The photo accompanying this article says it all! What mastermind in the City administration arranged to have so many bike racks placed in the street in front of the entrance to 175 West 13th Street, a busy apartment building?
These racks block the ingress and egress to the building and thus, apparently violate the American Disabilities Act, Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG) sections 4.1, 4.3 and 4.6. In a building with so many seniors, and a number with disabilities, this bike barricade presents a nearly insurmountable obstacle to their use of any vehicle when entering or leaving the building.
However, in addition to the foregoing, common sense tells you that it will be nearly impossible for anyone, disabled or not, to load or unload any vehicle in front of the building entrance. Furthermore, sanitation men have great difficulty in taking trash from the sidewalk, and because we live on a narrow, heavily trafficked street, a garbage truck will block all traffic on the entire block back to 6th Avenue. You can imagine the chaos, the noise, and pollution that will ensue. Just think what is going to occur on our block on days when the ridiculous street fairs also clog the surrounding streets. Nothing will move.
Did I fail to mention that when bikers are taking their bikes from the racks, there is a real danger that they will be struck by a vehicle speeding to beat the light on the nearby corner?
Needless to say, a number of the limited parking spaces available on our block will also be lost to us.
It is also important to note that the residents of 175, as well as the entire block, were not given adequate notice of the installation of these bike racks. We did not have the opportunity to have any input in planning the location of the bike racks and the number which should be placed at any set location.
Not only is the DOT responsible for this fiasco, but we have been let down by our local officials. Where was our estimable Council Speaker in this process? Where was our Borough President? It’s been suggested that they may have been out campaigning or trying to help NYU to further expand so as to crush the rest of the Village. Who knows? But they weren’t watching the store.
Gary Tomei, President
W.13 Street 100 Blk Assn