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Let SDOT know where to install bike racks

As we enter winter, and street painting and paving season comes to an end, SDOT refocuses on their bike parking efforts. So you know that place where you can never find a place to lock up? Riding around the block, trying to find some secure pole or street sign or anything to lock to, you almost feel like a driver looking for a free space! *shudder*

In all seriousness, proper, secure(ish) bike parking is a vital need if we want people to be able to depend on their bicycles for transportation and everyday uses. As more people ride, the need for bike parking increases as well.

In addition to missing or inadequate bike racks, keep on the lookout for locations where on-street bike parking would work well. These would be places where there is not enough room on the sidewalk for adequate bike parking. Nearby businesses would also have to be friendly to the idea, since it would involve the removal of one parking space.

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However, the benefits of having an on-street corral include increased parking (one car vs 16+ bikes) and increased storefront visibility. After all, bikes don’t block your storefront from view, but one Ford Expedition will.

Other general bike rack criteria, from SDOT:

Racks are installed in public space within City of Seattle limits, usually on a sidewalk with six or more feet of clear sidewalk space remaining.

Racks are placed at convenient, usable locations in close proximity to building entrances without impeding pedestrians.

Racks are placed with adequate clearance from curb ramps and crosswalks, street furniture, driveways, and parked cars.

Racks can be installed in bus stops or loading zones only if they do not interfere with boarding or loading patterns and there are no alternative locations.

So what can you do? Fill out this online form and suggest locations for new racks. In addition to filling out the form, you can also comment on this post. Let us know: Where are your favorite and least favorite bike parking locations in the city?

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6 responses to “Let SDOT know where to install bike racks”

  1. Scott

    Thanks for pointing to this. I’ve submitted for mo-betta bike racks near the Columbia City Farmers Market.

  2. Kashina

    Thanks for this! I just submitted a request for the sidewalk in front of The Bikery. (Pretty sure this has been requested before, but it’s worth a shot.)

  3. Merlin

    I submitted for bike racks at my place of work. It took several months for a rack to show up – but it did eventually, and I didn’t have to contact the building management myself. When the first rack filled up, I put in a request for more – there are now 3 racks in front of the building. All I did was call the number that’s posted on all the racks.

  4. alexjonlin

    I’m submitting for Pike Place Market. I frequently see dozens of bikes locked up to fences around there but no racks.

  5. eric.br

    i got one placed in front of the safeway in the u-district about a year ago, but not after a bit of interestingness. the form requires the manager’s name, and i didn’t know it so just called up and asked to speak to him. apparently he was a bit paranoid and refused to give me his name, even after i explained the program, how it was free, etc. he was real angry for some reason, then he hung up on me. couldn’t believe it. (he has since then been replaced i think…)

    i ended up having to serepitiously ask one of the checkers for his name, and was ultimately successful getting the rack in. funnily, i did think they’d get rid of their old POS rack, but its still there, butt up against a tree, blocking nearly 2/3rds of the sidewalk, and still occasionally gets kicked into the road. oh well.

  6. mike archambault

    For your reading (dis)pleasure about bike parking, check out an article I wrote on CHS blog earlier this year: http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2010/04/19/sdot-moving-forward-with-more-on-street-bike-parking-for-the-hill
    SDOT has since installed on-street racks in front of Melrose Market and in front of Northwest Film Forum on Capitol Hill. yay!
    I was also told recently by SDOT that future on-street racks will be more like Portland’s and less like those metal monstrosities in the pictures.

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