It’s official. New York City has become a bike-riding town. The number of commuters biking to work has nearly tripled since 2002, according to a NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) study.

This is fantastic news…unless you are a tree mistaken for a bike rack.

Locking your bike to a tree –or even leaning it against a tree—eats away at the bark, increasing potential for disease. Your Curb Allure tree guards also suffer since bikes scratch powder coating. This is how crazy things can get:

NYC CityRacks Bikeracks help protect trees because unlike this picture, bikes are not wrapped around a tree

Does this scene look familiar to you? Luckily, there’s an easy fix: CityRacks bike racks provided by the DOT to accommodate any type of bicycle or locking system.

Even better, CityRacks bike racks are free. To obtain one, fill out this downloadable form to request installation of a bike rack in your area. If approved, your location will be added to a list for manufacturing and installation. Your rack will become the city’s property, meaning NYC will take responsibility for all maintenance. New York will not, however, take care of our bicycles. These racks are designed for temporary bike parking not full-time housing. Real estate is scarce enough in this town!

The only trick remains getting your location approved. Given how crowded our sidewalks can get, the DOT created a list of highly specific requirements. To be sure you meet these criteria, here is a list of key rules:

In general, CityRacks bike racks are placed

  • on City-owned property
  • on wide concrete sidewalks (the minimum sidewalk width is 12 feet)
  • away from the natural flow of pedestrians, always 10 feet away from crosswalks
  • usually 1.5–2 feet away from the curb line
  • a minimum of 5 feet from street signs, mailboxes, benches or telephones
  • 15 feet away from fire hydrants, and 15 feet from bus stop shelters and newsstands
  • CityRacks can not be installed on pavers, cobblestone, brick, stone, slate, or custom or patterned concrete.

You’ll also need to be patient. Due to growing demand, the DOT estimates a wait time of six months before it can even review your request. For those who want bike racks for spring 2016, now is the ideal time to start. In the meantime, keep peddling, New Yorkers!

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