Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on September 19th, 2008 at 4:49 pm
“On-street bicycle parking can provide many advantages… These advantages, which accrue to businesses and citizens, also support several city policies and objectives.”
— from a PDOT press release
Yesterday afternoon they issued a press release that stated their case for the new bike corrals.
With the title of the release, Downtown Business Owners Support Swapping Auto Parking for Bicycle Parking, it’s clear that PDOT is trying to flip an old controversy on its head.
PDOT wants to install more on-street
(Photo © J. Maus)
In days of yore, business owners shrieked at the thought of losing even one space of car parking. But now, especially since the advent and success of existing on-street bike parking in Northeast and Southeast Portland, they’re practically busting down PDOT’s door to get more bike parking.
The City is now proud of the fact that all the businesses adjacent to the four new bike corrals, “advocated for this increased bicycle parking and were integral in the decision to swap the auto parking spaces for bicycle parking.”
“We believe it helps us support the Portland lifestyle.”
— GM of a restaurant adjacent to new bike corral
In the PDOT press release the general manager of Southpark Seafood Grill & Wine Bar (a high-end restaurant that serves upscale clientele) said,
“We feel that the installation of a bike corral in front of our restaurant will be an asset to our guests and our employees. We believe it helps us support the Portland lifestyle.”
According to PDOT’s bike parking manager, the city has pending requests for 30 more bike corrals across the city. PDOT writes,
“Many businesses are recognizing that an increasing number of their clientele are arriving by bike and the infrastructure to serve them is lacking. Not only businesses, but property owners and developers as well, are requesting these facilities.”
And to drive home the point that this new bicycle parking, “supports several city policies and objectives” PDOT lists its advantages (emphasis mine):
- Providing adequate, effective, easily recognized bike parking.
- Validating the message that cycling is a legitimate and valuable means of transportation in a manner that encourages bicycling as a convenient and popular mode, especially for short trips.
- Improving the pedestrian environment by reducing sidewalk clutter.
- Providing an economic stimulus for small retail shops that are partly dependent on a cycling customer base.
- Improving visibility at intersections by eliminating the opportunity for larger vehicles to park at street corners.
- Supporting increased commercial activity. Testimonials from local retail shops with existing on-street bike parking corrals affirm that they are appreciated by the business community. The higher ratio of bikes to vehicle capacity that corrals afford equates to a higher potential customer turnover. They also tell us that de-cluttering the sidewalk improves the aesthetics of their retail façades and allows for activities such as café seating.
This is big stuff everyone! This is not typical bureaucratic boilerplate. Reread that list above and realize how important and exciting it is that PDOT is making those statements. This new bike parking signals a great step forward for our city and it’s nice to see PDOT so clearly state their reasons for making it happen.
Now, let’s move forward. What’s next (besides more bike corrals!)?