The Not OK Corral

Bike-Corral Debate Exposes Tension in a Brooklyn Community

BEE’postrophe, KAY no’postrophe, ELL WYE ENN … First they opened a little cafe, then:

… they did what a handful of other small-business owners in New York had started to do: ask the city to install a bike corral, a new style of rack that accommodates multiple bicycles and is installed in the street, taking the place of a parked car. …

But … the bike corral set off backlash among many longtime residents and merchants in Crown Heights, who say that they were not consulted and that their parking needs were disregarded.

The Transportation Department says bike corrals alleviate sidewalk congestion and attract more business to a neighborhood, at the expense of only one car parking spot. …

But far from being a welcome addition, the corral has led to a petition seeking its removal, a counter-petition in support, heated community-board discussions and acrimonious debates on local blogs. How a 24-foot-by-7 foot rectangle of public outdoor space has provoked such controversy is a question that has many in the neighborhood puzzled.

Last night I watched shows set in England, Italy and Monte Carlo. There were bikes parked everywhere along narrow, medieval roads. But in NYC where roads are wide and built for autos, they can’t spare even one space.

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