New bills give cyclists better access to elevators


The City Council on Wednesday passed a package of three bicycle bills aimed at giving commuters better bicycle access to elevators in residential and commercial buildings under the Bicycle Access Law.

One bill, sponsored by Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, mandates that office buildings in the city must allow foldable bicycles in offices’ passenger elevators.

“Biking to work is healthy way to commute, and it helps relieve our over-trafficked streets and overcrowded buses and subways during rush hour. Today we’re updating the law to reflect the growing trend of commuting by foldable bicycle. Presumably if a person can fit in an elevator, so can their foldable bike,” said Rosenthal in a statement. The Manhattan lawmaker said she herself enjoys cycling to work.

Another bill, from Councilman Juumane Williams, would allow commuters to bring their bikes in office buildings’ passenger elevators if freight elevators are closed.

The legislators have argued that certain freight elevators occasionally close before the end of the work day, are locked or generally not easily accessible to workers.

And the third piece of legislation, sponsored by Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, requires residential building owners to allow all bicycles in their buildings’ passenger elevators.

“With our trains and streets so crowded, we have to incentivize cycling in our city,” said Rodriguez in an emailed statement. “Easing building access for bike owners is a no brainer as we move to make this option more attractive to more New Yorkers.”

 

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