Rick Risemberg from Bicycle Fixation passed on a like to a very informative bike rack installation guidelines [PDF] publication from the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP). The guidelines show why most ‘wheel bender’ type bike racks are so inadequate to the task – as if cyclists didn’t already know: they are flimsy, often insecure, and, well, they bend front wheels. More than an instruction sheet, these guidelines are food for thought for cycling advocates, planners, transportation engineers, and facilities planners, all of whom may play some role in providing that most basic of bicycle amenity: a hitching post for the ride. Any cyclist familiar with the crappy rack adjacent to the library in Beverly Hills knows how a ‘wheel bender’ rack poorly-situated doesn’t necessarily encourage bike parking. These guidelines publication is a reminder that encouraging cycling begins with making conditions safe for cyclists and providing safe parking for our ride. In this regard, the city treats motorists so much better than cyclists in Beverly Hills.
There may be a dozen racks around town, but none are where they are really needed: at big stores, key employers, and significant cultural facilities. In many other cities, by contrast, colorful imaginative racks beckon cyclists, even where big employers and museums are nowhere to be found. It is just good practice to make streets inviting and accessible to all road users. Long Beach has even created a bike corral by converting one car space to accommodate fourteen parked bikes.
Instead on City Council’s collective mind is providing plenty of parking for motorists to the tune of about $50,000 per parking spot. And very often we give those spaces away free – a subsidy to local businesses and a convenience that encourages motoring.
Have a look at the guide to stimulate the imagination and call the Transportation division of Public Works to say you want your racks today!