Eyes on the Street: The Case of the Vanishing Bike Shelter
According to a blurb in the Manhattan Times, a spokesperson with DOT said the shelter was removed due to lack of use. Though there are three "U" racks on the same block, this doesn't make a lot of sense in light of agency efforts to encourage cycling by making bike parking more accessible -- especially considering the relatively short span of time the shelter had been in place.
One rumor swirling about the neighborhood is that a Dyckman Street restaurateur desirous of sidewalk cafe space had a hand in the shelter's banishment, as it was situated in front of his newest location, now under construction. But even if that were true -- we've seen no evidence to support such a theory -- it's hard to imagine DOT would uninstall a piece of infrastructure at the request of a single business owner.
Community Board 12 wasn't consulted on the change, transportation committee chair Mark Levine told Streetsblog.
Given Inwood's general lack of bike racks, and with livable streets advocates about to embark on the third year of their campaign for safer cycling conditions on Dyckman, we're extremely curious as to why this shelter was taken away. As of this writing, however, two queries to DOT have brought no response.