PARK SLOPE — The NYPD's 78th Precinct stationhouse is ditching a parking space for a bike parking corral in a bid to draw more bikers, officials said.
Police requested the bike corral — which the Department of Transportation will install in one of the on-street parking spaces outside the precinct — to make the stationhouse more inviting to bikers, said the precinct's commanding officer, Capt. Frank DiGiacomo.
"The 78th Precinct is obviously a big bicycling community," DiGiacomo said. "We feel that putting in a bike corral will draw people. It welcomes the community into the precinct, which is great."
The bike corral must be approved by Community Board 6. DOT is scheduled to unveil plans for the corral at the Community Board 6 transportation committee meeting on Oct. 16.
DOT initially suggested putting the corral across the street from the stationhouse, but DiGiacomo said he requested that it be installed right outside, on Bergen Street near Sixth Avenue.
The corral will help meet a growing demand for bike parking in the neighborhood surrounding the precinct, said N. Wayne Bailey, president of the 78th Precinct Community Council.
"It's a heavily traveled area for bikes, so it's a great idea," Bailey said. The 400 bike parking spots at the nearby Barclays Center were recently fenced off because of construction, so cyclists have far fewer parking options, Bailey said.
The sometimes controversial bike corrals have popped up across the city since DOT launched the program in 2011. Businesses that want to cater to customers who cycle can request the corrals, but they must also agree to keep them clear of trash and snow. In some cases the corrals have planters which the businesses keep stocked with flowers.
In Park Slope, there are currently corrals outside Gorilla Coffee on Fifth Avenue, the 15th Street YMCA Armory building, and Rose Water restaurant on Union Street.
The bike parking is the latest in a series of cyclist-friendly moves the 78th Precinct has made in recent years. In 2012, the precinct used traffic barriers to create a makeshift bike lane on Bergen Street, and police won praise from cycling advocates when they were spotted shoveling snow out of the lane. DOT recently made the lane permanent.
The 78th Precinct launched a bike patrol earlier this year, and now holds a monthly meeting about traffic and pedestrian safety issues in the precinct, which covers Park Slope, parts of Gowanus, Prospect Park and the Barclays Center.