Ikea says “No” on bike lanes

Brooklyn Ikea store manager says encouraging bike traffic on street in front of his store is ‘dangerous.’

The store manager of the new Ikea store in Red Hook attended a community meeting to discuss painting bike lanes on Columbia Street and around to Halleck and Beard Streets, where the Ikea store is located. According to Gothamist:

At a Community Board 6 meeting last Thursday night, the Swedish retailer came down hard on a DOT plan to install a bike lane that would run four measly blocks on Columbia Street from Bay Street, onto Halleck and Beard Streets. “It seems dangerous to officially encourage bikes to the front of IKEA,” intoned IKEA Manager Mike Baker, whom one member of the transportation committee described as “confrontational.”

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More also at Brooklyn Paper.


  1. Apparently, the manager of that Ikea doesn't realize that he is working for a Dutch company. If enough of this information gets back to Ikea international, I believe that one could expect to find a new and much more bike friendly manager of that particular Ikea.

  2. Have we reached the point that cyclists won't use a street unless they are “officially encouraged”?

  3. Ikea in Denmark will loan you a bike with a trailer to get your goods home. When I went to the Ikea website and asked “Anna,” their automated help-bot, why the Red Hook store was opposing bike lanes, she replied as follows: “Unfortunately at this time IKEA Brooklyn does not have bike racks. However they have been ordered and will be installed shortly. Thank you for your patience.”

  4. Take a closer look at the Google Street View. Pan to the right — what's dangerous is that green Ford pickup truck parked in the lane, and forcing the white sedan up ahead and the white delivery truck behind to cross the yellow lines illegally.

    What's dangerous is when people drive, park, or cycle with blatant disregard of each other (or equivalently, with disregard of the laws that make things safer for all of us).

  5. Wait a minute before everyone jumps on the manager. What are the facts beyond what this article mentions. Perhaps the road is already dangerous, perhaps the configuration of the driveways and loading is not safe for a bicycle lane.

    From the google earth images I would be interested in knowing what the plans are because there is a lot going on in and around the Ikea.

    But in the end, the manager is probably over stating the danger. I just don't like posts that attack some one when so little is posted about the situation and the context of the statement.

    full disclosure I ride a bike to work, I generally avoid roads with bicycle lanes and ride with traffic and I have no idea where this is in Brooklyn.

  6. =v= I lived there when they showed up. We opposed them because they're hostile to anything but cars. That location is one of the few places in NYC with freeway access, which IKEA leeches off of as company policy.

  7. I visited NYC last April, and took my bike with me. All through Manhattan, cyclists are very well tolerated, with cars almost always giving the way to anyone on a bike. Cross over into Brooklyn, though, and it's completely different: horns, middle fingers, drivers giving hateful looks or shouting insults. It's definitely 180° from what you experience in Manhattan.

    In related news, Jews don't like us, either: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/08/hipste

  8. I suppose Baker realizes that drivers, particularly truckers, are inattentive to cyclists. What irony (as pointed out by others) that a Dutch company that actively supports cycling in Europe does the opposite in “freedom loving” USA. The confrontational attitude is too common here and illustrates an inherent bias against those who prefer efficient transportation.

  9. The manager is probably thinking that bikers won't be carrying home enough large furniture to feel the need to encourage them to visit his store or inconvenience his mostly car-driving customers. Backwards thinking. I agree, the Dutch do it better.

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