While on the campaign trail, mayor-elect Eric Adams played coy about his plans for the city’s bicycle infrastructure. Yet as the borough president’s Gracie Mansion move-in date approaches, he has begun to take a clearer stance on the topic.
Recently, Adams joined members of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives to cut the ribbon on a state-of-the-art bike storage capsule.
Created by the company Oonee, the new storage option is designed to make it easier for New Yorkers to ride a bike to other transportation options where they can then continue their journey, in this case, a NYC Ferry stop..
“We don’t have nearly enough bike parking spaces,” Adams said, after arriving at the event on a bike himself. “I think Transportation Alternatives pointed this out in one of their studies, that there are 116 car parking spaces for every one bike parking space.
“We need to change that scenario,” he added. “People are afraid their bike is going to be stolen.”
The Department of Transportation plans to add 10,000 new bike parking spaces by the end of 2022.
We need to get it done right away,” Adams said. “That’s why we are going to partner with folks like Oonee to get it moving forward at a more rapid pace.”
Adams went on to discuss the economic benefits of bike riding, especially as the pandemic and gas prices make car ownership inaccessible to more and more people.
“The more infrastructure we build, the more likely people will use bikes in a real way,” Adams said. “Best example? The Brooklyn Bridge bike lane. We have witnessed an 88 percent jump in average daily bike crossings over the bridge.”
Previously, Adams committed to building 300 new miles of bike lanes citywide, a goal similar to one set by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Yet at the Oonee Event, Adams criticized the current mayor for prioritizing projects in quickly gentrifying neighborhoods and committed to focus on bringing cycling options to areas further in the outer boroughs.
“I think that we’re creating a model that will be utilized citywide, and we must make sure we go into those non-traditional communities,” he said. Those areas where the infrastructure is not there.”
Adams said investments in cycling can help to support low-income communities and communities of color, but those are the same communities that are sometimes resistant to infrastructure related to cycling.
Adams specifically commended the work of Good Company Bike Club, an organization of Black cycling advocates organizing giveaways and seminars citywide.
“When we want to change people, we have to get on the ground,” he said. “You will never be a good shepherd if you don’t hang out with the sheep.”