New York City Adding On-Street Bike Parking

Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 10:37 AM

Bike Racks Being installed on Fifth Avenue in front of Gorilla Coffee (photo by Andrea Bernstein)

UPDATED Gorilla Coffee in Brooklyn has become an iconic Fifth Avenue institution: the kind of place where you might go with your Mac to get caffeinated and write your app.

To these accoutrements of hipsterdom, add another: the bike rack.

NYC DOT workers were out Thursday morning installing four round bike racks where a car parking spot once was, in front of self-described Park Slope "micro-roastery" Gorilla Coffee. (The auto parking spot will be replaced by one across the street, currently a 'No Standing' zone.)

In an email, Craig Hammerman, manager of Community Board 6, said the spots were approved by the board.

Of the Fifth Avenue spot, he wrote:  "The bike racks, planter pots and flexible delineators will be installed first, and the white markings on the road surface will be installed shortly thereafter."  Hammerman said the DOT would be restoring the car spot across the street, " by May 31st the latest. When completed, there will be no net loss of vehicular parking to the area, and additional bicycle parking capacity."

Darleen Scherer, one of Gorilla Coffee's owners, tells us that the bike parking was suggested by a customer, who'd heard of a similar move  in Cobble Hill.    "People mostly walk here, or arrive by bike," Scherer said.  "They'd lock up their bikes to a gate, which was really frustrating."

A DOT staffer said there's another such rack at Smith & Sackett, and one on Ninth Avenue in Manhattan.  The spots have to be requested, and sponsors have to pledge to keep the spots clean, since the bike racks will block street cleaning machines.  Here's what the one at Smith & Sackett looked like Friday.

Bike Parking at Smith & Sackett (photo: Andrea Bernstein)

Scherer said the spot had formerly been mostly taken by cars, not delivery vehicles.  Her own delivery vehicles park on the corner, in front of a hydrant. Gorilla parking, you might say.


Comments [7]


I'd like more information on how to go about finding/becoming a bike rack sponsor. There are far too few bike racks in this city.

May. 29 2012 05:48 PM
Alex Goldmark

I mean, if you built a hipster paradise, there'd be bike racks there.

May. 18 2012 03:12 PM

Andrea, since you snapped the picture, presumably while you were riding to work, you probably needed a place to park your bike momentarily. Was the spot where you leaned your bike a hipster accoutrement? Are you a hipster?

As Shakespeare did not say, "A parking space by any other name would still fit your bike."

I love that you covered this, but you don't need to stereotype people based on transportation.

May. 17 2012 03:02 PM
Andrea Bernstein

You've all prompted a lively discussion over here at Transpo Nation about what constitutes a hipster accoutrement. Jim O'Grady says the bikes locked all over the wrought iron fence at waist, sidewalk and head level at the East River State park concerts in Williamsburg, creating a "group sculpture of fixies -- now that's a hipster accoutrement." There's also general wonderment about whether there actually are hipsters in Park Slope. Discuss.

May. 17 2012 02:01 PM
the jim

as an avid cyclist, i'd hate for my bike to be the victim of a late night careless driver who's new to the idea of bikes parked in front of the curb.

still, it's a cool idea, if it can catch on without the cost of too many crushed bikes.

May. 17 2012 11:56 AM

Wait. So if there's an SUV parked out front of Gorilla and the driver goes in to grab some coffee, is his car an accoutrement of hipsterdom?

May. 17 2012 11:25 AM
Benjamin Kabak

Why is coffee, a computer a bike rack marginalized as "hipsterdom"?

May. 17 2012 10:41 AM

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