Post tagged with


Bike Rack Extraction at Astor Only Temporary


Concerned cyclists can breathe easy: the two bike racks being removed from the west side of the cube at Astor Place tomorrow will be reinstalled after August 18, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation. The racks are not going to be replaced by a bike share station, as some commenters had speculated on EV Grieve. Rather, they’re being taken out to make way for Summer Streets, the annual event that closes roads to cars on the first three weekends in August and includes a stage at Astor Place. (So no need to go claiming one of the remaining racks as private). If you’re looking for the zip line that the city set up in Union Square last month as a teaser for Summer Streets, though, you’ll have to head south to Foley Square near City Hall.

‘Private’ Bike Rack, We Hardly Knew Ye

IMG_0217Stephen Rex Brown All that’s left of the rack.

The bike rack on East Fourth Street that a scofflaw cyclist claimed as his own has been removed.

Kyle, the East Fourth Street resident who had his bike stolen from the rack last weekend, noticed that the rack was gone this morning. Sure enough, where once was an arched beam with “Private Bike Rack” painted on it there is now nothing more than six bolts in the sidewalk.

“It’s obviously a bummer that the bike rack had to go, but it’s better than having to put up with someone’s abuses,” said Kyle, who did not wish to give his last name for fear of a confrontation with the rack’s “owner.”

He added, “That guy probably wasn’t going to relent. If it were the bike rack or the guy, the only thing that would have changed is the rack.”

The Local is awaiting a response from The Department of Transportation, regarding whether it removed the rack between Avenues A and B. Back in October the department confirmed that it hadn’t installed the rack, and that it was illegal to claim it as one’s own. In fact, the department can bill whoever installed the rack for the expense of removing it. Of course, that seems unlikely given that the owner has never come forward, though rumors abound.

Update | 4:31 p.m. A spokeswoman for The Department of Transportation confirmed that workers removed the rack today, and that it had received no complaints about it since October. Read more…

Bicycle Stolen from Notorious ‘Private Rack’

IMG_0139Stephen Rex Brown Ten months after it first appeared, the “private” bike rack is still in place.

The city’s administrative code doesn’t allow it, but that hasn’t stopped someone from continuing to claim that the bike rack on East Fourth Street between Avenues A and B is private.

The bike stolen from the 'private' rack The stolen bike.

Now, one cyclist who dared to goad the person leaving menacing messages taped to bikes on the rack paid the ultimate price — his ride was stolen.

The cyclist, Kyle, who asked to be identified by only his first name for fear of a confrontation with the person writing the nasty notes, lives in a building facing the rack. He said he’d been flouting the “owner” of the rack’s demands for months.

In fact, the bicycle featured in The Local’s first story on the rack belonged to Kyle’s girlfriend. A note left on it in October read, “This is a private rack. Remove your bike or it will be done for you!!”

“We’ve been ignoring them. I’m not going to listen to that because it’s not legal,” Kyle said. “It’s crazy that this person thinks he can do that.”

It all came to a head last week. Read more…

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

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. Read more…

The Mystery of the ‘Private’ Bike Rack on East Fourth

private1Noah Fecks

Someone is leaving menacing messages on a bike rack on East Fourth Street, warning cyclists that they are not allowed to park on the u-shaped steel he claims as his own.

Four days ago, photographer Noah Fecks sent a snapshot to The Local, of two bikes parked at the rack between Avenues A and B with notes attached to them saying “This is a private rack — remove your bike or it will be done for you!” Yesterday, one of the bikes remained, bearing the same note.

But this is not just a run-of-the-mill case of an over-assertive cyclist claiming a parking space. A longtime local who identified himself as a plumber and welder, but asked not to be named, told The Local that he installed the bike rack for the landlord of 211 East Fourth Street, who he said ran Flash Courier Service out of the building. (The courier service indeed has an East Fourth Street address on Foursquare, but is said to be located on East Fifth Street on and elsewhere; today, an employee who said he did not have time to speak to The Local brusquely told us the company was located on Lenox Avenue before hanging up.) Read more…