the Mini’s tenure at each location has to do with the city’s franchising laws. According to Streetsblog, if the prototype was to be left at any location longer than 29 days, it would require review and approval from the city’s Franchises & Concessions Review Committee.

In recent months Adams and DOT have announced major investments in protecting pedestrians and bikers on NYC streets. Last month, DOT began hardening delineator-protected bike lanes to keep vehicles out of the paths of bikers.

In January, Adams announced that the city would be making design improvements to 1,000 intersections, including better traffic signals, raised crosswalks, and expanded space for pedestrians. This announcement included a two-year goal of installing 10,000 new bike racks by the end of 2022, including 100 new intersection bike corrals.


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