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How to Get Your NYC Bike Racks

So you want a bike rack?  Follow Lily on her bike rack surveying adventure and find out how you can help get more bike racks in your New York City neighborhood.  Visit http://fixcity.org/ to find out more.

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Voiceover: [0:06] Thinking of requesting a rack? Wait! Bike rack placement is a lot more complicated than you might think, but it's easy to decode when you look around and ask these three simple questions. [0:19] What features do other people and vehicles need to access? What objects could bikes get in the way of? And, is the surface suitable for a rack?

[0:34] Here's an intersection clearly in need of more bike parking. Stores and restaurants, transit stops, and public spaces are exactly the kind of high traffic places the DOT wants to put racks.

[0:46] First, check the surface. The sidewalk must be at least 11 feet wide. Other surface items, like these grates and this utility cover, need a three foot clearance from a bike rack. This is the least restrictive concern. Most grates are actually now acceptable surfaces, but if they have hinges, the three foot applies. Special sidewalk pavings and cracked areas are also no good.

[1:15] So how about objects, like this street sign? Objects are moderately restrictive, and require a five foot clearance.

[1:25] How about this nice open spot around the corner? But what about access? Openings and amenities which other people and vehicles need access to typically require a 10 to 15 foot clearance. This is the most restrictive concern.

[1:42] Restricted curbs like this are marked with yellow paint, but it may be worn off and hard to see. Remember, the closest appropriate bike rack spot may actually be right across the street. Let's look a little closer.

[1:56] Here we have an object issue with this standpipe. Like most objects, this requires a five foot clearance. How about surface? This is a a perfect concrete sidewalk over 11 feet wide. And lastly, what about access? Building entrances are probably the most common access issue, and require a five foot clearance from where the door line hits the curb.

[2:21] And, it fits!

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[2:22] Sound like a lot to keep track of? Don't worry. You've got it all mapped out for you on this handy dandy print out diagram.

[2:37] So before you request a rack, stop and make life a little easier for yourself and your Department of Transportation by checking out the spot.

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[2:47]



Robin Urban Smith is a multimedia storyteller who prefers to go by bike.

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