Queens CB1 Chair: Secure Bike Parking Serves “No Purpose”
A zoning change that would provide better bike parking options in new buildings is wending its way through the city's public review process, which means 59 community boards have a chance to vote on it. The Queens Gazette reports from the goings on at CB1, which encompasses Astoria and Long Island City:
"I see no purpose to this [zoning] text change," said Community Board 1 chairperson Vinicio Donato. Board 1 voted down the zoning amendment, 25 to 8 (one abstention). The bicycle parking proposal is being voted on citywide by all community boards. After the boards' vote, DCP will hold a public hearing in January and the City Council has the final vote.
There you have it. Even after hearing a City Planning presentation explaining how better bike parking options would reduce congestion, improve air quality, and boost public health, Donato -- who has chaired CB1 since 1975 -- claims not to see the point of providing secure places for people to put their bikes. His stance may carry no binding authority, but Donato's board is assumed to speak for the community at large.
Note that CB1's zoning and variance committee did approve the bike parking measure. The whole situation is reminiscent of the Vernon Boulevard bike lane discussion last summer. Back then, CB1 refused to put the measure to a vote in a general meeting, opting instead to send a letter of opposition to DOT and local electeds.
We've seen determined activism from the Inwood and Washington Heights Livable Streets Group gradually pay dividends in northern Manhattan's CB12. Transportation Alternatives' Queens Committee has been just as active in western Queens. Will persistent local support for livable streets start to sway CB1?