Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Downtown Advisory Board Talks Bike Parking and Mobility Study Thursday

Thursday, July 25th at noon, the Downtown Advisory Board meets in the Kalapuya Conference Room of the IT Department at 295 Church St SE, Ste 201.

They'll be talking housing, the Downtown Mobility Study, and permanent bike corrals, which are being piloted during First Wednesdays this summer.

Temporary Bike Corral on Sidewalk
State Street, First Wednesday July 2013
From the agenda:
  • Should the Downtown Advisory Board recommend that the Urban Renewal Agency board support approval of the North Downtown Housing Investment Strategy?
  • Should the Downtown Advisory Board recommend that the Urban Renewal Agency Board support approval of an amendment to the RDURA Plan to add curb bulb-outs and permanent bike parking to the Riverfront-Downtown Urban Renewal Plan? [emphasis added!]
  • Should the Downtown Advisory Board recommend the Urban Renewal that the Urban Renewal Agency Board support approval of the Central Salem Mobility Study recommendations?
Comb and Toast
Racks - not
If there's one thing that worries me a little, it is the generally low quality of the temporary corrals. They have used comb racks that are not recommended and do not meet current best practices for bike parking.

The cones and barricades also made things look more like a construction zone than an inviting place to put your bike.

The installation on State Street also was up on the sidewalk, and the idea of the corral is to use an on-street car stall more efficiently, serving six or more bikes in the space one car occupied.

In general it would be great to reduce the number of bike racks on the sidewalk to free up the "furniture zone" for sidewalk cafe seating or benches or other amenities, and to shift parking to the street, where it belongs.  Having bike racks on the sidewalk is also a cue that potentially misleads people into thinking you can bike on the sidewalk downtown.

Finally, the theme for July's First Wednesday was "dogs."  While some people do take out their dog on a leash and sortof "sleddog" by bike, for most of us, dogs and bikes are not a very good combination, and July's theme was not a good match for bicycling.

August's theme is bikes. I believe, and it will be interesting to see how that works.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know, the State st location itself might not be very good: It fronts an empty lot, the old theater site, and there's no attractor right there; additionally, State st is outbound from downtown and it might be better to have a corral on an inbound location. So the whole thing is maybe orphaned a little. The one in June in front of Venti's was on an inbound route and at an attractor.