Advocacy & Safety - Need help in suggesting bike parking to city council
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I live in Québec city and here we have some problems with suburban sprawl. In many areas it is pretty much impossible to go to a bus stop where buses come around often or have decent schedules without walking for 40 minutes.
I'd like to suggest implementing large (40-50 places) covered bike parkings to help people reduce/stop using their cars and use a multimodal bike+bus+walk, and possibly shared bikes for the central zones like I've seen in many places, but my main focus is implementing bike parkings.
So far I have done some searches on different alternatives an found the racks I will be asking for. I have made a small list on the advantages to health, congestion and such and made comparison tables of time/distance/mode. I will also be proposing adding bike lanes on the largest streets to help bike/car cohabitation.
I'd like to hear from all of you whose cities have implemented such things Also, if you were involved into the project, I'd like to get some tips into persuading city officials and informations such as costs, installation time, size references, etc.
02-16-07, 08:31 PM
Specifically on the issue of bike parking, you might have better luck if the facilities you propose are multi-use, providing some benefit for those who may not really care about bikes. For example, perhaps newspaper machines could share the space, or if the bus stops are not covered, the bike parking area could also double as shelter from inclement weather.
02-16-07, 09:06 PM
Here in Cary, NC, we have been successful in convincing the city council to require basic bike parking (specifically, inverted-U racks) at all new and upgraded commercial and office/institutional sites. Local transit planners have added bike parking to their rail station plans. However, we haven't been able to obtain covered parking despite trying. The retail property owners have resisted placing the racks near buildings (their resistance caused the Council to adopt a weakened law that doesn't mandate where it be placed) and the transit authority didn't want to pay for an extra roof or use up covered space with bike racks. It's a tough sell.
One way to increase bike parking with minimal space and money is to design or adapt other street furniture to perform double-duty. Bollards, tree cages, lamp posts and parking meters can be modified or chosen to accommodate locking a bike. Lastly, in Seattle I've seen some narrow inverted-u racks, only about 16" between posts, which took up very little space when unused.
You could show them.
Either build nothing
Which do you want to be known for?
02-16-07, 11:57 PM
How large is the population in your area?
The whole metro area has a population of around 750 000. My specific project is for my borough, which at last census was about 50 000 people, but I want to make it city wide, but I'd rather start small and get people to talk about it and then have it all kinda snowball from there.
You can see Québec city on Google Maps to get an idea here: http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=quebec+city&ie=UTF8&z=11&ll=46.80758,-71.27449&spn=0.279165,0.716171&om=1
Note that Lévis on the south shore is not part the Québec city, but there's a ferry link. I don't know how many people Lévis contains. My borough is named Loretteville on this map.
In the past few years we have had some pretty interesting investments in the cycling infrastructures, most notably the conversion of some train tracks. Unfortunately since then the mayor who put this all in place left and now we're stuck with a new mayor who thinks bikes are for leisure and kids, and that it's not an alternative to cars. She's famous amongst utility bikers for her negative assumptions about cyclism in general (she's 70 and doesn't seem to have much vision, but I'd rather have some optimism and think things might change if we work hard).
Here's a famous quote of her:
« Québec n'est pas Amsterdam, et il n'est absolument pas question que des enfants gâtés nous imposent leur diktat.»
Which roughly translated means: "Québec city is not Amsterdam, and it it totally out of way that some spoiled children are gonna impose their diktat".
02-17-07, 12:48 AM
I agree about starting small. Does your borough have a higher than average concentration of cyclists for your area? If I were to pursue covered bike parking, I would do so in a part of town where there are plenty of bikes already.
About cyclist concentration, I can't say. Having met a few persons who practice utility cycling, I'd say we're pretty much scattered all over the town. Of course, the further from downtown, the lower the concentration is likely to be. The main thing hindering bus use here is its accessibility. Making it "bike usable" drops the max time of a ride from 45 minutes by foot to 12 minutes by bike at beginner level (14km/h on 3km). Right now the only way to get to the terminal is by car, which doesn't make sense. I'm thinking making a borough multimodal is a great idea.
02-17-07, 03:54 AM
Sounds like the first thing you might have to work on is getting a new mayor elected.
After that, Chipcom's idea of shared space is a good one. Coin operated bicycle lockers might be a money making idea for the city and would provide the best protection, since the bike would be fully enclosed. The problems with this might be the amount of space required, vandalism of the lockers and they wouldn't be free for the end user. The easiest thing would be a row of posts set in concrete with a rail across the top. This would be relatively inexpensive to install, space efficient and could be installed off to the side in almost any covered area.
CommuterRun, the type of rack I'll be asking for is this (CP7 Model): http://www.airevelo.com/s_sol.htm#CP
I think it's the best space/security/cost trade off.
Does anybody have pictures of covered parkings too? It would be extremely handy (visualization is a great tool).
02-17-07, 05:40 PM
What about racks on the bus so that you can take your bike with you?
We've not had a lot of luck getting bike parking in Santa Barbara. Because of theft, people have wanted bike lockers, but because of the amount of homeless people, there's been fear that homeless will live in the bike lockers.
We did succeed in getting a bike station, which is a room with multi-level bike parking on racks. They built that in to a new parking garage. We'll see if anybody uses it. So far I have not heard of anybody who uses it. You have to pay a fee to have a key to the room.
sbhikes, the transportation company in Québec has plans on putting racks on buses, it's gonna be in next year supposedly (what I've been told for 2 years). The problem with these is that you can only put something like 2 bikes on a bus and it's not a good alternative for massive bike transportation.
Québec city is not a high theft area, I don't think bike lockers are really that useful here (and they are much more expensive, which makes it harder to implement them). I want something open with a roof, with free access. Making people pay for it seems like the best way to have people not use it, especially if you think there's free car parking space right besides.
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