Local bike advocate, Whiteaker Neighborhood Council member, and car-free father of four, Paul Adkins has submitted a proposal to the City of Eugene to install the first non-business related bike corral in Eugene. This may even be the first residential on-street bike corral in the nation. Many cities around the country are installing bike corrals in business districts including Portland, San Francisco, New York, and Boulder and as many readers know, the City of Eugene has plans to install three bike corrals this summer. Portland has even done a bike corral in a neighborhood, however that corral was done in the “planter strip” between the sidewalk and the roadway. This corral would actually replace a car parking space with bike parking for about 10 bikes.
The neighborhood bike corral would create a community amenity and utilize public space for a different type of parking than traditionally provided and one that matches the neighborhood usage. As Paul states in his application, “in a residential area where there is more bicycle traffic than car traffic, public bicycle parking is not offered. In this case, local residents simply prefer bicycles in the parking strip rather than autos in order to welcome people that are turning more to bicycles for transportation.” Continue reading “Whiteaker Resident Requests to Install First Residential Bike Corral”
Today (tonight, really), we are going to be talking about the downtown meter rings currently being installed to replace bike parking lost back in October when the the parking meter heads were removed from the new downtown free car parking zone. This has previously been covered by WeBikeEugene here and here.
I’ve re-written this story a few times already, mostly due to new information making the original versions inaccurate. Another thing that you should know is that it currently is 11pm, I’m drinking beer (not enough), listening to circus music on Pandora, and am very tired. These things should combine for an interesting story – I hope. If not – meh – you’re reading a blog run by a clown.
Before you go on, you might also be interested in knowing that my delay in this story has caused me to get scooped by EugeneBicyclist, KEZI, The Eugene Weekly, and the Register-Guard, but thankfully I have a lot of new information to add to the discussion.
Prior to this week I (like almost everyone else involved), was operating on a few assumptions about the meter rings: 1) There wouldn’t be enough meter rings to cover all the blank poles and 2) As a result only meter poles without heads would receive meter rings. Then about a week ago I was eating some late-night Voodoo Doughnuts with the wife and I noticed a meter ring installed on the parking meter out front– a parking meter that still had its head. This made no sense to me. I did a quick survey of the area and found that many poles were still empty, some had no head and a ring, and several pole had rings AND heads. Operating under the assumption that we didn’t have enough rings for the empty poles as it was, I became very confused. What was going on? Had the city gone crazy? Why were they wasting rings on poles that still had their heads?
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.
Today I have a repost from the GEARs website and the wonderful December InMotion from the City of Eugene. In related news, gradschool is finally on break, which means I can tackle my huge backlog of stories. Stay tuned! December will be a good month for WBE, and will feature more than just reposts. Also, in case you missed the Twitter post, WBE will be changing servers this December. I hope the server change will address our slowness issues.
Before I repost the GEARs article about downtown bike parking, here is a quick recap of what has happened so far: Back in August I raised the issue that free downtown bike parking would lead to the lost of 165 downtown bike parking spots when 255 meter heads were removed (often two meter heads are on one pole.) I had already raised the issue on the GEARs mailing list back in February after reading this article in Momentum Magazine, but it didn’t garner much attention at the time. However, after my August post the GEARs advocacy sprang into high-gear and began talking with city officials, like Parking Services Manager Jeff Petry (who happens to also be a bike commuter), about replacing some of the meter heads with “bike hoops.” We don’t have those yet, but to solve some of the immediate need Petry seems to have thought “outside the box” and attached many of the new “free parking” signs to the old meter posts to preserve some of the bike parking.
Why? The removal of parking meters. According to Jeff Petry, Eugene Parking Services Manager,the City Council has directed thatleft it up to city staff to decide whether the heads be removed off 288 parking meters downtown. This would make the meters inadequate for bike parking since bike locks could simply be lifted off the pole. It would be a grave mistake to remove 288*165 bike parking spots from an already inadequate downtown bike parking scene.
* Update: It was just brought to my attention by Petry that many of the meters are double heads on a single pole, so the actual loss in bike parking would be less than the 288. It’s actually 165 meter poles with 288 meter heads attached to them.
Eugene wouldn’t be the first city to make this mistake. Take the jump to read about some cities that have made this mistake in the past, and how other cities have avoided it. This issue is real and it is now, and we have only a few weeks to change the momentum of this project.