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Eyes on the Street: The Case of the Vanishing Bike Shelter

dyckmanshelterarray.jpgNow you see bike infrastructure, now you don't. Photos: Brad Aaron
Last October, DOT installed Inwood's first bike shelter [1] on Dyckman/200th Street at Broadway. A little over a week ago, it disappeared without a trace.

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 [2] more accessible [3] -- 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 [4], and with livable streets advocates about to embark on the third year of their campaign for safer cycling conditions on Dyckman [5], 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.