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No, You Can’t Say Your Bike Rack Is ‘Private’ - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


No, You Can’t Say Your Bike Rack Is ‘Private’


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privateNoah Fecks

The city’s Department of Transportation confirmed late yesterday what seemed obvious: you can’t claim a bike rack on a sidewalk as private, even if you installed it yourself.

The Local submitted the oddball inquiry yesterday after reporting on the mystery of the “private” rack on East Fourth Street. A local plumber told The Local he installed the rack at the request of Flash Courier Service, and assumed it would be available to the public. But as it turned out, someone has claimed the rack as his own, and left notes warning that the “trespassing” bikes will be forcibly removed.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation said that the rack did not appear in city records. “Still, even if a permit is issued for installation, that does not mean the bike rack is for the exclusive use of the owner if it is installed on a public sidewalk,” the spokeswoman added.

In fact, the city’s administrative code paves the way for the rack to be removed (if transportation officials deem it worthy).

“The commissioner may serve an order upon the owner of any premises requiring such owner to remove or alter any unauthorized projection or encroachment, on or in front of his premises, within a period to be specified in such order,” according to section 19-133 of the administrative code.

And even worse, the person who installed it may have to foot the bill. “The commissioner may remove or alter or cause such encroachment or projection to be removed or altered at the expense of the owner or constructor thereof, who shall be liable to the city for all expenses that it may incur by such removal or alteration.”