Parking Your Bike
Bike Parking and Storage Locations
In September 2020, NYU added 232 bike parking spots around Washington Square and in downtown Brooklyn, more than doubling capacity. Explore the bike parking map to find bike racks and parking locations near you.
Bike theft is unfortunately common in New York City and taking preventative steps to secure your bike can reduce your chances of becoming a victim to bike theft.
How to Lock Your Bike
Review this guide on Locking Your Bicycle for information on where and where not to lock your bike and best practices to prevent theft.
- Invest in heavy-duty locks. Although anyone motivated enough can cut through any lock, cheap locks and cables can easily be cut. High quality chains and U-locks require heavier duty tools to cut, which will draw attention to any potential theft and increase the amount of time it takes for someone to cut your lock. Ask your local bike shop to recommend a lock. With a $25 membership to Transportation Alternatives, you can save up to $40 off any Kyrptonite New York lock.
- Most common method: Lock your bike through the frame and rear wheel. Always lock your bike through your frame and one of the wheels, preferably the rear wheel. Never lock your bike only through the wheel, since someone could remove your wheel and steal the rest of the bike.
- Safest method: Secure the four theft targets: frame, front wheel, back wheel and seat. Utilize a locking strategy that secures your bike frame, seat, and wheels together using quality locks and chains. This can be done by U-locking the frame and front wheel to the post while threading a cable or chain lock through the rear wheel and seat.
- Do not leave your bike outside overnight. The safest place to lock a bike is almost always indoors. When you aren't using your bike, find a safe place to keep it in your apartment, residence hall, or apartment building. If you are unable to store your bike in your living space, talk to a local parking garage. They are required by law to provide bike parking and will often allow you to rent a space monthly at a reasonable price.
Where to Lock Your Bike
- Besides NYU racks, you can use one of the hundreds of Department of Transportation public racks located throughout the city and in high density around NYU. Check out the racks located near Washington Square.
- If there is no bike rack available your next best bet is to lock to a public street sign (preferably not a bus stop sign as your bike becomes an obstacle for people getting on and off the bus).
- Be mindful of what you're locking to. You should never lock up to someone's private property (fence, railing, etc.), a subway railing, a tree, a parking meter, or a horizontal scaffold bar.
- Never leave your bike unlocked outside.
- When transporting chain locks, avoid locking them around your hips, shoulder, or neck. Should you fall, the chain could seriously injure you. It’s best to stow your chain in a basket or wrap it around the base of your seat post.
- Give your bike a quick tug after locking and before leaving to make sure it’s securely hitched.
- Make sure the object to which you’re locking is stronger than the lock. For example, someone may be able to easily cut through a wooden post or chain link fencing and street signs loose at the base can be wiggled out of the ground.
- Be sure that it’s not possible to simply lift the lock up and over the object. Naked street sign posts and parking meters leave your bike just as vulnerable as not locking it at all.
- Create a snug fit between your lock and your bike. Use every bit of lock you have! Extra slack in the chain or extra space in the U-lock allows room for someone to maneuver the bike or use tools to detach from the post.
- Park in well-lit, heavily trafficked areas. Parking where extra sets of eyes can look out for your bike never hurts. If you must park outside for the night, consider leaving your bike on an avenue rather than a side street.
- Don’t park your bike in the same spot all the time. It’s possible that if someone sees a bike repeatedly parked in one spot, they may become emboldened to return well-equipped, knowing that the bike will likely be there.
- Keep your lock from touching the ground. Locks positioned close enough to the sidewalk can be leveraged or crushed more easily than a lock positioned higher up, snugly attached to the bike.
It’s best to lock up to:
- Bike racks
- Sign posts
Never lock up to:
- Subway railings
- Private fences
- Bus stop signposts