The Case of the Condemned Bike Rack: Solved!
Earlier this week, East Village blogger EV Grieve posted the above picture of an Astor Place bike rack scheduled for removal. He surmised that the bike rack could have been on the way out to make room for the 55-dock bike-share station planned for the location, but fear not: No such personal bike vs. shared bike parking fight is going down.
According to a DOT spokesperson, the rack is being temporarily removed in order to make room for a Summer Streets activity station. The city’s marquee car-free streets event runs down Park Avenue and Lafayette Street and the open expanse that is Astor Place is a perfect spot to place attractions like a “Cyclo-Phone” and to hold some on-street sunrise salutations. The bike racks will be back after the final Summer Streets installment on August 18.
Streetsblog’s own theory about the not-quite-mysterious bike rack removal didn’t pan out either. The city’s plan to reclaim thousands of square feet of street space at Astor Place and Cooper Square, which was unanimously endorsed by the local community board last January, was supposed to be under construction by spring 2012. Neither DOT nor DDC responded to a Streetsblog inquiry on when the city would break ground on that major new pedestrian space.