Commerce Bank to Cyclists: Your Money’s No Good Here


From a tipster comes this story of what happens when a cyclist tries to conduct business using the "vehicles only" windows at the Commerce Bank branch on Prospect Park Southwest at Park Circle.

I have been a customer for almost seven years now, and last week I came to deposit a large amount just as the inside bank was closing. As I couldn't get in, I went around on my bicycle to where the vehicle tellers were located. There were four tellers sitting there chatting and doing their nails, and when I asked to make the deposit, they kept repeating that it was "for vehicles only." Confused, I looked around, and there were no cars waiting.

When I pressed the woman on why I couldn't, in 30 seconds, on a bicycle, make a deposit, she sat there and robotically kept telling me it was for vehicles only. When I really loudly asked for a reason, she looked around and said, "Why, a car may run you over while you sit here and make a deposit!" Unbelievable! I was extremely pissed off. At least she did me the favor of giving me a reason to bike around the park three more times (to work out my anger).

It's outrageous that in one of the world capitals of public transit and bicycle riding, with daily news of how fuel prices are skyrocketing and how congestion threatens New York City's economy, that Commerce Bank would not only refuse to serve me on a bicycle, but explicitly encourage vehicular traffic.

Outrageous, yes. But not surprising -- except maybe for the fact that Commerce Bank is also the primary sponsor of the Five Boro Bike Tour, and sponsors a similar event in Philadelphia. So while the company is attaching its name to popular cycling events, it's also plopping down suburban-style drive-thru outlets in urban neighborhoods and denying service to city-dwelling customers who travel by bike.