Archive of Stories on Bike Parking

On-street bike corrals, temporary bike parking, valet bike parking, bike parking shortages, and more!

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Bike Parking Review: Renaissance Commons in Kenton

Posted on December 10th, 2020 at 10:21 am.

Renaissance Commons on North Argyle in Kenton.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to our new Bike Parking Review column.

Grading bike parking is something we’ve done for years around here, so I thought it would be fun to give it a bit more structure and have some set judging criteria. This will hopefully give people a better guide for how to advocate for and create quality bike parking.

Quality bike parking is an absolutely essential ingredient to create a strong culture around cycling and increase the number of people who ride. We’re fortunate in Portland to have a transportation bureau who understands this. While we have many excellent examples around town, there’s a lot of room for improvement. Hopefully this column will help everyone do a better job.

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To help guide the grading, I’ve developed a list of 10 elements of quality bike parking:

Protection from the elements: Are the racks covered or in an area where users won’t get wet in the rain? Obviously this will be a slam dunk element for all indoor parking.

Lighting: People on bikes need illumination in parking areas even more than car users because bikes don’t come with interior lights. Folks need lights to find their lock keys, rifle through cargo, and so on. Lighting is also related to security.

Rack spacing: Often overlooked, this element has to do with how much breathing room each rack is given. Especially important due to the popularity of larger cargo bikes and heavier electric bikes that are harder to maneuver.

Quantity: Self-explanatory. But keep in mind this will depend a lot on context.

Quality: Ribbon racks are automatic failure. Standard staple racks like the blue ones issued by City of Portland are the gold-standard. Art racks beware.

Location: Right up front near the main entrance is usually the best, but there can be exceptions. Strongly related to security.

Accessibility: One curb can be deal-breaker. Related to spacing.

Electrical charging access: This element has become a much bigger deal lately with the e-bike boom.

Security: Many factors go into this and it might be the single most important element these days — given how many people don’t even use bikes out of fears about getting them stolen.

Promotion/Signage: You can build the best bike parking in the world, but if you don’t make it drop-dead easy to find it’s a waste.

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Renaissance Commons (2133 N Argyle Street) – Score: 7/10


Today’s subject is a new housing development in north Portland: Renaissance Commons in the Kenton neighborhood on the corner of Denver/Interstate and Argyle. This is a recently completed, 189-unit project designed by MWA Architects and developed by Reach Community Development Corporation in partnership with the Portland Housing Bureau.

For this review I’m going to focus on the outdoor, short-term parking. It’s worth noting the site also has a full bike parking room (pictured above) behind a locked door and clearly visible from the main courtyard. From what I could tell it looks OK (although these indoor bike rooms have a horrible theft record) and consists of staple racks and some wall hooks.

Here are my grades on the outdoor racks…

Protection from the elements: ❌ No coverage at all.
Lighting: ✅ None specific to the racks, but they’re close to other light sources.
Rack spacing: ✅ Plenty of room to have two bikes side-by-side.
Quantity: ✅ 7 staples = 14 spaces. There are another 3 staples on the premises. This feels like enough at this time/location. Keep in mind there are other racks on other properties nearby.
Quality: ✅ These are beautiful racks of good quality.
Location: ✅ Right up front in the main courtyard near a busy corner!
Accessibility: ✅ Excellent. Adjacent to a wide sidewalk and there’s a curb ramp nearby for easy roll-in, roll-out. Could be even better if they had more room away from vegetation.
Electrical charging access: ❌ None.
Security: ✅ Location is everything and the high-visibility spot they chose will keep thieving to a minimum. Not sure if there are cameras in place (it’s likely in a new development); if so that would make this element even stronger.
Promotion/Signage: ❌ I didn’t notice any special signage or markings to help folks find these racks. Then again, they are in a very prominent place, so it’s not as important in this case.

Overall, this is a great example that quality bike parking doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Nice job MWA, ReachCDC and PHB!

I hope you found this helpful. I know we have some bike parking experts in the community, so if you have input on how to make this column more useful, I’m all ears.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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New bike parking and repair station along Trolley Trail in Oak Grove

Posted on November 25th, 2020 at 9:25 am.

Always nice to see have a respectable place to park.
(Photos: North Clackamas Parks & Recreation)

[Read more…]

OHSU’s Go By Bike Valet has doubled its users in three years

Posted on May 20th, 2016 at 10:12 am.

Go By Bike shop in South Waterfront-23

The valet in 2012. It’s co-funded by OHSU and the private bike shop that operates nearby.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

One of Portland’s most unusual experiments in privately funded bike promotion keeps growing and growing.

[Read more…]

Portland’s biggest, baddest bike parking facility is about to open

Posted on May 13th, 2016 at 10:16 am.

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Inside the Lloyd Cycle Station, where you can catch a game on the tube while you chill after a ride.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland unless noted)

Generally speaking, Portland does bike parking better than any city in North America. And one of the continent’s biggest bike parking projects is about to open in the middle of it.

The Lloyd Cycle Station, which opens to the public next month in the basement of the Lloyd 700 Building at 700 NE Multnomah Street, will offer half of the record-breaking 1,200 indoor bike parking spaces constructed as part of Hassalo on Eighth in the Lloyd District. But unlike most residential bike parking projects, this facility will also be open to people who work or shop in the area.

The 24-hour facility will offer service from on-site mechanics, paid lockers, showers, a bike-repair stand, extra-large cargo bike parking, a bike wash and free “commute consultations.”

[Read more…]

West-side group wants advice about bike parking locations in the burbs

Posted on March 8th, 2016 at 9:25 am.

The (Epic) Sushi Ride

The suburbanite’s familiar search.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

BikePortland’s bike parking coverage is sponsored by Huntco Site Furnishings.

Suburban parking lots often fail horribly at bike parking — not because it’s expensive but simply because developers weren’t thinking about it.

But as hundreds of Portland retailers can testify, decent bike parking is a big part of making a business district bike-friendly. It’s a key part of making it feel natural and normal to go out for an errand, a beer, a meeting, a movie or a daycare dropoff on a bicycle.

With low-car lifestyles getting more common in Washington County over the last few years, some people in the area are looking to upgrade the bike parking. That’s why the Westside Transportation Alliance is working on a project right now to select the best locations for new bike racks.

[Read more…]

Bike parking exam: Planet Granite in the Pearl District

Posted on December 21st, 2015 at 2:15 pm.

Bike parking at Planet Granite-1.jpg

Bikes parked outside Planet Granite on NW 14th and Pettygrove.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

I have a thing for bike parking.
[Read more…]

Check out the beautiful bike parking at Pacific Northwest College of Art

Posted on April 16th, 2015 at 10:44 am.

Bike parking at new PNCA location-3.jpg

With room for 42 bikes right up front, PNCA is doing it right.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

When the Pacific Northwest College of Art moved, they made sure one crucial piece of their old campus came with them: the bike parking.
[Read more…]

City issues bike parking code violation to Jantzen Beach Home Depot

Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 12:09 pm.

depot-todd

Not going to cut it.
(Photo: Todd Boulanger)

Last week we shared the unfortunate story of new bike parking at the U.S. Bancorp Tower. It’s unfortunate because — despite a brand new, million dollar plaza renovation — whoever installed the bike racks got it completely wrong (we’re still waiting to hear back from the architecture firm that led the project).

That story had us checking the City of Portland code to see if the new Bancorp Tower racks were in compliance (they appear to violate at least one Administrative Rule). On a similar note, a few weeks back we heard from reader and former City of Vancouver (WA) transportation planner Todd Boulanger. Boulanger cc’d us on an email to Sarah Figliozzi, a bicycle program specialist at PBOT.

His emailed contained that photo above and this message: [Read more…]

Bike rack company touts security at Portland demo event

Posted on January 16th, 2015 at 2:14 pm.

Park-a-Bike Racks demo-7

Park A Bike’s Christopher Luyet explains
the features of his “bike dock”.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bike thieves have upped their game and rack manufacturers see a business opportunity.

Not content with using mere bolt-cutters to snip your cable lock or a mini car-jack to pry open your u-lock, thieves are now using power saws. Yes, power saws that can easily zing through the rounded pipes used in over 6,000 of those official blue “staple” Bureau of Transportation bike racks and countless street signs that people lock to when there’s no staple nearby.

Just this morning we learned about the latest power-saw-bike-theft victim via reddit.[Read more…]

Thief saws through PBOT bike rack to steal women’s bike

Posted on January 5th, 2015 at 11:27 am.

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Sawed then stolen.
(Photos: BikeIndex.org)

Portland thieves will stop at nothing to take your beloved bike.

In the wee hours of this morning, someone sawed clean through a standard-issue City of Portland staple rack and stole a Trek Lexa road bike.

The theft happened in front of Star Bar at SE 7th and Morrison and was first reported via its listing on BikeIndex.org. Bryan Hance from Bike Index said the listing came in at 6:00 am so he suspects the theft occurred overnight. (We’re still trying to get in contact with the bike’s owner.)
[Read more…]