Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Staten Island Ferry anti-bicycle league, or, adventures in cycling, part III (corrected)

CORRECTION: Oops! It turns out the Staten Island Ferry does let cyclists on board from a ground-level outside entrance reserved for cyclists. Egg on my face, but I'm glad to know that I was mistaken.

I had a breathtaking sunset ride yesterday down the Greenway from Inwood to Battery Park. Upon reaching the Battery, my friend and I entered the Staten Island Ferry station to freshen up and hop on the 1. Imagine my surprise upon being apprehended by security and being told that we could not bring our bikes upstairs (where the restrooms are) because they might be injurious to other patrons (who might, for example, snag their clothing on them). I was flabbergasted--do they make the same statement to individuals with strollers or in wheelchairs? Does the Staten Island Ferry truly not allow bicycle commuters (despite allowing bicycles on the ferry for the 5 Boro Bike Tour)? What kind of green transportation policy is this? Bicycle commuting is not a real option for most New Yorkers unless (a) bicycles can be stored in a safe place when not being ridden (for example, the office) and (b) cycling can be combined with other modes of mass transit (such as trains, subways, and buses).

Conclusion: Fold up the bicycle and stash it in the camo bag before entering unknown buildings. It's a jungle out there.

Have you had similar bicycle-hostile experiences in New York? Report them here.


Anonymous said...

Uh, they don't allow bikes upstairs in the bathroom because it would in fact get very crowded as those bathrooms aren't exactly roomy. Are you surprised they didn't let you take a bike in a cramped area that other people need to use? Do they let you bring your bike inside grocery stores, supermarkets, restaurants? Of course not. Anyone that rides a bike knows as common knowledge that they should always have a lock and chain to tie up temporarily when they need to enter a building as most buildings don't allow bikes.

Urbanis said...

Hi, there. To clarify: I wasn't planning on taking the bike into the bathroom, I was intending to bring it up to the 2nd floor where the ferry access and bathrooms are located. In other words, the bike was being barred from the ferry access floor, which means that (if this is a regular policy that is enforced), bicycle commuters are not permitted on the Staten Island Ferry, which I find problematic.

Anonymous said...

Urbanis, there are two entrances to the ferry from either borough. The bike entrance is always on the first floor so bicyclists can enter the ferry from the ground without ever needing to enter the building. The ground entrance is also reserved exclusively for bike-riders (everyone else must use the 2nd floor entrance). The ferry has no reason to ban bikes, they just don't want them in the building, especially when it gets crowded.

Urbanis said...

Ah, my bad. Thanks for clarifying--that's certainly a relief to know!

Statens Island said...

Oh, Thanks for clarifying thats certainly a relief to know about the bike safety while entering in the building.

Thanks again