In a nutshell, there is no intentional delay to get the first three bike corrals installed, it’s just the nature of trying to do something new and different that involves staff people from several different departments.
Some of you wonderfully astute readers may have noticed that there is a discrepancy in WBE reporting about when the downtown bike corrals will be installed. You may remember that in September I reported that the installation of the bike corrals at KIVA (125 W 11th), Cornucopia (5th and Pearl), and Morning Glory Cafe (450 Willamette St) was “currently in queue behind a mass parking meter installation project at the University of Oregon, and should begin sometime in October.” You also may have noticed Shane’s recent article which says that the very same corrals “will be built during a spring fabrication class at LCC and installed during the spring of 2011.”
If you are like me, you probably are wondering, “Hey!… What?” (My inner monologue is not very eloquent.)
Confused, I contacted City of Eugene Associate Transportation Planner David Roth for an explanation. Turns out, neither WBE story is fully correct.
First, Roth explained the delay:
If I could pin it on one thing, the reason for the delay is mostly because we missed a window of opportunity to have the racks installed before leaf season began. The same crews that operate street sweepers, vacuum trucks and dump trucks to pick up leaves are the ones who would install the racks. In a nutshell, there is no intentional delay to get the first three bike corrals installed, it’s just the nature of trying to do something new and different that involves staff people from several different departments.
Due to unpredictable nature of the process, Roth was hesitant to provide an exact date for the installation of the racks, but said that he was “fairly confident that we’ll see them installed soon.” Roth assured me that we won’t have to wait for the art components to be finished before the racks are installed:
There are 3 corrals going in (Grower’s Market, Kiva and Cornucopia on Pearl). We only have one set of racks so far (Grower’s Market). The other two need to be ordered. These corrals will be of a standard variety and will not have to wait until the artistic versions are decided on (summer, 2011). The artistic designs will be implemented later when that process is complete.
This raises the question, how will this affect the installation of the meter rings? GEARs recently reported: (emphasis mine)
The City is also working with the South University Neighborhood on a big project to convert unregulated parking in that neighborhood to 2 hour permit parking. The unregulated parking pockets in the area are hunted for each day by UO visitors, creating more vehicle miles traveled south of 18th and more opportunity for bike/ped – vehicle interactions. Once that project is complete the Parking Program will start work on the downtown bike hoops as well as on three different bicycle corrals at Morning Glory Cafe (450 Willamette St.), Cornucopia (207 E. Fifth Ave.) and the Kiva grocery store (125 W. 11th Ave.).
It is unclear (to me, at least) how the above mentioned projects fit in with the Leaf Program, and whether the meter rings or bike corrals have priority. If I find out more I’ll update the story.