Few things warm my heart as much as bike parking done right.
So imagine my pleasure upon seeing this at Roosevelt High School last night.
My daughter is a freshman at Roosevelt — a pillar of the St. Johns community founded in 1921 — and we were attended an event there last night. I’ve been watching progress on the major renovation project for the past year and was excited to see the bike parking emerge from the construction zone. They’re just one part of the project that’s included in the $482 million school bond approved by Portland voters in November 2012.
School bike parking is particularly important to me because it can set the tone for young people at an impressionable age. Treat bikes with respect, my thinking goes, and the students will treat them with respect too.
And Roosevelt’s new bike racks are very respectful. What’s so good about them?
➤ They are located right up in front, so that everyone who uses the main entrance can see them. If people can’t see bike parking, they won’t bike! Visible bike racks also make them much more secure.
➤ They are covered. In this town, having a roof over bike parking should be a standard requirement.
➤ They are well-spaced and big enough for all types of bikes.
➤ They are simple “staples” and not some cutesy art-rack one-offs that don’t work.
It seems easy enough, but it’s often done poorly. Take Ockley Green Middle School for instance (photo below). Portland Public Schools was nice enough to give parents the green light to install new bike parking — but the location they approved is very very bad. The nice racks we built are now hidden behind the school and behind a chain-link fence. What a waste!
PPS and the Bureau of Transportation should make an example out of these racks at Roosevelt and make sure every other high school in the district works to upgrade their parking to the same standard.
Here are a few more images…
The only thing missing from the racks are a bunch of bikes. I’m sure those will fill in soon.
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