Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More and Better Bicycle Racks Please


Here's a nice little piece on a simple infrastructure improvement that could get more people to commute by bicycle.
Slate.

15 comments:

munsoned said...

Nice article. I don't ride my bike to shop nearly enough as I should. I remember one time I did ride to Crossroads by bike, I was riding an old Mt. Shasta hybrid. I was so concerned about my bike being stolen since all I had for a lock was a flimsy, quarter inch thick cable. A butter knife could have relinquished my bike in about 2 minutes.

I assured myself, however, given the choice between a 15 year old bike and the possibility of potentially hundreds of unlocked cars in the huge parking lot of CrossRoads, a thief would chose the latter.

And if I all of a sudden, I had to keep my bike locked up outside at my work, instead of keeping it in our back storage, it would totally change my outlook on commuting. I'd still commute by bike year round, but my old Mt. Shasta would actually see some use instead of any other bike I own.

Thanks again for the article.

erik said...

i think another important observation of the study is that we need less car spots in order to create practical incentives for bicycling or alt. transportation.

that seems huge not just for cycling, but for creating higher density communities (as 2/3 of traffic infrastructure is parking), with more diversity by default, which flourish as we see in successful city districts.

munsoned said...

Yeah, but it's depressing to look at the aerial view on Mapquest or other map webpages and compare the middle of the city to the countryside gravel road routes I'm looking for. I guess the more dense the city, the more expansive the countryside.

I've never owned a yard, but I can see how having some "green" to take care of and spend time in would be calming. I really like the idea of the community garden that Dundee has. Wish there were more of those. I should contact my condo associates and ask if the little patch of yard we have could be used for such a purpose; see if any of them are interested in joining me at harnessing the power of the green thumb.

erik said...

definitely true that density increases the availability of surrounding areas to ride and explore as a benefit, given good planning.

i mean, i guess an example is just simply my moving to berkeley and the wealth of protected space (hundreds of square miles) that i can ride just a mile to reach the edge of. it'd be good to get some of that going in omaha, i always loved boyer chute and wished there were prairies that could actually be allowed to expand (instead of subsidized corn fields writ large, but that's another can of worms).

munsoned said...

(Sarcasm warning) But Erik! Without all that corn, how could we (over)feed ourselves, (over)feed our cows, and create wonderful fuel alternatives?!?!

Scott Redd said...

As some of you may know, I started the goofy project of documenting Omaha's bike racks on a google map.

I photographed one today, in the Old Market, no less.

The overall map is here.

The new rack at Hollywood Candy is here.

The next time you're in the Old Market, pop into Hollywood Candy and thank them for installing their bike rack.

MOD said...

That's awesome Scott.

erik said...

the slate picture makes me feel good.

sda said...

we (out here in fort collins) converted a few diagonal on-street car parking spaces in old-town to bike parking spaces recently. new belgium brewery donated the racks, which hold about 20 bikes a piece. seems to be working pretty well for people and the drivers don't miss them.

Chris G. said...

There was a recent community art project for which local artists built cool bike racks for Omaha. My dad built one a few months ago but has yet to be contacted regarding its installation.

http://www.unomaha.edu/bikeblast/

Steve said...

I heard about that. Hopefully they'll be up soon?

RD said...

lets hope they put them in somewhat logical locations sometimes the organizers miss the mark

Steve said...

Perhaps we could talk to them and suggest a location. We might even reference Scott's map.

Scott Redd said...

I think augmenting selected existing parking in strategic locations by adding "ears" to them is a great idea.

I've got to think the conversion is cheaper than installing a new rack, and probably less time and resource consuming. Plus, the final product has no bigger footprint than the parking meter alone.

See here for a photo of a parking meter that's been converted into a bike rack.

Imagine these in some Old Market locations or other strategic points in downtown Omaha.

Chris G. said...

Funny timing. My dad's rack, the Benson-Ames Alliance’s art bike rack, created by Mark Goodall, will be installed on the grounds of the Benson Community Center, 6008 Maple St., on Wednesday, Aug. 26, starting at 1:30pm.