from Esther Short Park.
(Photos by Marcus Griffith
Earlier this week, the City of Vancouver installed two more on-street bike parking corrals, raising the city’s total to three. The new racks were installed Tuesday morning at Esther Short Park and on the corner of Broadway and McLoughlin Blvd in downtown Vancouver.
As reported online in The Vancouver Voice last week, the projects were approved by the Parking Advisory Committee in July, but were not expected to be installed until late summer due to a back log of city pavement projects.
“The city should build more parking and not take any way for special interest groups like cyclists.”
— Charles Ritt, Vancouver resident
The racks in Esther Short Park, located at the corner of Esther and 8th Street, provide space for twelve bikes. The new parking is just across the street from the ever-popular Vancouver Farmers Market. The City Transportation Department used a no-parking area for the new racks, so no car parking was impacted.
That fact did not go unnoticed by Vancouver resident Patricia Minnows. “It’s great that the city went with a location that allows for more bike parking while not taking up any car parking.” Minnows, who was biking when I stopped to interview her, said she wants to see more bike parking and bike lanes downtown, but is understandable to the parking needs of downtown business. “Vancouver business need adequate car parking,” she said.
in downtown Vancouver.
Bad Monkey Bikes, Board and Skate owner Wade Leckie is excited on-street bike parking has been installed in front of his bike shop on 1717 Broadway Blvd. “I am just really excited, it’s awesome,” Leckie exclaimed. “It will give downtown visitors and customers a permanent and safer place to park.”
For Leckie, the additional ten bike parking spots on Broadway will go a long way in fulfilling the bike parking shortage in the immediate area. “There is a freaking huge demand for bike parking around here; there’s the [bike] shop, the gym, the dance studio and all the events that go on Main street,” Leckie explained.
Campos said another set of racks was planned for Columbia Street (near W Evergreen Blvd) but it was not installed due to a lack of support from nearby property owners and several businesses. Many adjacent business owners and employees cited a shortage of employee and customer car parking as reason to prevent on-street bike parking. “There is not enough [car] parking for employees and customers to take one away for cyclists,” said Fina Patterson, an office worker in the adjacent building. Patterson’s concerns were echoed by downtown customer Charles Ritt.
“Downtown [Vancouver] is a parking nightmare, it’s getting as congested as Portland,” Ritt said. “The city should build more parking and not take any way for special interest groups like cyclists,” said Ritt. The 61 year old retired businessman also supports the removal parking meters in downtown Vancouver. “The city needs to stop penalizing people who shop downtown,” he said.
According to City of Vancouver transportation planner Jennifer Campos, the on-street racks were made possible by a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant. Campos says there are no specific plans for more on-street bike parking facilities in the near future. “It is my hope we can add more next year but I haven’t identified any specific locations at this point.”