DOT Vows: Missing Bike Corral at 78th Precinct Will Be Replaced
That’s one way to combat combat-parking.
The Department of Transportation says it will replace a bike corral that was mysteriously removed from in front of the 78th Precinct station house last year or earlier this year, responding to attacks on social media that the NYPD had removed the corral to create more room for police parking.
First, the backstory:
Earlier this month, a Streetsblog reader who tweets under the handle DoorZone posted a picture revealing that a bike corral that was installed in 2014 at the bequest of a former commanding officer known to be bike-friendly was missing from its spot near the corner of Sixth Avenue and Bergen Street :
This was a bike corral pic.twitter.com/oH0ajQIIdz
— DoorZone (@D00RZ0NE) December 11, 2021
Subsequent online wags were appalled. Dave Abraham posted Google street view pictures showing the bike corral remaining in place for many years. Those pictures follow this narrative arc:
But then the precinct (and StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure, in yellow jacket at right in photo below) was very excited about the corral when it was installed:
Ribbon cutting at bike corral at 78 pct today.Great collaboration with community pic.twitter.com/vsNI4wsP8A
— NYPD 78th Precinct (@NYPD78Pct) November 21, 2014
And it remained in place for a few years (albeit surrounded by illegally parked cars) …
And then (still surrounded) …
But then …
And last week — more than 13 months after the above picture was taken — Streetsblog visited and confirmed the hard truth: The bike corral was still missing:
Many activists assumed that the 78th Precinct was behind the removal of the corral, especially given the circumstantial evidence from a precinct that’s home to rampant illegal parking, terrible driving records by its off-duty officers, and its status as perhaps the only precinct to put in writing that the NYPD has, by name, legalized “combat parking.”
Anyone get someone higher than a Sergeant to say, on the record, they’re allowed to @placardabuse on the sidewalk?
— Sharpie Eraser (@bottles_tommy) December 8, 2021
But a Department of Transportation spokesman said that the agency always intended to restore the corral, which will be reinstalled late this year or next. The agency also said that Commissioner Hank Gutman’s promise to install 10,000 bike racks by the end of next year was well underway, thanks to stepped up installation of bike corrals. The city says it installed 3,824 racks in 2021. That’s more than the last four years combined.
“We have installed an unprecedented number of bike corrals this year as part of our pledge,” said agency spokesman Vin Barone, adding that the city has created 86 bike corrals this year, the highest number ever, and up from just 13 in 2020. In all, the de Blasio administration says it has installed 137 bike corrals since 2014, though it’s unclear how many of those corrals have been uninstalled, as Choresh Wald noted the other day:
Same thing on 2nd Av and 9th St in Manhattan . Put in late 2013, removed in June 2019 for street paving. Never put back. @NYC_DOT never notified anybody, not @CB3Man , not @CarlinaRivera . pic.twitter.com/h1dgr4bnj7
— Choresh Wald (@Choresh2) December 11, 2021