Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Join The Discussion On Bicycle Parking In Chicago

Over the past few years the issue of bicycle parking has become a friction point between Chicago bicyclists and the City. Simply put; there isn't enough. There seems to be a two-fold cause of this problem: First, the number of bicycle commuters has risen significantly of late. This means more folks who need to lock their bikes for prolonged periods. Secondly, the City has been replacing old school parking meters with electronic pay-and-display boxes. While some of the old meters have been left as a courtesy to bicyclists, many have disappeared and have not been replaced with bike racks. What we now have is a situation of increased demand being met by a decreased supply of fixtures to which a bike can be locked. Problem.

Over at The Chainlink John Greenfield, a former Active Transportation Alliance employee and bike parking manager for Chicago Department of Transportation’s Bike Program, has posted a helpful update on how the City is addressing this issue:

The City [has adopted] a policy of leaving 1/6 of the parking meters in place on blocks without bike racks in business districts. In some cases where there is high bike parking demand, meters are retained even if there are existing racks. The City removes the coin mechanisms of the retained meters and labels them so that bicyclists know that they have been left for their convenience.

In addition, CDOT is currently installing additional bike racks on some blocks where meters were removed to help mitigate the loss of bike parking in areas with high bike traffic, e.g. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park.

In the future, CDOT may retrofit the retained meters. The meters may have their heads removed and have rings bolted on to the poles to create “post-and-ring” bike racks. This would make it easier to park two bikes on a meter.

Mr. Greenfield notes that an article on this subject will appear in a bicycle magazine and he would like to include quotes from local bicyclists. To add your comment to his discussion thread click here.

1 comment:

  1. I like what Portland is doing with on-street bike parking. In the space of one car you can get twenty plus bikes...


Search This Blog