A new report from the online real estate database company StreetEasy ranks Battery Park City as the third bike-friendliest community anywhere in the five boroughs of New York, trailing only the Lenox Hill section of the Upper East Side, and Park Slope, Brooklyn.
The report cites the availability of bike lanes, the number of Citi Bike docking stations, and the near-universality of bike storage spaces within residential buildings, as well as in some office buildings.
The StreetEasy analysis credits Battery Park City with having 6.4 miles of bike lanes, which may strike some residents as overstated. This figure was apparently arrived at by counting the length of the bike path along West Street twice (once for each direction), the length of the Esplanade twice (again, once for each direction), and then adding the various pedestrian paths that cut through parks, most of which are open to cyclists.
Not specifically mentioned in the report, but likely also a factor in what might be described as the area’s “philo-cyclicity,” is the amount of public space in the community, which amounts to fully one-third of Battery Park City’s 92 acres.
The concentration of Citi Bike stations noted by StreetEasy (five, in an area that amounts to less than 15 percent of a square mile) appears to be one of the highest anywhere in Manhattan, outside of Midtown.
Bike storage spaces within residential buildings are also an asset, but their value is mitigated by the years-long waiting lists that some apartment towers have posted, as management companies struggle to ration out a few dozen spaces among (in some cases) many hundreds of apartments. On the upside, most residential buildings charge a nominal fee of around $100 per year for the spaces they have available. This helps to mitigate the sticker-shock pricing of local parking garages, which (like all such facilities in the five boroughs that house more than 100 vehicles) are required by law to offer daily and monthly bike parking. Because the parking garage industry has scant enthusiasm for allocating to bicycles valuable square footage that would otherwise serve cars, and because their fees are unregulated, many local garages have resorted to what cycling advocates refer to as “go-away pricing,” intended to discourage the public from utilizing the amenity. In some cases, garages have posted prices of $200 or more for a monthly bike space.
The StreetEasy report does not mention another plus that local bikers prize, albeit with a touch of ambivalence: Battery Park City has an unusually high density of outdoor, public bike racks. The equivocal enthusiasm stems from the fact that these racks tend to act as magnets for bicycle thieves, and from the Battery Park City Authority’s periodic decisions to purge from these facilities of cycles that have been parked there for months at a time.
To view the original StreetEasy report cited here, please browse: streeteasy.com/blog/top-nyc-neighborhoods-for-bikers/