Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bike parking inequity in Sunnyside?

My most awesome hair stylist, Paul, and his partner, John, just reopened their salon, Shear Irony, (2708 N. 4th St., 928.699.4315), at a new location on Fouth Street in the Sunnyside neighborhood on the east side of Flagstaff.  I had a haircut with Paul (aka "Flagstaff's best hairstylist according to me and several people I know") yesterday and I, undaunted by the 7- 8 mile trek, pedaled to my appointment, stopping at City Hall to pay our water bill and schedule termination of service.  I also stopped at a new pastry shop, A Touch of Sugar Bakery, as a reward for the 14 mile round trip, and purchased an ecstacy-inducing chocolate chip, oatmeal-raisin cookie for me and some chocolate chip cookies for Paul (I wish I were rich so I could just fly him to Phoenix one a month to do my hair).  I'd have taken a picture of my sorta healthy oatmeal cookie but, as you might have guessed, I ate it before the idea occurred to me.  I'll do better next time, as I'll definitely find a reason to go back.  That was a damn good cookie!

Anyway, I almost didn't stop at A Touch of Sugar Bakery because I couldn't find a place to lock up my bike close by.  Not a single bike corral was in sight.  Not even the crappy kinds that I'm forever complaining about.  And I really looked around.  But I really wanted a good cookie, baked by loving local hands.  So, I pedaled around and eventually found this sign  several yards behind the bakery: 

Greenlaw Village Shopping Center could use some bike corrals, ya'll.
Heavy sigh!  I think it's important to stress that I would not have stopped for cookies had I not been on my bike since, once again, the cookie was a reward for a 14 mile, round trip, bike ride.  I was burning off those calories, and I needed that oatmeal cookie as a nutritional supplement for the extra energy needed to bike home in a headwind!  Had I been traveling by car, Catholic guilt (the kind that continues to plague many of the similarly godless) would have totally prevented me from indulging my sweet tooth.

So I, with cookies in my basket, pedaled over to Shear Irony.  Luckily, I had time to spare because Knoles Village Center where the salon is located also had no bike parking, not even a sign post that I could lock my Dahon on to.  Paul later told me one of his clients actually hauled his bike up the the stairs to the second floor where the salon is located.  I thought about that but I'm a short little lady and just don't like lifting a 30 lbs bike up a flight of stairs.  I pedaled around the building a few times and, finding nothing, cut through a mostly empty rear parking lot to the Coconino County building on King Street where I fully expected to find a bike corral.


Bike corrals are located, if you can find them, behind the County building on King Street.  Some urban planner guy or gal probably had to beg, borrow and steal to get them installed.
Well, it was a search to find bike corrals but they were there, hidden close to an employee entry at the rear of the building.  Although small, it is one of my favorite styles of bike corrals.  I thought it was strange though that there weren't any bike corrals for the general public in the front of the building or in a place more easily to spot.  I'm not saying this out of  loyalty to my former employer, but the City of Flagstaff does provide a lot of bike corrals on both sides of City Hall, and bikes are always attached to them, especially when City Council is in session.  A lot of citizens use them, as do staff.  And, to be quite honest, many people who rely on County services use a bike as their primary method of transportation and could probably use a place to lock up.  I'm grateful for the bike corral that I eventually found but  if a larger corral, located in a place more accessible to the public, would be just a tiny bit better.

Also better would be if the property owners up and down Fourth Street could help out a bit by installing some bike corrals in their parking areas that would be great too.  Gub-ment can't do it all.  Fourth Street is getting some long, long, LONG awaited corridor improvements so hopefully bike corrals are included - and don't the people who live and work in Sunnyside deserve the same kind of really nice bike corrals that the people who live and work downtown have?  I think they do, and I'm pretty sure those corrals will be full.  People like me will stop for cookies or a cut and color or slices of pizza or a plate of Pad Thai.

6 comments:

Ben said...

Karen, the bike rack situation is always a bother here, so I empathize with your situation. There are so few! Recently, our township posted draft ordinances to include bike racks with a certain density, relative to the amount of parking space (progressive!). but wouldn't you know complaints followed! we'll see what ends up on the ordinance in the end. until then, i'll keep locking up to whatever i can find, which is sometimes a gas meter!

She Rides a Bike said...

Frequently, I wonder at the imagination and "vision" of the key stakeholder crowd. It's hard for some to imagine that anyone would want to do or need to do something different from what is considered the mainstream acceptable way. Nobody would ever ride a bike to a grocery store, or a bar or a restaurant. And the idea that one of two parking spaces might be lost to place a bike corral that could serve 7 - 15 bikes is out of the question. All any person needs to do is look at the number of bicycles at the bike corrals downtown on both the north and south side to see they are efficient. And those riders are patronizing the bars, restaurants and cafes.

Jimio said...

At our city Library we have a bike corral that has long skinny tubes and you put your tire in between them. If you have a long chain and lock you can get it around the frame, but if you have one of those U-Locks you can only get it around your front or rear tire. If they are quick release tires a thief could just leave the front or rear tire on the corral.

She Rides a Bike said...

Jimio, I know the exact type of bike corral you are referring to and they are so bad they don't even qualify as my least favorite. I don't even bother to use them, just locking up to the nearest sign post.

fiedlerin said...

ACK... I just followed a link from LGRAB to your blog and the first thing I see is a red Dahon... I HAVE A RED DAHON (Briza D7)... that just made my night :D

She Rides a Bike said...

Thanks for visiting Fiederin! The Dahon is fun and gets a lot of attention wherever I go.