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Comment of the Week: 43 words that perfectly define good bike parking

Posted by on February 6th, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Bike parking at Franklin High School-2

Dear America: It’s not actually that hard.
Just ask Franklin High School.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Good bike parking: it’s not that hard but it’s not that common, at least in North America. Except in Portland, where we really do know how it’s done.

The explanations don’t get any shorter and sweeter than this one from BikePortland reader Jessica Roberts, who shared it beneath our story Tuesday about the city enforcing its bike parking code on a North Portland Home Depot in response to a resident’s complaint. (As we wrote, anybody can report potentially out-of-compliance bike parking in Portland by calling (503) 823-CODE (2633) or using the BDS online form.)

Here’s Roberts’ simple definition, plus a couple examples of rack designs that don’t cut it:

A good bike rack provides two points of contact to hold up the bike, allows you to lock the frame and the wheel with a U-lock, works for all types of bikes, and organizes bicycles so they do not block the pedestrian space. Toast racks don’t allow for the frame to be locked, and don’t have 2 points of contact. Ribbon racks don’t have 2 points of contact and often end up blocking pedestrian space.

So clear. So true. So rare.

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Honorable mention here goes to reader JJJJ, who observed beneath the same post that Portland deserves credit for continuing to lead the nation in good bike parking. That’s totally true, and it’s something we can all be proud of.

Yes, we pay for good comments. We’ll be mailing a $5 bill to Jessica in thanks for this great one.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

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Stevie Maré
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As a Franklin student, I am duty-bound to make complaint at the lack of covered bike parking, and lack of sufficient parking for fair-weather demand.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6fZdYTKFc14MU5sTW1WbUMyOFR2dGdlTUxSRXg5RExxcHRN/view?usp=sharing

Certainly glad that it is installed correctly though!

NE Portland Rider
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NE Portland Rider

I think three things make the ideal bike parking: the kind of rack (which has been discussed much), the location, and the quantity.

My biggest gripe about location is when it seems ideally located for bike thieves. This takes many flavors: around the corner, out of the way, not visible from anywhere inside (the shop/restaurant/business), where passersby can’t see it, etc., etc. Planners need to realize that bikes are valuable (either actually expensive or risk of lost transportation), and the parking location needs to take this into account. It doesn’t need to be front and center. But it most certainly shouldn’t be out back where you’d leave your old lawnmower. I could argue that since it does seem to rain here that covered parking would seem obvious, but that’s an optional luxury. Businesses who opt to do it might get more customers.

As far as quantity – just take a look around during peak times (and peak weather like Stevie mentioned) and see how full the racks get. Compare the number of parking spots to the number of bike racks. Its great to avoid bad traffic when biking. It sucks to arrive somewhere and have no where to lock your bike. On the bike theft threads, there are lots of mentions about how unsecure sign posts are – but I’ve locked my bike to sign posts many times because all other available rack space was taken.

q`Tzal
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q`Tzal

“Will it be there when I get back?”
8 words

Dave Brunker
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Dave Brunker

Before we praise Franklin HS’s bike parking too highly there’s two numbers you need to know:

1,480 (number of students)
20 (number of bike staples)

This means that only 1 in every 37 Franklin students can park their bikes at a staple before having to resort to using handrails and street signs.

Mo
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Mo

I also don’t care if it my bike is exposed to the weather. If you ride in Portland, you will be exposed to the weather regardless. The biggest issue is theft: Portland is a good place to ride, but a horrible place to park.

9watts
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9watts

davemess
And how many of those racks are consistently full?
Recommended 0

I have no idea, but this picture suggests things could be better:
http://bikeportland.org/2015/02/06/comment-week-43-words-perfectly-define-good-bike-parking-134258#comment-6162782

wsbob
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wsbob

Providing good parking for bikes, compared to parking for motor vehicles, poses quite a challenge. I’m aware of some of the various means devised to provide parking for bikes that’s efficient, can meet growing demand, and that doesn’t look too ugly. I haven’t seen much yet that’s the real deal.

The creation of barren plains of asphalt that can provide secure for parking cars is disturbing, but doing that is comparatively simpler than providing equivalent amount of secure parking for bikes. And may be less unattractive as well.

In some European locations, scenes, apparently common, of mass conglomerations of parked bikes all jammed together along streets and wherever, isn’t a very appealing approach either.

Pat Franz
Guest
Pat Franz

Another interesting tidbit about the Franklin bike parking- officially, you’re not allowed to park a bike ANYPLACE ELSE.

Meaning, when they are full, what are you to do? I understand not wanting egress routes blocked by bikes on the railings, but technically, there is no permissible overflow area.

So, it’s basically nice, but that’s it- one for every 37 students.

Paula F.
Guest
Paula F.

Well, I would like to proudly say my son has been biking year round to Franklin his entire attendance (now a senior). Since he has two homes half the time that is 4 miles round trip and half the time it is 8 miles round trip.

Paul
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Paul

I wonder how many of the bikes are “properly” secured. The white and