Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More on Bike Parking

It's back to the drawing boards for the legal and legislative teams at Charleston's City Hall.  Everyone quickly "got it": that the punitive bicycle parking provisions in the new bicycle ordinance just didn't fit the "bicycle-friendly" vibe everyone's trying to project.
And it is pretty bicycle-friendly, overall.  Mayor Riley got approval of a large bond package that, among many other things, should provide funding for paving portions of the West Ashley Greenway and perhaps for the planned cantilevered bicycle-pedestrian addition to the T. Allen Legare Bridge over the Ashley. (This is a biggie because it will link the West Ashley Greenway to the peninsula.)
So, the parking stuff was yanked.  There was a sigh of relief and pledges all 'round that the City would work to provide sufficient convenient parking for bicycles before fining people using parking meters and trees.
Yours truly provided members of council with the following photo and article:

We suggested that a creative, positive approach to solving the bike parking problem would leave a much better taste in everyone's mouth, and suggested this might just be the kind of thing that could work in places.  Here's the post that went with the photo:

Here’s a genuinely good idea for bike parking, which is currently, and surprisingly, being trialled in London.
The Cyclehoop is a steel hoop which clamps onto lampposts, street signs and other urban poles and turns them into proper bike racks. The advantages to the host city are great: it’s a lot cheaper and quicker than the digging and re-concreting required for normal racks, and the Cyclehoop takes up almost no space in comparison.
And its good for cyclists, too. The ‘hoop is put purposely low on the post to discourage top-tube-only locking, which is apparently a major encouragement to thieves. It also allows more than one bike to lock to a single post much more easily and stops them being lifted over the top. The units are secured using shear-bolts, which are bolts which lose their wrench-shaped heads at a specific torque, leaving behind a smooth, conical head that cannot be turned.
But there is one more advantage to the Cyclehoop — it legitimizes locking bikes up to street furniture, something most cyclists do anyway. Here in Barcelona, the law somewhat fuzzily says that you can’t lock bikes to lampposts or trees. This is so widely ignored that the cops let it go, usually, but of course that doesn’t stop the occasional old lady ticking you off.
The CylceHoop is being trialled in the Islington and Southwark boroughs of London. Any Londoners who have seen or used these brightly colored froot-loops locks, let us know what you think of them.

In any case, hardly a negative word was heard, and a King Street merchant or two stepped up to say they'd work with the City to provide bike parking adjacent to their shops.  Stay tuned.


Greg Smith said...

Indeed, what a great outcome! It was good to see so much support for biking and I agree with your suggestion of biking hoops attached to the meters... That's a fantastic idea!! (Bicycle parking should be a badge of honor not something to worry about!)

Greg Smith +
Episcopal Chaplain to the Citadel

Steven Vance said...

Most bike rack types are installed on the concrete surface and rarely are they embedded.

Bike racks (the most common being the inverted U) in Chicago have 6 or 8 four-inch long bolts that are pounded into pre-drilled holes in the concrete. This method is so strong that the bolts remain in the ground even after the bike rack is impacted by an errant car driver.