Comment of the week: How paying for on-street bike parking could be awesome

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on July 26th, 2014 at 7:58 am

Source: Bike Portland

Widmer Brewery had a celebration party for the completion of the Russell Streetscape project, which included a new on-street bike corral.

Widmer Brewery had a celebration party for the completion of the Russell Streetscape project, which included a new on-street bike corral.

The other day, an exchange about one of BikePortland’s favorite topics (the many benefits of charging money for car parking) took a turn when a reader who goes by “meh” asked if we all wanted to pay to park in bike corrals, too.

That inspired another reader, Kirk, to spin out a vision for paid on-street bike parking that almost won me over.

I would gladly pay into a system (but of course only from 8am-7pm) that provides bike corrals along most every block face (not just every few blocks or so, it’s gotta be convenient) in the city where there is overwhelming bike parking demand in the commercial areas, residential areas, industrial areas, any of those – once we start charging for car parking in all of the areas that currently experience overwhelming car parking demand as well.

Since each corral fits about 12 bikes in a space that one car would normally take up, I would of course expect the hourly rate between 8am-7pm to be somewhere around 13 cents an hour to equate to the $1.60/hour rate for a single space of car parking. Combined with the fact that city policy wants more bikes parked in town than cars, the hourly rate would naturally need to incentivize bike parking over car parking, so let’s just assume the hourly rate in these high demand bike parking areas should be reduced to about 10 cents an hour to make payment simple and more incentivized.

Let me know when the time comes that I can count on stumbling across this type of parking luxury for my bike, and I’ll get my dimes ready.

Those dimes would be the dealbreaker for me, though, so I’ll be holding out for Google Wallet.


TakeAways

As cycling matures and the number and size of the vehicles being used increases parking will become something that municipalities will require income from. That is a good thing. The quicker we move to bicycle registration and fees for everything from parking to licensing the better.