CB1 rejected cargo bike parking alongside Whole Foods

The Department of Transportation proposed a cargo bike delivery parking area on Warren alongside Whole Foods, and last month CB1’s Executive Committee shot down the Transportation Committee’s original approval. The topic will come up tonight at Transportation again, and hopefully the committee can readdress the issue and see this as an opportunity to get trucks off our neighborhood streets.

UPDATE: It’s already installed!

In short, the exec committee thought that the cargo bike parking area was a worse use of the city’s streets than truck parking, which it is currently for weekdays from 7a to 6p. Members also said it would take away parking for personal vehicles at night and on the weekend, and others thought Whole Foods should not get to use public streets for free for its delivery vehicles — that it was akin to placard parking.

“A loss of parking spaces in Lower Manhattan is really a travesty,” said one committee member. “I have a problem taking space away from citizens, tax payers, so one of the richest people in the world can have free parking,” said another. “He should have built a garage when he put that place up.” Since some neighbors are driving to work during the pandemic, committee members thought they needed these parking spaces even more.

The DOT reps tried to explain that this is their effort to reduce truck traffic on the city streets by replacing them with cargo bikes, and also get the cargo bikes off the sidewalk. This site is part of a pilot program that will create curbside parking for 200 bikes across the city, and Whole Foods would replace the vans it uses currently with bikes instead.

The space would not be reserved for Whole Foods cargo bikes — it would be FCFS for any bike — but there would be bigger spaces in the center designed for cargo bikes and chances are, they would beat most people to the spaces. It replaces a length of six vans, and has six spaces for regular bikes on either end.

“Overall we think it is an improvement over having a truck loading zone,” said the DOT rep. They added that it would also keep the cargo bikes off sidewalks, where they currently load. The area would be marked off by flexible bollards. “The DOT’s goal is to switch over from delivery vans to cargo bikes, and to make bike delivery more accessible.”

DOT said the Bike Corral Program typically requires the community board vote to move ahead, so the vote shot down the plan.   UPDATE: Maybe that’s typical, but the corral is there now.



  1. Yeah let’s give Jeff Bezos more free loading dock space since his subcontractors are everywhere. Spare me more space for bikes when you can keep your bike at home & use a gazillion Citibikes @ Laight Street off Hudson Street alone. Let’s privatize public parking spaces, turn them into the parking space version of luxury housing where Amazon gets most of the spots & all the little people get spots for their bikes, too, like luxury housing developers designate x amount of housing for non-market tenants.

    How are these cargo bikes nothing more than pedicabs for goods? Not to mention they add to traffic congestion as they are much slower than a vehicle & you know they’ll be illegally driven on the wide Greenwich Street sidewalk & Hudson River Park bike lane.

    Bikes are nothing more than a first step towards privatizing public space now. They’re also a means to help Amazon create a monopoly. Think about it: only Amazon vehicles can deliver then their bikes carry the cargo. No room for anyone else.

    Amazon wants driverless delivery vehicles & 15 an hour wage slaves who are literally fuel-free since they walk & bike to go with their despicable self-checkout & cashless cash registers which tell poor people to bleep off.

  2. Fresh Direct and UPS, among others, have taken ownership of numerous parking spaces in Tribeca. Do the get a free pass? Can I set up an office in a few parking spaces?

  3. Looks like the Whole Foods bike corral got installed after all. It went in sometime today (Tues, 11/24). Info at StreetsblogNYC: https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2020/11/24/dot-installs-lower-manhattan-cargo-bike-zone-despite-community-board-nay/

    I’m really happy to see it. Replacing lumbering gasoline trucks with human-and-electric powered bikes means less fumes in the air and more space on the streets. A win-win, especially if, as hoped, this pilot opens the door to deploying cargo bikes citywide. And it’s especially gratifying to see NYC DOT blow past fatuous objections and try something innovative and forward-thinking.

    As for Jeff Bezos: If, like me, you don’t like his extreme wealth, please support electeds like AOC and advocacy groups like Tax Justice Now that are working to return tax rates on the super-rich to Eisenhower-era levels. You can work to rein in his and other billionaires’ wealth and power and make our streets more human-scale and sustainable at the same time.

    • Oh please. You mean those lumbering gasoline trucks which deliver the food those human and electric powered bikes deliver. You do know those trucks will have to dock elsewhere right? Where do you think the store stock comes from, thin air?

      How are the objections “fatuous”? Say a business rents out a space which stretches an entire block. Can they get free parking spaces too? I mean how much us Amazon paying for the use of these public parking spaces hmmm? Your contempt for teamsters & truck drivers in general couldn’t be more obvious.

      I am not surprised this corporate, developer shill of a city government privatized these parking spaces to benefit a gazillionaire who pays his workers like crap relative to what he earns & grosses.

      You people who want a vehicle-free city are overprivilrged prigs who can afford to not have a car yet hypocritically own then yourselves for your commute & trips out of the city. How ’bout we eliminate your parking spaces hmmm? I mean if you live in TriBeCa & work on 23rd Street off Fifth Avenue what the hell do YOU need a car & parking space for it? Love how most of the car-free crowd owns cars & uses Uber/Lyft all the time.

      Now that the New York Democrats have won a supermajority of the state Senate I hope they tax Amazon out the ass.

    • So long as the bikes stay off the sidewalks, I’m all for it!

      It’s become so dangerous these days with delivery people riding their electric bikes at high speed down the sidewalk because they don’t want to follow the flow of traffic, or want to avoid the cobbles. We don’t need any more of that.

      • Those bikes should be ticketed for the first offense then seized for the second. Problem is we don’t have a traffic cop on the beat to ticket anyone. First Precinct wants to do nothing or as little as possible. Call Whole Foods to report one of their electric bikers ideally with a photo or even better a video of the sidewalk speeder & BCC it to Councilwoman Margaret Chin & Community Board 1.

        • It’s not just the Whole Foods delivery people, it’s the Postmates and Caviar and other delivery folks too. I agree, they should be ticketed in increasing amounts for each violation. I have written to Margaret Chin, Yuh-Line Niou, Deborah Glick, and Brian Kavanaugh – no response from any of them.

  4. If I’m understanding this correctly, and I may not be, this area was previously used for delivery trucks and vans, and now it will be restricted to cargo bikes (and other bikes), and is also supposed to eliminate the use of the sidewalk for loading carts. Doesn’t sound so bad to me! And don’t forgot that those trucks and vans were so noisy, beeping when they backed up, which went on all day long. Keeping an open mind.
    And dare I say that I love the convenience of Amazon, and do not resent them just because they are making money! They have been an amazing resource, especially during the pandemic. So there I’ve said it. I’m an Amazon fan!

  5. The electric bikes and scooters are a big problem. All should have license plates and be registered so that there is some kind of accountably. The Hudson River bike path has turned into a dangerous road because of them. I have even encountered Revel scooters on this path that is not designated for motor powered vehicles of any type. There is no enforcement of this rule and these vehicles speed along this path as they feel they are entitled to do so and that there are no consequences for doing so. First precinct does nothing and the Hudson River park police are nowhere to be found. Not even going to address the constant electric bikes on the streets dangers in this response…

  6. He is a nothing of a state Senator. Handed his seat on a backroom literally in 2018. He should be primaried in 2022 if only so he has to show his face in public.

    TheIy’re all corporate suckups.

  7. Dear Tribeca residents and families:

    Tribeca Citizen helped raise awareness by flagging this. However, please be aware of additional critical points beyond lost parking discussed with CB1 on 11/23 at its 6pm meeting (to no avail given cargo bike parking was installed 11/24 at 8am):

    1)SAFETY – Warren Street has heavy pedestrian and school traffic from 2 elementary schools+community center+ball field. Also, personnel cannot load bikes without cutting across sidewalk traffice in perpendicular fashion with their heavy carts. The next few months are unlikely to fully demonstrate the danger given many families have left, but this is a serious issue.

    2)THERE ARE SAFER STREET OPTIONS – Amazon/WF had 3 other street options, including Murray Street which has a formal loading dock where this can be executed properly and SAFELY (for pedestrians and personnel). An objective to reduce carbon emission is great, however onous is on the company (Amazon/WF) to do this without endangering pedestrians and personnel.

    3)LACK OF DUE PROCESS – There is heavy opposition from Tribeca community residents, Downtown Community Center and staff/families of two elementary school (P.S. 234 and P.S. 89) to install the cargo bike parking on Warren Street given significant safety concerns on also already busy street, and yet Dept of Transportation claims no opposition was raised in their “survey.” This is not possible, just check out the replay from the CB1 meeting on 11/23. There is zero evidence of any proper survey and the community and residents deserve to be treated fairly and have a true voice in the process.

    If you share all or any of these concerns, please communicate your concerns and opposition to the following:
    Whole Foods (phyllis.tritto@wholefoods.com)

  8. I am confused as to why anyone would prefer trucks and cars over someone on a bike. A car or truck and can kill anyone. A bike rarely ever does. As far as free parking goes….welll then charge for the use of the streets to everyone.