March 11, 2022
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DOT Announces Innovative New Bike Parking Pilot
Starting today, Oonee’s curbside parking “Mini” will be tested at a series of locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens
NEW YORK -- Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced that DOT would pilot a new bike parking model this spring. At a new six-bike protected curbside corral located along West 14th Street in the Meatpacking District, DOT and Brooklyn-based Oonee announced that the company’s “Mini” would be tested through an innovative concession agreement at five separate high-profile locations over the coming months in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The pilot will inform a larger effort to expand secure bike parking Citywide.
“DOT is proud to support a minority-owned business based right here in New York City, with an idea that has met its time,” said Commissioner Rodriguez. “As cycling has grown more popular during the pandemic, we know that finding safe bike parking is among the obstacles riders face – and Oonee expertly meets that need. We want to send a clear message to cyclists this spring: try out a “Mini” so that we can better learn what cyclists need, as we work to bring more bike parking spaces around the City.”
“Speaking on behalf of the entire Oonee team, we are excited and humbled to work with the Department of Transportation and these incredible community based groups to introduce this much needed cycling infrastructure to our streets,” said Shabazz Stuart, Oonee Founder and CEO. “Personally speaking, as a kid who grew up in Brooklyn, this is just a dream come true. Together with the DOT and the Adams Administration we are creating new, green public transit options that are going to enhance quality of life for all New Yorkers. It’s simply a dream come true.”
"The Meatpacking District is thrilled to partner with Oonee Pod and the Department of Transportation to bring secure bicycle parking to the neighborhood," said Jeffrey LeFrancois, Executive Director of the Meatpacking Business Improvement District. "As more New Yorkers return to their offices and explore the city, providing support for additional ways to get around town will be critical to the city's economic success. The Meatpacking District promotes its pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly streets through the BID’s POD Plan and DOT Open Streets program, and we're excited to host this innovative infrastructure to give residents and visitors a space to confidently store their bikes while they work and play in Meatpacking."
Starting today, Oonee’s prototype six-bike corral is going “on tour,” under a concession agreement with DOT that allows the pods to be placed for 29 days in a given location. By moving from place to place, DOT will gather data about use at each location, which will be used to shape next steps for secure bike parking.
The following are the pilot locations planned for the Oonee Mini.
March (starting today) – Meatpacking BID, 400 W 14th Street, Manhattan
April – Lower East Side BID, Broome /Essex near Essex Street Market, Manhattan
May – Union Square BID, SE Corner 14th Street & 5th Ave near New School, Manhattan
June – Prospect Heights NDC, Vanderbilt Ave Open Street near 577 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn
July – 31st Avenue Open Street, near 34-02 31st Ave, Astoria, Queens
Parking with Oonee is free for the duration of the demonstration but will require cyclists to access Oonee through ooneepod.com. Other features of the Mini:
- Interior illumination that allows cyclists to find their bikes at all hours.
- Insurance coverage for bikes included for all bike and scooter users.
- “Oonee Care” staff that keeps parking maintained, including greenery that make the pods more attractive
- Rapid-response customer service
DOT is committed to expanding secure bike parking, with this pilot as a first step of working with the industry. Meanwhile, the agency is also currently engaged in a major effort to increase the number of bicycle corrals and racks Citywide -- with a two-year goal to install 10,000 new racks by the end of 2022 including 100 intersection bike corrals (announced by Mayor Adams in January).
"New Yorkers commute differently, and we deserve modes of transportation that meet us where we are,” said NYC Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, Chair to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “Oonee’s innovative bike parking pilot will make cycling safer and more convenient. I am committed to working with DOT and our community partners to improve New Yorkers’ commutes as the program is piloted across New York.”
“I’ve said it for a long time: if we encourage and make it easier, safer, and more enjoyable, New Yorkers will rely more on greener modes of transportations, and the bike parking model is a perfect example of this,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Thank you, Commissioner Rodriguez, for piloting this great idea. I’m sure it’ll be something we’ll see expanded city-wide in no time.”
“This pilot program is a great step forward toward encouraging more people to use bicycles to get around New York City,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “These mini-pods will offer an innovative way for bicyclists to park their bikes safely, creating peace-of-mind for cyclists and removing one of the barriers that deter people from biking. I look forward to seeing the results of this pilot and am so pleased with the New York City Department of Transportation’s continuing efforts to promote bicycling in Queens and throughout New York City.”
“With soaring gas prices and rising car crash fatalities across the country, it’s never been more important to make bicycling easy and accessible to more New Yorkers,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “Today’s installation of an Oonee secure bike parking pod in the Meatpacking District is a big step in integrating bike infrastructure into our City’s infrastructure, and I couldn’t be more excited.”
“I am pleased to see the City is prioritizing the creation of bicycle infrastructure that will allow more people to safely and conscientiously cycle through our communities, and I thank Commissioner Rodriguez for his leadership,” said Assembly Member Deborah Glick. “Incorporating bicycle storage is a part of that infrastructure and I welcome the inclusion of free or low-cost options to safely park a bike. We should encourage more equitable access to multi-modal transportation options and promote initiatives which encourage responsible cycling in our City.”
“Secure bicycle parking is one of the missing links in our city’s ability to grow cycling across New York.” said Council Member Erik Bottcher. “At a time when cycling is at all-time highs, the city’s infrastructure must keep up. Thanks to Commissioner Rodriguez, Shabazz Stuart, and Jeffrey LeFrancois for their work in making this exciting project happen here.”
“Union Square-14th Street is a central hub of innovation, culture, jobs, and transportation accessibility, and we can think of no better location to demonstrate this exciting new bicycle parking amenity," said Ed Janoff, Deputy Director, Union Square Partnership. "Year over year, cycling in Union Square is on the rise as more and more New Yorkers are pedaling to their desired destinations, and we thank our partners at The New School for partnering with NYC DOT and the Union Square Partnership on this exciting pilot."
"On Open Streets weekends, Vanderbilt Avenue is one of the busiest bicycle corridors in Brooklyn," said Gib Veconi, Chair of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, which operates the Vanderbilt Avenue Open Streets program. "Identifying innovative solutions to support and encourage cycling is an important part of our ongoing work with DOT building a new avenue that meets the community's needs and aspirations. We're delighted to be a host of this important pilot, and look forward to learning from its results."
"We are excited to partner with NYC DOT to launch Oonee at the Essex Market in the Lower East Side." said Tim Laughlin, President of the Lower East Side Partnership, he continued "Smart cycling infrastructure better coordinates the multiple users of our roadways and further enhances the usability and vibrancy of our streets, these are exactly the type of solutions we should be implementing as the public realm continues to evolve in new and exciting ways."
“We're excited to receive an Oonee Mini as part of the physical updates to the 31st Ave Open Street this Summer” said Cormac Nataro, Organizer, 31st Ave Open Streets Collective. “Creating more secure, convenient, and eco-friendly bike storage is a critical part of building out our city's cycling infrastructure, and we're proud to be one of the first Open Streets in the city to participate in the pilot.”
“As our report noted last year, one of the best ways to encourage people to bike is providing access to secure, reliable bike parking,” said Elizabeth Adams, Senior Director for Advocacy and Organizing at Transportation Alternatives. “Secure bike parking will connect more people to transit, reduce car dependency, and is especially critical for working cyclists. We are excited to see the Adams Administration launching this new partnership with Oonee and encourage NYC DOT to bring permanent, secure bike parking infrastructure to neighborhoods across the five boroughs as quickly as possible.”
“Bike parking is critical to encourage biking and make it more accessible for travel and commuting, because we can’t drive our way out of climate change,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “When more people can store their bikes safely, more people bike and less people drive, which is critical to reduce pollution from cars. We’re grateful Mayor Adams and Commissioner Rodriguez have been vocal on the importance of this and are glad to see smart things get done in the City.”
“RPA proudly supports NYC DOT’s continued work enhancing bike parking throughout NYC," said Tiffany-Ann Taylor, Vice President, Transporation, Regional Plan Association. "Today’s pilot program partnership with Oonee provides another important opportunity to expand free, secure, bike parking for New Yorkers. Enhancing cycling infrastructure with safe and accessible uses like this will encourage more riders on our streets. We applaud NYC DOT for fostering creative solutions to traditional challenges and applaud intentional collaboration with a local, Black and Brown-led company.”
“StreetsPAC applauds the Department of Transportation for undertaking this important secure bike-parking pilot with Oonee’s innovative mini-pods,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director, StreetsPAC. “Bike theft is an enormous inhibitor to getting more people riding around the city, and Oonee’s secure, easy-to-use parking facilities will let New Yorkers rest easy that their bikes are safely stored. We’re grateful to Commissioner Rodriguez and his team for their willingness to embrace new solutions – and to Oonee, a New York City-based startup, for bringing safe, secure bike parking to their hometown."
"It's great news that this pilot isn't a general test, but is designed to lead to a wider bike parking program,” said Jon Orcutt, Advocacy Director at Bike New York. “A broad secure bike parking network can be transformative for NYC cycling on the order of the Citi Bike system."