Okay, I admit it. I really want on-street bike barking in Albuquerque. This would be especially great along Central Ave in Downtown, the UNM area and Nob Hill.
With the increase of bicycle ridership as a major form of transportation, city sidewalks can become rather crowed. This crowding inevitably creates points of conflict between cyclists and pedestrians. This only worsens when you have a bunch of bikes clustered together in front of a popular restaurant or café with sidewalk seating, and a pedestrian with a disability (I am thinking of vision and mobility specifically) has to navigate through this unnecessary obstacle course.
What better solution than having one or two on-street parking corrals that will hold a between 10-12 bicycles in the same space that only allows for one car? If there is one I can’t think of one. On-street bicycle parking gets the bikes off the sidewalk (this space is for pedestrians only) and therefore creates a huge reduction in points of conflict between cyclists and pedestrians. Additionally, by having on-street parking for bicyclist a city is telling its both cyclists and automobile drivers that cycling is a legitimate form of transportation.
Cities like NY, Miami, Chicago, Austin, Portland, and Seattle have all adopted on-street parking.Cyclists love it, business owners love it, and pedestrians love it. Albuquerque city ordinance §8-1-2-23 allows for it and the Albuquerque Bikeways and Trails Master Plan Design Guidelines discuss how to implement street parking for cyclists. Let’s get with the times Albuquerque…add some on-street bike parking. While we are at it, I want grocery stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts to dedicate just one parking space to bike parking. To be honest, I always feel like I am blocking someones access when I park my bike and trailer on the sidewalk. If I could park my bike in a parking space M and I would not make pedestrians have to maneuver around us when we are loading up all of our groceries.
Here are a few examples of when on-street parking would be more appropriate that the traditional off-street parking:
• High pedestrian activity results in limited space for providing bicycle racks on sidewalks.
• There is a moderate to high demand for short-term bicycle parking.
• Sufficient on-street vehicular parking is available
• The business community shows an interest in sponsoring the bicycle corral.
Check out this short video from Street Films to get a better idea of the benefits of on-street bicycle parking.