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The City of Portland’s on-street bike corral program has been a runaway success. The corrals are so popular that there’s currently an estimated two-year backlog and 75 businesses waiting to receive one.
Since they renewed their push for corrals in November of 2006, PBOT has installed 64 of them throughout the city. As word has spread about the program, businesses — who some planners might think would abhor the idea of replacing two auto parking spots for bike racks — are now clamoring for the corrals.
In fact, PBOT has been overwhelmed by applications for bike corrals. PBOT bike parking program manager Sarah Figliozzi has a stack of applications from 75 Portland businesses that want corrals (see the full list below). At the current rate of installation (30 in 2009 and 21 in 2010), Figliozzi estimates it would take two years just to work through the list.
Why can’t they install more of them? Figliozzi says it’s not as easy as you might think because each location has different issues to deal with and PBOT approaches each one on a case-by-case basis.
“We have a groundswell of enthusiasm from the private sector… We need to be able to give businesses with the money and the interest to do them the ability to this on their own.”
— Sarah Figliozzi, PBOT
That being said, if you own a business and want a corral (or if you’re already on the list), you might get one before you expect it — or you might not get one at all.
PBOT doesn’t tackle the list in chronological order and not everyone who applies will receive a corral. Figliozzi says top priority is given to locations with a high unmet need for bike parking (“We put out fires first,” is how she put it). They also work on a geographic strategy, taking on a specific commercial district all at once (they’re working on the Central Eastside now).
As for why on-street corrals might not be suitable for all the businesses on the list? Figliozzi says some of them simply don’t have the bike parking demand and other requirements the city looks for before installing a corral. And, since PBOT currently foots the bill for the corrals (about $2-3,000 a piece), they have a right to be selective.
For businesses that don’t meet the requirements for an on-street corral, Figliozzi works with them on other options. Standard sidewalk staples can be installed in about 4-5 weeks and are often a feasible solution. In other cases, businesses have plenty of off-street space where they could install whatever bike racks they want; but since PBOT has made bike corrals free (and easy to apply for), many of them simply opt for that option.
Ultimately, Figliozzi says she hopes PBOT has a policy in place to allow private business owners to install and/or pay for the bike corrals themselves.
“We have a groundswell of enthusiasm from the private sector… We need to be able to give businesses with the money and the interest to do them the ability to do this on their own… That’s the direction we want to go.”
Below is the list of Portland businesses that have filled out an application for an on-street bike corral:
Good Food Here Belmont
Pure Heart Yoga
Produce Row Cafe
Bread & Ink/Waffle Window
Gold Dust Meridian
Blend Coffee House
Lucky Labrador Tap Room
Hop & Vine
An Hao Clinic
City Market NW
World Cup Coffee & Tea
Art Institute Culinary School
Red and Black Café
Barista/Hunt & Gather
Childpeace Montessori School
Alibi Restaurant & Lounge
Corkscrew Wine Bar & More
Side Door, My Fathers Place, Slow Bar
Triple Nickel Pub
West Coast Fitness
West Coast Fitness and Videorama
The Globe Bar/Café
Hair of the Dog Brewing Co
East Side Delicatessen Inc
Riyadh’s Lebanese Restaurant
Vincente’s Gourmet Pizza
Meat Cheese Bread
Jimmy Johns Gourmet Sandwiches
Hazelton Strong LLC
Montessori Institute NW
Slappy Cakes/Vmt. tabor veterinary care