Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another Bike Parking Suggestion

The Planner Guy and I pedaled to Cafe Ole on the Southside this evening and looked for a bike rack on which to lock our bikes.  Here is what we found just one door down from our destination.

Open for bike parking, if you dare.
The ring rack is one of my least favorite bike racks because I find it difficult to attach to any part of my bike except the front wheel.  Not very secure.  What I noticed about this rack though was it's placement on a relatively narrow sidewalk, parallel to the street.  If the bikes are set in the rack perpendicular to the street then they intrude significantly into the sidewalk, making it very difficult for pedestrians to pass.  For people who get around in a wheel chair that section of sidewalk would be completely inaccessible.  Pedestrians and cyclists are natural friends and allies, that is until either doesn't respect the others right to travel from one end of the street to the other.  We did not use this bike rack.

We locked our bikes on to an iron tree guard, leaving he rest of the sidewalk open for walkers, baby strollers and wheel chairs.  Bob noticed that the bump out in the sidewalk eliminated a parking space on the street but would have made an excellent location for the ring-style bike rack.  "They should have put it here", her remarked.  Yes, it would have been perfect.  Too small for a car but seven or eight bicycles could have been locked to the rack.

I don't know who owns the bike rack but it's location seems like an ADA problem waiting to happen.  I'm not sure if any there are any local restrictions against placing a bike parking space on the street among spaces designated for automobiles but I plan to ask our local bike czar what he thinks.

7 comments:

JD said...

Looks like a perfect location for a bike corral

Julie said...

Write to the city or the local businesses maybe. I've become really critical of businesses- especially big ones like Target. Those bastards should have amazing and plentiful bicycle racks for us!

Let us know how it goes.

inspiredcyclist said...

Taking one street spot, especially if it was the one with the curve, would enable several bicyclists to park there - really giving the merchants a chance to have more customers. GL!

steve said...

The bicycle rack is backwards in the photo which also renders it useless by hanging bicycle's rear end out in traffic.

steve said...

Taking another look at the placement of the rack and how bicycles would be in the street...I believe that is the intent because that space the rear of the bicycles would be in is a parking space. Counting the slots the rack offers it appears six bicycles can be placed in the one parking space. It's a bicycle corral.

She Rides a Bike said...

Steve, I'll have to ask the city multimodal transportation coordinator if the intent is for the bikes to sit within the parking space. I've seen the corral there for a while and when bikes are attached it is only one or two locked parallel to the street. As famililar as I am with the insatiable appetite for parking spaces in the cities that I've lived and worked in I'd be really surprised if that was the intent, although it would certainly a refreshing welcome to the many bike commuters in Flagstaff.

Julie, I have to say the Target in Flagstaff has two very large bike corrals in front of there store, which I use all the time. Maybe it is a management issue. Our Target is right next to the University get around by bike and shop there. I wish I could say our local Walmart were as welcoming to cyclists. The Walmart at University and Beulah cab't seem to provide bike parking (at least I never see any) manages to provide an endless amount of RV's, which camp for days in there for days and whose inhabitiants leave a fair amount of litter in the landscaping and on the multiuse trail. One more reason why I don't shop at Walmart, I suppose.

Clark in Vancouver said...

That spot on the street is perfect for a bike rack and that same sort of space has been used in a few cities for a bike rack.

It's called an on-street bike corral.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/entheos_fog/5591602230/
http://momentumplanet.com/videos/vancouver-gets-on-street-bike-parking

Portland does it too:
http://www.grist.org/biking/2011-04-11-the-economic-case-for-on-street-bike-parking

It's a simple and cheap thing to put in for the city. Just a few racks and then those vertical things with reflectors and voila! Contact your city and tell them what Vancouver and Portland do.