In typical March yo-yo weather style, we started to feel the warm dawn of spring when temps climbed to 70 degress, and then two weeks later the weather snapped back into a brilliant frost. At any rate, very soon we’ll be entering bicycle season. (Although of course for some of us it’s year round). We’ve examined the various types of bike racks along Manhattan Avenue, one of Greenpoint’s main bicycle thoroughfares, and the ways you can petition for more racks.

An upside down U-shape bike rack on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint.

Upside-Down U Shape
An oldschool design, these are pretty prolific all around NYC. They’re not the latest model, but they do the job. Report a broken rack here.

An unused hoop rack on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint.

Hoop Rack
The hoop rack is NYC’s latest design, the new gold standard for bike racks in NYC as of 2010. The horizontal bar makes it easier for you to lock your frame to the rack than the older upside-down U shape. They’re iconic, and due to intellectual property rights—they were designed by Ian Mahaffy and Maarten de Greeve who won the 2008 contest—these racks are not for sale to the general public. Anyone can suggest a new location for a bike rack, but the location must meet specified guidelines.

Shiny new bike corral in front of Achilles Heel on West Street.

Bike Corral
Bike Corrals are bike racks that take up street space next to the curb. Anyone can apply for one, but according to the Department of Transportation, “every bike corral needs a maintenance partner to keep the bike corral clear of snow and debris.” Basically, someone needs to be held accountable for the space, ’cause the DOT ain’t got time for that. A business, community group and/or an individual can be designated as a maintenance partner. The DOT comes up with a design for the space, then the Community Board has to approve it as well. So it’s not necessarily a speedy process. Achilles Heel first applied for one in front of their bar/restaurant back in June of last year. Their proposal has gone in front of the Community board twice, most recently in September. And the sweet-looking new racks just got installed in the last few weeks.

A Citibike rack on Nassau Avenue is in the works.

Citibike Racks
We all know what these are, they’re the racks for NYC’s own rent-a-bike service that’s been in mass use for the past few years. According to the Citibike site, there’s a new rack planned for Nassau Ave on the East side of McGuinness at Newell. It goes without saying that you should only park Citibikes in these racks.

Bike rack in front of Glasserie on Commercial Street in Greenpoint.

Owner-Installed Racks
If you’re a property owner, you can install a rack on your own property. But they should be approved and installed by the DOT.

And if you want to be a good samaritan cyclist, aka a decent human being, here’s a previous post about How To Not Lock Your Bike Like An A-Hole.

What do you think? Do we need more bike racks in Greenpoint, especially on Manhattan Aveue since it’s a main bike path for the neighborhood? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Yes, Greenpoint desperately needs more bike racks, however, please not at the expense of free parking spots. I get that most of Greenpoint’s newest and soon-to-be residents mostly work in Manhattan and neither have a need for nor care about owning a car, but for those of us who have lived in Greenpoint with a family and depend on a car, private parking spaces are both extremely scarce and terribly expensive.

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