New Rochelle City Council Approves New Bike Rack Requirements

Written By: Peggy Godfrey

Cyclists turned out in force at City Hall on June 16 to testify in favor of a proposed law to mandate bicycle racks on all residential developments containing ten or more dwelling units. In mixed use and non-residential developments with l0 or more parking spaces, a bicycle parking facility must be provided. If it is not possible to provide parking space for bicycle racks, a payment can be made to the City’s “Bicycle Rack Fund.”

More than a half dozen speakers favored the passage of this legislation. Melinda Maxwell “strongly” supported the proposal because she felt there was a great need for these racks. Education is needed to explain bicycle safety. Dr. Linda Apuzzi supported the proposal because bicycles should have the same provisions for parking as cars.

A traveling therapist also supported the legislation because she recounted when she rides herself to work, she often has no place to park her bicycle. Often she takes her bicycle into the grocery store. On North Avenue she claimed the traffic can be “insane” and she has to ride along the sidewalks. It was also felt bicycle racks in the business area would help the merchants. Since cars can’t park in downtown now they keep going.

James Cooper who works for a bicycle shop claimed lots of his customers support the legislation. If the racks allow people to lock up their bikes, the train station, in particular, can be made “bike friendly.”

Finally it was stated that clear signage amd strategic placement of bicycle racks would make New Rochelle a “greener city.”

Mayor Noam Bramson responded that the additional suggestions made that evening were welcomed with an “open mind.” The City Council may vote on this legislation on June 23.

Plainfield Today, a hyper-local news blog in Plainfield, NJ, linked to this story as they work to pass a similar ordinance in their city:

One ‘Queen City’ to another: New Rochelle’s lesson for Plainfield

Plainfield and New Rochelle, NY, have many similarities besides both being known as ‘the Queen City’, and New Rochelle has recently done something that Plainfield may want to consider doing…It’s requiring bike racks in new residential and mixed-use developments of ten or more units…