November 4, 2011

Bicycle Parking

Have you heard the big news? There's a new bicycle parking shelter on High Street near campus! And most people dislike it!

Credit: Jessica Matthews - Cbus Cycling Chic
Woah! Hold on a second! Why do people hate it? Well, according to the Dispatch, they are installing 10 shelters of varying sizes for a total project cost of $300,000. Like me, you liked the idea of the shelter until you realized the City spent approximately $30,000 for this single bike shelter. And while I don't like complaining when public monies are spent on bicyclists, this kind of expenditure is good old-fashioned bad press.

The roof itself is largely unnecessary as if you bike in inclement weather - and this might be a shocker to some - your bike will get wet. Instead, the City should have investigated bike racks with a tire pump along with maps of COTA, bike-able destinations, and copies of the Columbus Metro Bike Users Map. Hopefully they'll look into adding maps as the shelters might as well be a resource for bikers.

I'm not anti-parking shelters altogether. This kind of idea would be better served by the dorms where people may choose not to bike in rain but are unable to keep their bike inside. If Columbus and OSU truly want to be seen as being bicycle friendly, bike shelters/lockers near the dorms would be a great place to start. Commercial districts like High Street should be left with only U-bike racks for now.

The last thing I want to leave you with is that during the last Columbus Bicycle Subcommittee meeting, I was informed that this is Phase 1 of the bike shelters. That's right, there'll be more than 9 shelters coming our way.

Next time: Weird laws of the road

Cool link of the day: Queen's Bicycle Race

1 comment:

  1. To keep things in perspective, the on-street bike corral on Oak St cost somewhere between $1000-$3000 based on costs I've seen elsewhere. So Columbus got 10 shelters for $300,000 instead of 100-300 bike corrals city wide. FYI, Portland only has like 130 including those not yet installed but planned. They also provide parking for the same number of bikes (12 each), so 120 cyclists max are accommodated by the 10 shelters vs 1200-3600 cyclists. Also remember that with so many that these would be without a doubt the *only* form of bike infrastructure in several neighborhoods (especially low-income) and would encourage cycling to businesses from within these neighborhoods and nearby areas thereby increasing the number of cyclists where there were once very few at all on a citywide basis. I highly doubt we'll see a significant increase on High which already has the highest share of cyclists in the city. Maybe Columbus will get it right next time...or the next. Maybe.

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