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New York to install free bike pumps for booming cycling population

It's a far cry from the actions of a London council earlier this summer...

New York City is dealing with a huge influx of cyclists by installing public bike pumps in popular areas.

According to a report released earlier this summer by the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT), “In the last decade alone, annual bicycle trips rose 150 percent.”

In reponse to this, the ministry has committed to new bike lanes, bike share schemes, and more safety measures.

It also announced on Twitter that it was installing three free bike pumps, under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn, off of the Williamsburg Bridge on the Manhattan side and at the St. George Staten Island ferry terminal once construction work at the site is finished.

A spokesperson for the DOT told Gothamist, “These specific locations were chosen because they were heavily trafficked and contained some shelter for the pump.”

It’s in line with other cities that are taking measures to keep cyclists on the road.

In Toronto one councillor is pushing to add do-it-yourself bicycle repair stations to parks.

Mary-Margaret McMahon told Metronews: "One of my team members had a flat the other night, and no one was around to help.

"If we are trying to promote cycling culture, we are going to need more of these kinds of initiatives in our city.”

These are already in action in Minneapolis.

"They are not labour-intensive to install, and they're not going to be unaffordable. I think it's a quick easy win," she said.

However as we reported this summer, back in the UK, a London council fined a bike shop for placing a track pump on the pavement outside to enable cyclists to fill their tyres with air.

Officials from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets fined Shoreditch bike shop Isambard’s Cycles £100 for placing a bench outside the shop with the pump attached.

The shop’s owners, Sarah Breese and Timothy James, removed the bench but left the pump there, prompting a return visit from a council enforcement officer who threatened them with a further fine unless they took it away or obtained a licence.

Ms Breese said: “The council’s attitude to small business is that of a feudal lord to a tenant farmer. This fine is the tip of the iceberg but totally in keeping with their broader approach.

“We’re a community bike shop. We keep bikes on the road affordably for thousands of local residents. We try to price people into cycling.

“It’s increasingly difficult for us to survive with the council behaving in this way though.

“Yesterday, the same enforcement officer who fined us the first time was taking pictures of our shop and when we asked what he was doing he said we needed to obtain a licence to be able to have the pump there, otherwise we would be fined.

 “We’re still not sure what the issue with the bench is either - the pavement is wide, it's a corner shop and that road is very quiet. The bench gives us no commercial gain,” she added.

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6 comments

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Ad Hynkel | 6 years ago
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Someone installed one outside Sainsburys in Finnieston (Glasgow) a month or so ago. It filled me with joy to see it, thinking Glasgow has really turned a corner in embracing and supporting cycling. Encased in a solid looking stainless steel tube bolted to the pavement. Sadly, no equal protection for the handle and gauge, it lasted about a week.

Avatar
kieren_lon | 6 years ago
1 like

Compared to London, New York has so much space on the roads to cycle.   TO it's detriment though, th grid system is aweful, making every road a main road or one that crosses a few.  

Maybe London could use existing space and put free to use pumps where the Boris / Santandar bycycle doking stations are?  That way, even if you are new in town, there existing phone apps that can direct you to the nearest pump / dock.

Avatar
recurs replied to kieren_lon | 6 years ago
4 likes
kieren_lon wrote:

Compared to London, New York has so much space on the roads to cycle. 

You must be thinking of a different New York than the one I ride in. 

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds replied to recurs | 6 years ago
1 like
recurs wrote:
kieren_lon wrote:

Compared to London, New York has so much space on the roads to cycle. 

You must be thinking of a different New York than the one I ride in. 

The streets are most definitely wider in NY compared to london, it's just that they are teeming with cars with next to no space allowed by motorists or local government to people on bikes.

Avatar
buzhidao | 6 years ago
1 like

I was in Ireland last week, and I've seen a public bike tools kit, exactly like this one, in Ballyvaughan

https://www.dero.com/product/fixit/

Definitely not a perfect solution, but rather helpful!

Avatar
ktache replied to buzhidao | 6 years ago
0 likes
buzhidao wrote:

I was in Ireland last week, and I've seen a public bike tools kit, exactly like this one, in Ballyvaughan

https://www.dero.com/product/fixit/

Definitely not a perfect solution, but rather helpful!

looks close to perfect for me.

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