Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Parks Foundation Grant Could Fund Public Workstand Downtown

The Salem Parks Foundation is this month going out to neighborhood associations to talk about their grant program.

One idea that's floating around for the downtown area and its neighborhood association, CANDO, is a public bike workstand for minor repairs.

The Parks Foundation announced last week that
It's Neighborhood Parks Grant time. SPF boardmembers will be visiting all 19 of Salem's Neighborhood Associations over the next month talking about the neighborhood parks grants. If there is an item you would like added to your neighborhood park, work with your neighborhood association in applying for one of our grants.

Last year we approved grants for a security light in Eastgate Basin Park, an information kiosk in Aldrich Park, replacement of the gazebo roof at Nelson Park, a piece of exercise equipment at Englewood Park and a chess table at the new Hoodview Park opening this year. We hope you come up with some great ideas. The application will be given to each chairperson when we attend the meeting and will also be available on our website later this month. We look forward to receiving some great grant applications this year.
Folks downtown are interested in talking about a repair station.

One set of products that has been talked about are the bolted down pump and stand, sheathed in steel, offered by BikeFixStation.

Has anyone ever used their products or know about their durability? Things installed in downtown locations would need to take a lot of abuse as well as withstand attempts at theft and vandalism!

But there is also need. One location that has been talked about is the vicinity of Union and Front. There the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway intersects with the Union Street Railroad Bridge and other local bikeways. This intersection is also close to Marion Square Park with the skate and bmx bowls.  And it is also not far from the Union Gospel Mission, which might have the densest concentration of bike parking in the City.  A free facility like this should be available to all. 

Union & Front:  RR Bridge, Marion Square BMX Park,
& Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway
Relatively speaking, then, for Salem this is a high-bike area! And it should only grow more high-bike with time, we built out improved road facilities for people who bike.

So that's one idea. Do you know of other high-bike areas at or near city parks that could use a workstand, especially in the downtown area?

As the announcement says, Parks Foundation grants have also funded shelters, and it might be possible to put a roof over a workstand.  At one time there was also Vision 2020 talk of installing one of the wayfinding kiosks on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway as a way to draw people on bike into downtown.

Do you have other ideas for ways to make a workstand exceedingly useful?  What do you think of the idea?

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Several comments came in by email.

Interestingly, most were more skeptical than encouraging.

Nearly unanimous was the observation that for people on bike mechanical problems don't helpfully concentrate themselves in one place - instead, they stubbornly distribute themselves randomly, often in the most inconvenient of places! Others noted a potential conflict between self-serve and the services provided by bike shops downtown. Finally, nearly everyone expressed doubt about the ability of the fixtures to endure through repeated attempts at vandalism.

The concept may have greater utility as a sign or symbol about valuing bikes than as a practical solution to problems encountered while riding or commuting.

Club Member:
I think that club members would find little use in a downtown pump and workstation. I can see the benefit to club members of a pump installed at the Red Lot where most rides start. However, I can't imagine going out of my way to access a pump. (If I'm downtown with a low tire, it's because I have a puncture that I need to fix and, having done so, would pull out a CO2 canister to inflate the tire.) If I were to discover a mechanical problem, I would pop into one of the bike shops. Finally, I would assume that neither the pump nor the workstand would be in usable condition if were in a public accessible place in the unlikely event that I would have a need for either.

It's definitely an idea that would be great with the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway - though would we rather point them to downtown bike shops?

Parks Worker:
Not sure where the need for it is...I just keep thinking of all those people who do not know how to change a flat. Not sure what they would do with a bike stand.