New Rochelle has a message for developers in this Westchester County city: put in bike parking or put a check in the mail.
A new bike parking requirement requires developers to install one bike parking space for every 10 car parking spaces built for new commercial or residential buildings (with 10 or more units), or pay $300 in lieu of each required bike parking space. The fee is the same price as a rack for two bikes, which is exactly how the city intends to use the opt-out money.
The pioneering measure is part of Mayor Noam Bramson’s effort to make the city more bike-friendly, reduce energy consumption and provide healthier living for the city’s 72,ooo residents.
“This is one of several steps New Rochelle has taken and hopes to take in order to become more bicycle-friendly and provide residents with transportation options that promote public health, enhance recreation, and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” Mayor Bramson told the Journal News.
New Rochelle recently installed 18 bike racks, designed by a local artist, near City Hall, two parks and its only high school.
The mayor’s move complements countywide efforts to increase cycling and walking options. In May, over 40 people from around the county met for the first meeting of the Westchester Biking and Walking Alliance. The group is advocating for a dedicated county bicycle and pedestrian coordinator and is working with local municipalities for more balanced streets.
Meanwhile, farther south, legislation to expand bike access to buildings throughout NYC was just tabled by the City Council’s transportation committee.