Bike Parking

Transportation Nation

When Bike Parking Goes Wrong

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bike traffic jam (photo by Collin Campbell/WNYC)

Car alarm going off? Someone park too close to you? Putting notes on car windshields is a time-honored New York City way of conveying annoyance. Now that's expanding to another form of transportation.

Friend to TN (heck, he's TN spawn) Collin Campbell sent us this picture, describing it as "a (loud, argumentative) traffic jam on a bike rack." It was taken right around the corner from WNYC near the intersection of Varick and Charlton Streets -- a place where bike parking is indeed at a premium. But that's no excuse to lock your bike to another one. If you're the owner of a brown Upland Beach Cruiser, please report to the corner.


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Transportation Nation

New York City Adding On-Street Bike Parking

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bike Racks Being installed on Fifth Avenue in front of Gorilla Coffee (photo by Andrea Bernstein)

UPDATED Gorilla Coffee in Brooklyn has become an iconic Fifth Avenue institution: the kind of place where you might go with your Mac to get caffeinated and write your app.

To these accoutrements of hipsterdom, add another: the bike rack.

NYC DOT workers were out Thursday morning installing four round bike racks where a car parking spot once was, in front of self-described Park Slope "micro-roastery" Gorilla Coffee. (The auto parking spot will be replaced by one across the street, currently a 'No Standing' zone.)

In an email, Craig Hammerman, manager of Community Board 6, said the spots were approved by the board.

Of the Fifth Avenue spot, he wrote:  "The bike racks, planter pots and flexible delineators will be installed first, and the white markings on the road surface will be installed shortly thereafter."  Hammerman said the DOT would be restoring the car spot across the street, " by May 31st the latest. When completed, there will be no net loss of vehicular parking to the area, and additional bicycle parking capacity."

Darleen Scherer, one of Gorilla Coffee's owners, tells us that the bike parking was suggested by a customer, who'd heard of a similar move  in Cobble Hill.    "People mostly walk here, or arrive by bike," Scherer said.  "They'd lock up their bikes to a gate, which was really frustrating."

A DOT staffer said there's another such rack at Smith & Sackett, and one on Ninth Avenue in Manhattan.  The spots have to be requested, and sponsors have to pledge to keep the spots clean, since the bike racks will block street cleaning machines.  Here's what the one at Smith & Sackett looked like Friday.

Bike Parking at Smith & Sackett (photo: Andrea Bernstein)

Scherer said the spot had formerly been mostly taken by cars, not delivery vehicles.  Her own delivery vehicles park on the corner, in front of a hydrant. Gorilla parking, you might say.

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Transportation Nation

PICS: Santa Monica, Calif. Opens Nation's Largest Bike Parking Center

Friday, November 18, 2011

(Photo: LA Metro)

Santa Monica, Calif. has plenty of parking lots and garages, what with the beach, 3rd Street Promenade, and brand new shopping center. Now it also has the nation's highest capacity  secure bike parking center with more than 350 spots, according to LA Metro, the agency funding the project. The Santa Monica Bike Center opens Saturday.

The $2 million ground-level garage is 5,300 square feet, with showers, lockers, restrooms and self-service repair facilities. There will even be attended valet parking for visitors to the swanky Santa Monica Place mall above the bike center.

This project is designed to encourage regular commuting by bike. Cyclists will have to become members of the facility and pay daily, weekly, or monthly fees for the full service amenities.

Interior of the Santa Monica Bike Center (Photo: Nicolas Goldmark)

Richard Bloom, Mayor of the City of Santa Monica said, "This new bike center, built from scratch into a major development site will provide commuters and recreational riders with all the amenities they need to better access downtown Santa Monica car-free."

Santa Monica already has a big biking population in a region of drivers. The city boasts a bike commuter rate of 3.4 percent. That's compared to one percent for the neighboring city of  Los Angeles according to the American Community Survey.

The share of people accessing work by bicycle in Santa Monica has increased by almost 30 percent from 2007 and 2010, according to L.A. Metro. The city's Bike Action Plan calls for an array of projects and improvements to increase that to 14-35 percent of all trips in the city.

Part of the strategy is to allow transit access from Santa Monica to the rest of the L.A. region. The bike parking facility is close to existing bus routes, and walking distance to a planned expansion of the Expo Line Phase II light rail route scheduled to open in 2015.

Daily operations for the Bike Center will be managed by Bike 'n' Park, the firm that also operates the bike center in Chicago and the Bikestation in Washington, D.C.

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Transportation Nation

Houston to Require Businesses to Offer Bike Parking

Friday, November 11, 2011

(Houston -- Pat Hernandez, KUHF) It was a packed house at Houston's City Hall annex with owners of restaurants and bars discussing proposed changes to off-street parking rules and regulations. The Houston Planning Commission's Suzy Hartgrove deals with how many parking spaces businesses are required to provide for their customers.

"In some cases, we are increasing the number of spaces that businesses will have to provide," she says, "and in some cases we're loosening those restrictions, depending on what it is. Restaurants used to have to provide eight spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area, I know it's complicated, and bars, 10 spaces. We're making our definition of a bar meet with the Texas Alcohol Board says is a bar, and so the number of spaces are going to go up."

She says some of the changes will include the addition of parking for bicycles, and "In some cases we're lessening parking requirements. For instance, back when this ordinance was first adopted, we hadn't heard of a 'Cupcake Shop' before and, people don't need to stay long at cupcake shops. So the parking, right now they're having to meet eight spaces per 1,000. Well. we're gonna take that down to four spaces per 1,000, because you don't need as much parking."

Planning Commissioners heard from many business owners. Some applauded the changes to the ordinance, while some thought it was an assault on small independent restaurants, or that the changes lacked clarity.

Comments from the business owners will be studied and forwarded to the Committee on Regulatory Affairs before the Planning Commission takes any changes to the parking ordinance for council approval in December.

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Transportation Nation

From Parking Meter to Bike Parking

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New York City removed its last single-spaced parking meter this week.

But in some parts of the city, the bones of 160 old meters have been retrofitted to accommodate bike parking.

Formerly a parking meter, now a bike rack on Columbus Avenue (photo by Kate Hinds)

In addition to Manhattan's Upper West Side (see photo above) the NYC Department of Transportation has installed the parking meter bike racks along 7th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and on 37th Avenue in Flushing, Queens.

This isn't a new idea. Other cities do this as well, like Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Cambridge bike parking (photo by Kate Hinds)

It saves cities the trouble of digging the poles out of the foundation, and gives bikers a much-needed place to lock up. According to Transportation Alternatives, there's only one bike rack for every 31 cyclists in New York City.


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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Student Athletes WON'T have to pay up, self-service airport scanners, and cell service to hit NYC subways.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oregon transit takes away parking spaces from crowded park and ride garage -- and puts in 74 biking parking spots.  Look at it this way, officials say:  you haven't lost eight spots --you've gained 74 bike spots!  (Oregon live)

Los Angeles Schools Chief, in reversal, says school athletes will NOT have to pay $24 towards transportation to sporting events.  He'll find "other financial options" to foot the $650,000 bill.  Good luck! (Los Angeles Times)

LaHood, Wisconisin Governor Doyle, get ready for "big announcement" on High Speed Rail Thursday. (Business Week).

The phone will be ringing off the hook: New York subway tunnels will also get wifi. (New York Daily News)

Self service "subway-style" scanners being tested at Houston airport.  Bloomberg

Suburban Nassau county sues NYC MTA for bus funding.  MTA says Nassau has been a deadbeat for a decade, Nassau says too bad, we're broke!  Buses could go private. (Long Island Press)

And crosswalks lights from around the world art installation graces Lower Manhattan construction zone:  (


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