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.
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?