Bikes and Parking (could that be a less interesting title?)

Yesterday’s post looked at pedestrian and bike movements when cyclists and pedestrians are forced into the same space and I made mention of the City of Melbourne’s (CoM) Bike Strategy. The most recent edition (2012 – 2016) is an excellent document and is in stark contrast to the woeful City of Boroondara’s (CoB) Bike Strategy (which, strangely, seems to have completely disappeared from their website). I bring up CoB as it is the Council in which the author of this blog resides. They move at an entirely glacial pace with regard to anything to do with biking and very much focus on the ‘recreational’ cyclist – those who want a rail trail or alike. However, if you want to ride to work, you’re pretty doomed as there is no safe option. See the previous entry, entitled ‘I Just Want a Route’ for more of a rant on this. However, I digress.

Whilst the CoM’s Bike Strategy focuses on built infrastructure (which I enthusiastically applaud), there is a severe need for more bike parking now, as the stats below (taken from the CoM’s Bike Strategy) demonstrate:statsAnd my own little wanderings also prove:

overcrowding in CoMovercrowding 2

On the days when these were taken, the one on the left was a Friday afternoon, at about 5.30pm, and given the glorious weather, there were understandably a lot of people riding that day. Similarly, the weather was looking pretty good on the day the second shot was taken, however this was snapped at 3pm – in the middle of the day. With more bikes, comes more biking (hurrah!) but that leads to more need for bike parking (kind of ‘hurrah’) and that leads to finding more money for that parking (boo). However, the money that cyclists save cities in the long run (not to mention health benefits) is a small price tag indeed.

As the God who is Jan Gehl states in Cities for People:

“…in terms of parking, there is plenty of space for ten bicycles in one ordinary parking slot. Pedestrian and bicycle traffic saves space and makes a positive contribution to green accounts by reducing particle pollution and carbon emissions.” p.105

There is no need for the jury to retire on this one – build better cycling infrastructure but then make sure you provide the bits and bobs that go along with the increased popularity that it will have.

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