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City to unveil four new “bike corrals” downtown

Posted by on September 10th, 2008 at 11:44 am

A PDOT concept drawing of new on-street bike corrals coming to downtown Portland by the end of this month.
(Click to enlarge)


The City of Portland Office of Transportation has chosen National PARK(ing) Day (9/19) as the date to unveil four new on-street bike parking facilities in downtown.

The locations of these “bike corrals” — which take two motor vehicle parking spaces and replace them with parking for up to 24 bicycles — will be installed at the corners of the following locations (Note: I have placed a rudimentary yellow box in the general location where the corral will be placed):
Ace Hotel — On the south side of SW Stark at SW 10th (MAP):

(Photos thanks to Google StreetView)

Bijou Café/Stumptown Coffee — East side of SW 3rd Ave at SW Pine St (Map):

Powell’s Books (back entrance): South side of NW Couch St at NW 11th (Map):

Southpark Seafood Grill and Wine Bar — West side of SW 9th Ave/SW Park Ave at SW Salmon (Map):

According to PDOT’s bike parking manager Sarah Figliozzi (who presented the plans in front of the city’s bicycle advisory committee last night), the new bike corrals will be much different than those already installed in the Mississippi District and on SE Belmont Street. The four new corrals will be “bare bones” says Figliozzi. In an email about the project she wrote,

Sarah Figliozzi works in
PDOT’s bike program.
(Photo © J. Maus)

“We’ve removed the rubber curb and brought the corral down to the basics – pavement line markings, reflectors, and the racks. These are temporary applications (due to the minimal infrastructure) and we have plans to fill the space with something more substantial (perhaps a curb extension or concrete pad with bollards to delineate the space) at a later date (later winter – early spring) once we have finalized design approvals and engineering plans.”

Figliozzi says these downtown corrals are of an “interim” design and were installed to respond to current demand, while not wanting to wait for official new policies, funding streams, and designs to be confirmed. The idea is to get these installations out on the street, spend the fall and winter months tweaking the design (based on feedback), and then iron out the official new “policy framework” (that will include new official city guidelines on funding, design, and the request/installation process) for full program deployment by Spring 2009.

Conceptual drawing of new “bike
corrals” coming to downtown.
Click to enlarge
(Graphic: PDOT)

The existing bike corral program requires that neighborhoods or business owners shell out $3,000 or so for each one (on SE Belmont, community members received a grant from their neighborhood business association). But last night, city bike coordinator Roger Geller said they’re looking to change the policy so the city would pay.

The money for these new corrals comes out of the city’s Bike Parking Fund (which developers pay into when they opt-out of bike parking code requirements).

Alberta needs on-street bike parking
This photo (on NE Alberta St.) shows why
PDOT wants to install more on-street
bike corrals.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Geller thinks it’s a no-brainer that these facilities are paid for by the city; “This type of facility supports all the messages and policies the city has about biking and transportation.”

So far, design restrictions have kept bike corrals from cropping up downtown. Last summer, PDOT partnered with U-lock maker Kryptonite for two bike parking facilities in the Pearl District. One of them was installed in a parking lot next to the Pacific Northwest College of Art, but the other — which was slated to be installed on-street, in front of Acorn Cafe (539 NW 13th Ave) — has yet to happen.

Figliozzi explained last night that ‘design district’ regulations require new infrastructure to “fit the urban streetscape” and get approved by a design commission. Also, since these facilities are directly in the right-of-way (as opposed to being up on the sidewalk), safety is another consideration. “How are we going to delineate the space for bikes?,” is how Figliozzi puts it.

One idea, she says, is to put the corral up on a concrete curb extension, but that adds considerable cost. These new corrals are expected to cost in a similar range to the existing ones — $3-4,000 (compare that to about $40,000 for a “bike oasis”, which is on a curb extension and has a roof).

New on-street bike parking-59.jpg
Ethos (at N. Wiliams and Killingsworth)
will be the first location where
PDOT’s new neighborhood
corral design will be tested.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Concurrent to these new corrals downtown, PDOT is also working on a separate design for corrals in neighborhood centers (outside downtown). The first installation of this new design will be at Ethos on N. Williams at Killingsworth. Figliozzi says that corral will be installed “in the coming weeks” and will include more substantial “delineators” including black poles and some sort of fencing barrier to encourage users to enter from the sides (not the street).

While the design of these four new corrals downtown is likely to change, Figliozzi said these locations are permanent and they do not plan on taking out the corrals unless there is a major problem with them.

PDOT hopes to have these new corrals done in time to take part in National (PARK)ing Day on September 19th. Plans also include a partnership with the Parks Department to add other park-like elements to the spaces.

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Comments
  • Bridger September 10, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Sounds great. Some kind of roof would really make the new parking fantastic – but I understand that\’s asking a lot.

    Another great location for additional bike parking facilities downtown, in the righ-of-way or otherwise, is on SW Broadway in front of Nordstroms where the Lewis and Clark kids hop on the shuttle.

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  • Jessica Roberts September 10, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Hooray! I can\’t wait to use these!!! That block with the Ace, Clyde Common, Stumptown, and Kenny & Zuke\’s is ridiculously in need of intensive bike parking…and Powell\’s isn\’t far behind.

    Thanks to PDOT for not letting the perfect get in the way of the desperately-needed-now.

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  • peejay September 10, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Why do they let developers \”opt out\” of bike parking requirements?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) September 10, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    \”Why do they let developers ”opt out” of bike parking requirements?\”

    peejay, from the article I linked to above, (A closer look at Portland\’s Bike Parking Fund, written by Jessica Roberts):

    \”Every new or renovated building is required to provide a minimum amount of short-term bike parking. The building owner or developer may either meet that requirement by installing bike racks themselves, or by paying into the Fund. Developers must pay into the fund based on how many spaces are required under the code for a development of that size.\”

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  • Zaphod September 10, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    This is really cool!

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  • nuovorecord September 10, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Pretty much any Stumptown location is going to be in need of major amounts of bike parking!

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  • benschon September 10, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    The PDOT drawing is a bit like design for Stonehenge in \”This is Spinal Tap.\” Dimensions in the top half of the drawing are inches (\”) and not feet (\’), right?

    I wouldn\’t want the bike corral to be crushed by a dancing dwarf.

    In any case, it\’s an exciting development.

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  • matt picio September 10, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Minor nitpick – in the first sentence of the article, should be

    \”National PARK(ing) Day\”

    when put in print. Awesome article Jonathan, and a great summary of last night\’s discussion at the advisory committee meeting!

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  • BURR September 10, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    There\’s a tremendous need for these in the Pearl District Brewery Blocks as well, there\’s never enough bike parking in this area and I see bikes locked to every available tree, railing and other street furnishings all the time.

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  • Hart September 10, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Imagine a future when there is no more room for cars downtown and the city charges two bucks an hour to lock up your cycle.

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  • JP September 10, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    They need to put these things in at your mom\’s house!

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  • Bonnie September 10, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Minor nitpick – in the first sentence of the article, should be

    \”National PARK(ing) Day\”

    when put in print.

    Since Sept 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, shouldn\’t that be \”National PAAARK(ing) Day\”?

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  • n8m September 10, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Anyone scope the temporary lawn set up outside of the belmont stumptown at the belmont streetfair (courtesy pdx nursery i believe)? Would be incredible to reclaim the streets with those — esp if flanked on both sides by on-street bike corrals.

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  • none September 10, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    This sounds good, but Lars Larson is going to go berserk!

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  • T Williams September 10, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    @ benschon, #7

    Thanks for the laugh. Did you know that the Spinal Tap Stonehenge gag was based on an actual incident?

    IIRC, either Ozzy (solo) or Black Sabbath had plans for a Stonehenge to lower on stage during a show. Somehow the dimensions were screwed up (I think \”feet\” got translated to \”meters\”) and the production company showed up with this MASSIVE Stonehenge.

    The band couldn\’t use it \’cause it couldn\’t fit on stage.

    @ none, #14

    Dang… you beat me to it. :)

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  • Anonymous September 10, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Bike corrals. Sweet!

    Although planting next to/ in them as shown may restrict the views of bikes entering and exiting the corrals?

    \”which developers pay into when they opt-out of bike parking code requirements\”.

    I know this was broached earlier here, but:

    I am so damn sick and tired of hearing about requirements that developers are allowed to \”opt out\” of, and of hearing about the tax breaks they also receive.

    The majority of the developers in Portland are nowhere near from here. Here being Portland.

    Instead of allowing them to \”Opt Out\” of requirements, or offering them tax breaks, we should instead have them fully complying with regulations, (no exceptions) and for that matter pay full taxes, plus a sin tax for developing here in our town, instead of in theirs.

    We are overdeveloping our town to the unth degree. When are people finally going to wake up and smell the cat food(in their bank account)?

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  • Deborah September 10, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    OT – but big thank you to the parties responsible for updating the bike boxes on Clinton @ 39th today (I\’m going to miss the clown though, same with the pony tail girl on Hawthorn @ Grand)
    AND does anyone know why the bike icons at 42nd& Powell have been spray painted over with arrows and X\’s?

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  • Deborah September 10, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    How do we get Portland Parks to upgrade bike parking at the parks? I see bikes locked to every possible upright structure at all the swimming pool parks during the summer. Handicap railings, fences………..
    Is anyone is interested in looking into this with me?

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  • joe adamski September 10, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    i appreciate that the corrals all appear to be slated for corners. vacating the two spaces adjacent to corners provides better visibility around corners and should increase ped/bike safety.

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  • BikeR September 11, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Deborah,
    The choice of bike corral locations are driven by surrounding businesses and property owners. In the case of Parks and Pools, citizens need to drive (or in this case ride). I\’m guessing Parks would not have a problem supporting the loss of a car parking spot or two outside a swimming pool. I suggest making a list of high priority parks/pools for bike parking, get Parks on board, and approach Sara F. from PDOT pictured in article. I can get you in touch with someone at Parks. Bike corrals in the streets near pools/parks have more benefits than just a place to park your bike. If done as the city is planning, the bike corral would include curb extensions to slow down car traffic near high traffic, high kid count areas.

    contact me at ken@bikerepublic.org

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  • BURR September 11, 2008 at 8:54 am

    curb extensions are a hazard to cyclists and a huge waste of money.

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  • Klixi September 11, 2008 at 11:19 am

    YAY Powell\’s will finally have decent bike parking (I can\’t stand that \”Books\” rack out front, how does anyone lock anything to that?!)

    These racks are a nice surprise….I\’ll be using the one by Clyde Common/Ace Hotel quite a bit.

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  • Joe September 11, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    These are a step in the right direction.. would be nice if someday bikes could support a full-fledged 500+ space secure bike parking structure..

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  • Liv September 14, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    thats my sister Sarah!

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