Cyclists will be able to stow their wheels right next to their desks, thanks to a new bill approved by the City Council this week.
The legislation, proposed by City Councilman David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights), will require owners of large commercial buildings to allow bicyclists to bring their two-wheelers into their offices rather than leave them outside to be preyed upon by thieves or the elements.
But Yassky said he pushed for the legislation on environmental grounds.
“In a city in which one in eight kids has asthma, this bill is a long overdue step toward reducing carbon emissions, improving public health, and building a sustainable transportation infrastructure,” said Yassky.
The bill passed on Wednesday by a 46 to 1 vote. The only dissenting vote was from Erik Dilan (D–Bushwick).
Such a piece of legislation may sound like a no-brainer, but building owners and management companies did lobby against it, claiming that bicycles clutter up hallways and damage floors, and that it would be a hardship to provide ramps and other forms of access for bicyclists.
But Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said such lobbying was ultimately pointless, as “improved [bike] access is a tremendous boon for businesses who want to encourage cycling among their employees.” Bike advocates, of course, hailed the bill, which Mayor Bloomberg is expected to sign.
“No other city in the country has a policy like the one the City Council passed,” said Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives. “When we open the doors of New York City’s workplaces to cyclists, tens of thousands of commuters are going to get on two wheels.”
The bill not only requires access, but demands that business owners let employees know that they are allowed to bring bikes to their offices.