Cuomo Order declares bike shops “not absolutely necessary” despite the surge of bikes – Streetsblog New York City Urban Planning

Updated | Governor Cuomo’s recently issued shelter-in-place arrangement allows “essential” companies to remain open during the coronavirus crisis. The car-loving big dog, however, has defined “essential” to include auto repair shops, but not bike repair shops. Experts say a potentially serious decision for a city where cycling is increasing and the number of riders in public transport is collapsing.

The “essential” business was started in a previous executive order Jobs had to be reduced to 25 percent. It is assumed that the definition will be carried over to the new executive regulation (we are awaiting clarification from Albany). These companies are:

  • Collection and processing of waste and recycling
  • Postal and shipping services
  • Laundromats / dry cleaning
  • Building cleaning and maintenance
  • childcare
  • Car repair
  • Warehouse / sales and fulfillment
  • Funeral directors, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • Storage for important companies
  • Animal shelters or care or management

Bike shops and lawyers who contacted the governor’s office were asked to fill out a form to request “essential” status. No seriously. Here is the form. (We’re still waiting for clarification from the governor’s office.)


In San Francisco, a similar order caused confusion as to whether bike shops were actually closed. StreetsblogSF reported, but Mayor London Breed later tweeted that bike shops could remain open.

Bike New York’s Jon Orcutt said Cuomo should follow Breed’s leadership.

“We urge the governor to turn to San Francisco and Berlin, which have already declared bike shops under similar blocking orders to be essential retail,” he said.

Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, was also looking for leadership skills in San Francisco.

“Cars aren’t the only way to complain about social distance,” Harris told Streetsblog. “Gov. Cuomo should follow Mayor London Breed’s leadership and designate bicycle repair shops as essential companies when ordering accommodation on site. “

Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC, suggested that the governor be short-sighted.

“He must add bike repair shops to the list of key companies immediately,” said McClure. “Once again, the bike has proven that it is the best way to get around in times of crisis, especially if you keep a safe distance from other people so as not to transmit corona virus. The lack of bike shops is a serious mistake and begs the governor to fix it today. “

At the Castle Hill Bike Shop in the Bronx, a worker who refused to give his name also contradicted the governor’s decision.

“Do I feel he’s right? No,” said the worker. “Everyone comes with a face mask. They don’t cough. He [Cuomo] can stay at home. He is the one who has to mix and shake hands. We are a community store. “

Attorney Steve Vaccaro said Cuomo’s order needs to be clarified simply because it’s everywhere.

“Cuomo specifically stated that delivery services, including the delivery of groceries, are essential services,” said Vaccaro (full disclosure: a streets blog advertiser). “He also postponed a question until later whether repairing computer equipment should be considered essential … but apparently only because he didn’t know what the Geek Squad was (the Geek Squad is the brand name of the Best Buy visit) Repair service for home computers). ”

“So the point is that something is important, then the industry that supports the essential is important,” added Vaccaro. “This is the logic that brings you to the repair and maintenance of bicycles. He said during the press that they were still going through the list of essential and non-essential ones. Taking into account the essence of Cuomo’s remarks, bicycle repair services and the maintenance of bicycle parts in New York City should be considered essential and should therefore remain open. “

Indeed, delivery workers are currently offering important services as bars, restaurants and other companies are closed during the crisis. It is unclear how these workers would have their bikes repaired if the governor doesn’t shut down bike shops – and Do Lee from the Biking Public Project pointed out.

“By not including bicycle shops as an essential business, Governor Cuomo’s order affects the health, safety, and jobs of tens of thousands of cyclists in NYC who rely on bicycle shops to keep their bikes and e-bikes in good condition for safe travel “Lee said to Streetsblog.” Given the increasing pressure on carriers to feed the New Yorkers, the governor should ensure that carriers can continue to drive safely by keeping bike shops open. “

In the meantime, Revel, the rentable electric motorcycle company, says it will expand its small footprint starting today:

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