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Tag Archive: bike parking

D.C.’s overloaded bike parking

Here’s an article I spotted in the Washington Post‘s free daily, Express, with the catchy headline “Good Luck Parking That Thing”. It seems that the D.C. Metro area’s many bike commuters (3.1% of commuters, according to recent Census reports) are more than parking areas can handle:

Co-workers Stavely Lord and David Hambric both thought it’d be smart to ride their bikes to happy hour on 14th Street last Friday night. The moment they arrived, they realized the problem with this plan: parking.

Every rack was packed. And all of the meters and street signs in sight were already sporting Kryptonite locks. The only spot left was along one side of a tree box.

“So we had to share,” Hambric said as he detached his frame from Lord’s. (They’d latched the two together, and then locked up to the metal railing.) Hambric, a Bloomingdale resident, explained that coming up with such creative solutions is just part of being a cyclist in Washington, “where bike parking is at a premium, and demand has outstripped supply.”

Read the full article by visiting the Washington Post page.

It’s a glorious problem to have, for sure…also a sure sign that cities need to keep up with growing demands. We’ve talking about this a lot over the years, that encouraging more people to travel by bike takes so much more than painting a few stripes on the pavement. To increase bike share in a city, there needs to be a comprehensive development of related infrastructure, and that includes ample bike parking wherever it will fit!

bike_parking

Santa Monica, Peak Oil and the Global Energy Outlook

I spotted a good essay in the Santa Monica edition of Patch today in my Google News feed. In the essay, there is some discussion of the Santa Monica City Council’s bold Bicycle Action Plan and the ribbon cutting on a new high-capacity bicycle parking facility (the largest in the nation at 360 spaces).

The essay goes on to talk about how bicycles fit into the global economy and the author states:

What I don’t think our society has quite come to terms with yet, is how drastically economic, ecological, and cultural shifts will be shaping our transportation reality. These emerging shifts are demanding more serious consideration for bicycling in urban transportation. Riding a bike will be viewed as an increasingly logical response for people trying to manage our high levels of unemployment, stagnant wages and climbing fuel and food prices.

Some of it is preaching to the choir, but the way the author lays out his case is worth a read. Take a look at the full essay by visiting the Santa Monica Patch page here.

Superbowl Fever in Tampa…but what about bikes?

Anyone who follows professional football knows that next weekend, Superbowl XLIII makes its appearance in Tampa. Preparations are underway throughout the city for an estimated influx of over 100000 visitors for this huge event.

Since I live right down the road from Raymond James Stadium (where the game’s going to be played) and not too far from downtown Tampa, I thought I’d take a bike trip to capture some photos of the preparations and to see if there was any evidence of bicycle accomodations for the event.

First, pictures: how about the stadium itself —
rayjay

Along Himes Avenue, what used to be open grass parking fields have been converted into a “tent city”…event tents, stages and other structures designed to house the press, numerous VIP parties and something called The NFL Experience. It’s really quite amazing to see just how much has been packed into this area:

himes

more development

Huge fences have been erected with security entrances at points along it…the NFL was thoughtful enough to cover the fencing with “no peek” banners so the non-ticketholding-riffraff can’t look in at all those celebrities in attendance:

fence

Elsewhere in Tampa, a number of displays have gone up. Downtown near the Channelside area, two art installations are available for visitors. The first is an NFL-themed interactive sculpture that was part of Tampa’s recent “Lights on Tampa“. This one is called “Tampa’s public mood ring”, as it responds with different-colored lights as the crowd responds to it. The artists were thoughtful enough to set up an online tool to help change this art piece in real time. Play with that by clicking here.

mood ring

The second art installation is located nearby the “mood ring” on a portion of Tampa’s Riverwalk. It is a series of really cool sculptures made out of welded recycled steel and each piece is meant to represent an NFL team:

sculptures
(sorry, the pictures aren’t great…I’m no Russ Roca!)

Just down the street, construction crews have put the finishing touches on the brand-new Tampa Bay History Center, which is a breathtaking building. They had their grand opening last weekend and hope to be 100% operational by the time all those tourists and celebrities make their way into town.

history center

So…what does any of this have to do with bicycles? Good question. As many of you might have heard or read about, the recent inauguration in Washington D.C. saw thousands of cyclists take advantage of the free bike valet parking, courtesy of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA). These folks did a tremendous job in orchestrating this, and with large parts of the city closed to motorists, bicycles made a LOT of sense to get around on.

What about Tampa and the Superbowl? Well, it’s like this: NO ONE I’ve spoken to and nowhere have I heard about or read ANYTHING about any bicycle accomodations for this huge event. There are going to be massive street closures (some of which are listed by clicking here) and because some of the road closures are major avenues through the city, I fear that gridlock is going to spill out into surrounding areas. I’ve got a couple theories about bicycles and the Superbowl, though:

1. If you can afford a ticket to the game or one of the exclusive VIP parties, you wouldn’t be caught dead tooling around town on a bike!
2. They can’t accomodate bikes at this event because they needed the room to park all the limousines, team vehicles, broadcast trucks and celebrity Hummers.
3. The most plausible: Tampa just doesn’t get it. Bikes? Those are for recreation, not transportation!

Anyhow, things should get interesting around here. I’ve got next weekend off, so I am strongly considering putting my pirate flag on the Xtracycle and wading into gridlock over in the stadium area…passing out “Gas Sucks” stickers and showing folks caught in traffic that there IS a worthwhile alternative to burning gas. I think I’ll check out that NFL Experience, too!

Who knows? I might bump into Diddy or Carmen Electra heading to one of those exclusive parties.

BikeStation.Org

The other day I went to the headquarters of BikeStation.org in Long Beach, Ca. I met up with Andrea White, Executive Director of the organization. We chatted a bit about what Bike Station is all about and what they do. So to give you a better idea, I pulled this from their website.

Bikestation is a not-for-profit organization that offers secure bicycle parking and related services to make cyclists’ lives easier. Park your bike at Bikestation and you can be assured that your vehicle is secure and covered.

Whether you ride your bike to public transportation, to work, or you simply need a safe place to store your bike for the day, Bikestation is available to serve you. It’s simple, convenient and affordable.

Many Bikestations offer free parking during their hours of operation, and paid memberships for 24-hour access to secure parking. To find more information on what method of parking is more convenient for you, check the page of your local Bikestation for their daily hours of operation.

In addition, each Bikestation location provides unique services and amenities; but most Bikestations provide:

* Shared-use bicycle rentals;

* Access to public transportation;

* Convenient operating hours;

* Friendly and helpful staff;

* Information to plan your commute trips.

Some Bikestation locations offer bicycle repairs, bicycle and commute sales & accessories, rental bikes for local and tourist needs, restroom/changing rooms and access to environmentally-clean vehicle-sharing. Select your local Bikestation from the menu bar for specific services and programs.

After our meeting, I managed to walk down to an actual Bike Station in downtown Long Beach. It was only 2 blocks from their office so I grabbed my camera and got some pictures of the facility.

The Bike Station has a full-on bike shop that caters to commuters. Plus, the place is manned by mechanics who can work on your bike while you’re at work.

The facility sells commuter-specific gear such as reflective bands, fenders, wheels, tires, tubes, patch kits, fixed gear parts and much more.

Check out the bike racks.

Long Beach is pretty lucky to have Bike Station. Man I know so many people in various parts of the country who would do anything for a place like this. If you think about it, it’s like going into a bike shop, leaving your bike there while someone watches it…covered and secured…and when you get off work, you go grab it and ride back home! It’s such a great idea and Bike Station mentioned that they are in the process in adding more bike stations throughout the country.

If you’d like more information about Bike Station, just check out their website.