Starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to ride your bike to the Broadway show of your choosing (not Cats, ’cause it’s not running), drop it off with a friendly valet, and then pick it up and ride on home after the fat lady sings — or at your leisure. Now, while the intersection of bike-riding and theater-going has us kind of going hmmmm — not to say these two activities are mutually exclusive, but we’re imagining a fur-clad matron on a fixie, which may, now that we think about it, be its own kind of theater — we do support biking in the city. And free parking. So, yay.
We spoke with Elena Santogade at Transportation Alternatives, who explained that the idea started with a conversation between her group and the Times Square Alliance. (Throughout the summer Transportation Alternatives offered similar valet services for Celebrate Brooklyn, Movies With a View, and Summer Stage — notably, all in parks.)
Now, to celebrate the kickoff of Broadway’s fall 2010 season, the two groups have partnered with the Broadway League, the Broadway Green Alliance, and the Marriott Marquis to offer the service on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through September 25, between 6 and 11:30 p.m. You’ll find their bike parking lot, set up with French barricades, at the Marriott Marquis on West 46th Street between 8th Avenue and Broadway. There will also be bike parking from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the Broadway on Broadway concert on Sunday, September 12, in the pedestrian plaza between 42nd and 43rd.
You need to have a valid ticket to a show to park your bike, by the way.
Right now, Santogade admitted, if they get 50 people biking, that would be pretty great. “We’d love to have it fill up and have 100 to 200 a night,” she said. “If this is getting new people on bikes to the theater, people who are Broadway patrons but don’t bike there, this will be a big success.” If all goes well, it opens up the conversation for more bike parking — and maybe even continuing valet service. “What I’ve found is that when a program is ongoing, people expect it,” she said.
If they valet it, will they bike? We shall see…
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 8, 2010