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.