Al Di La And Behind Bars In Brooklyn Join Other Local Businesses Who Maintain DOT Bike Corrals

Al Di La And Behind Bars In Brooklyn Join Other Local Businesses Who Maintain DOT Bike Corrals
Bike rack at al di la
The new bike rack at al di la. (Photo by Donny Levit / Park Slope Stoop)

Enjoying a Sunday Italian brunch and picking up a new bike helmet on 5th Avenue just got a lot easier.

While al di la Trattoria (248 5th Avenue at Carroll Street) and Behind Bars in Brooklyn (610 5th Avenue between Prospect Avenue and 17th Street) are two very different businesses separated by about 20 blocks, they have something new in common.

The Department of Transportation installed bike racks a few weeks back that now sit in front of both businesses — and they are free to be used by the public. “I think it’s a great idea for the neighborhood,” says al di la co-owner and chef Anna Klinger. “Before this, we had four or five bikes locked to the poles on the corner. This is a much better idea — and I like the look of the planters.”

al di la and Behind Bars of Brooklyn join a program funded by the DOT, which consists of a local business agreeing to maintain the bike corral and planters in front of their businesses. Gorilla Coffee (97 5th Avenue at Park Place) had theirs installed in 2012 and Rosewater (787 Union Street near 6th Avenue) have maintained their corral since 2013.

The Bike Corral program with business owners is separate from the CitiBike program. It’s a thorough process that takes almost a year — involving a site visit by the DOT, extensive plans, traffic evaluation, approval from other merchants on the street, letters of recommendation, community board meetings, and finally DOT approval.

“What precipitated this was there a bus line, and when they eliminated, there was a bus stop right in front of restaurant. My neighbor is [Council Member] Brad Lander, and we discussed this a bit,” says John Tucker, owner of Rosewater, when asked about the reasons for their installation. “We’re a sustainable restaurant and we’re biking enthusiasts.”

Rosewater was voted the Greenest Storefront in Brooklyn in 2015 by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. And Tucker considers the bike corral as part of that.

bike rack at behind bars in brooklyn
The new bike rack at Behind Bars in Brooklyn. (Photo by Donny Levit / South Slope News)

Owner Sandra Alfonzo of Behind Bars in Brooklyn also loves the beauty of the bike corral but had other logistical concerns. “There was a no standing area in front of the store, and people were getting tickets,” says Alfonzo. “The signage was unclear, and we just thought it would be a great idea to solve this problem and bring more customers into our area.”

Mark Caserta, Executive Director of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID is a proponent of and was actively involved in the application process for Behind Bars. “I wrote the recommendation for Sandra’s place,” says Caserta. “I ride up and down the 5th Avenue BID everyday, and we support the cyclists.”

A list of bike corrals around New York City is available here — with a caveat that it’s in need of updating.


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