Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why do we need bicycle parking downtown?

I guess this post is long overdue, since we've been working on getting bike racks downtown since September.

The Waukesha public works board will be reviewing our initial proposal and voting whether to give it conceptual approval Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. in room 217 in City Hall. We encourage you to attend to support our proposal.

For anyone who bikes to downtown regularly, the need for bike parking is obvious. But it ISN'T obvious for people who don't bike. People who don't bike see plenty of trees, street signs, garbage cans, and lamp posts to lock bikes to. They also point out that there are bike racks down by the riverwalk that no one ever uses, so they say adding more is just a waste of money. Well, here are some arguments for installing bike racks:

How will non-cyclists benefit from bike racks?
1) Bicycle parking is good for business. The amount of money cyclists spend, divided by amount of area dedicated to bike parking, is proportionally higher than the amount of $/area dedicated for car parking. If bicyclists feel invited and have safe and convenient locations to secure their bikes, they will spend more time and money downtown. If you build it they will come...

West Broadway on a Friday night, Waukesha, WI.

2) Designated bike racks result in more orderly-looking streetscapes and prevents damage to trees, signs, garbage cans and lampposts.

3) Well-designed back racks prevent theft.

4) The bike racks we are proposing will also serve as public art, which will attract more people to downtown Waukesha and also showcase local artists, designers, and metalworkers.

How will cyclists benefit from bike parking?

1) Bicycle parking encourages more people to bike by legitimizing cycling as a transportation mode.

2) Cyclists will be able to lock their bikes up securely, in a way that minimizes damage to their bike. Bike racks should be designed to support the bike in two places, preventing it from falling over. The rack should also be anchored to the ground.

3) The new racks would be located close to the businesses and activity centers in downtown, so they would actually be useful to cyclists. Most cyclists won't go very far from their destination to find a good place to lock their bike. Sometimes it's a chore to even cross the street for a bike parking spot.

1 comment:

  1. It's instructive to take the suggestion of the DPW board member from Thursday night's meeting and walk around downtown with the BID map of proposed rack locations to see which of them still make sense after Wednesday's not atypical snowfall.