Wednesday, October 10, 2012

McGilchrist and Corrals in the News

It's great to see connectivity on McGilchrist talked about relative to the "sustainable" Salmon Run development and the new Social Security office.

The back parking lot drains into a large swale, but all the "sustainable" features are oriented around the drive-alone car trip.

Fortunately, for both sidewalks and bike facilities, McGilchrist is a "tier 1" priority project in Bike and Walk Salem.With needing to serve the Social Security offices, and with a cluster of brand new breweries and other businesses, this seems like an increasingly high-profile place with a significant deficit in connectivity.

Over on facebook, there's a conversation about a neat new bike corral in Hoboken, NJ, interesting especially because it looks like it uses angle parking stalls rather than parallel stalls.

While there's plenty enough about which to criticize the City of Salem, the City may not be the main reason Salem doesn't have a corral yet. As the commenter from Hoboken points out, it's all about getting businesses on board. There's definitely some politics involved.

In Salem, businesses haven't yet been passionate about advocating for a bike corral to take a parking stall in front of their business. Adjacent businesses have been resistant in some cases, and folks haven't wanted to get out too much in front of, or in opposition to, the neighbors.  Good-neighbor relations are important, and the reticence is understandable.  

As soon as a cluster of neighboring businesses advocate for a corral, I think that they City will be helpful, and not a barrier.  A corral was discussed often in the Vision 2020 meetings, and while the cleaning issue was a "difficulty" it didn't seem to be a show-stopper there.  For better or worse, leadership here comes from behind and it's all about the politics of the demand-side.

At this time, the pragmatic solution to getting a bike corral is getting a group of businesses to advocate for one, and not expecting the City to lead on an installation.  Hopefully that will change, but it seems like this is the current reality just now. If you know of a bikey business that could use one - lobby 'em!


Curt said...

Except for the fact that the City excels at killing these ideas before the discussion even starts.

B+ said...

Perhaps the IKE Box? In addition to "civilian" bikes, there are a lot of bicycle police who stop off there from time to time. However, I think those are all metered spaced around there...

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

@Curt - the last CATC meeting included a conversation about the North Broadway Parking Study and Plan. Was the bike corral topic and the no-can-do attitude in the context of that plan, or was it in some other context?

@B+ - What happened with the IKE Box's proposal for a grant from Clif Bar that would fund an improved bike rack? They certainly need better bike parking. Do you know their management? Maybe they would advocate with the City for one?!

Curt said...

I didn't attend the meeting. Jen would be able to answer that question. It just mirrors my own experience with staff things like the downtown streetscapes in which Kevin called the benefits of lane reduction "spin". Even though the street profiles in the TSP call for only 2 travel lanes. Only in Salem do you have city staff lobbying against their own policies!