– by Steve Herbert
Imagine getting in your car, driving on a newly developed route to your destination only to discover there is absolutely no place available to park. I don’t mean the spaces are all filled, but rather there are no parking spaces! None, zip, nada. Over the past several years bike plans have been taking shape in many cities and regions around us, developing routes to make trips around the city safer and more practical for cyclists. The problem is, in many places there is little or no parking set aside for bikes. For cycling to succeed as a viable transportation option, bicycle parking should be as common as car parking.
Providing bike parking is good business. Bike parking is scalable and inexpensive to build. While some may think it crazy to even suggest removing a single car space, Santa Monica removed 27 car spaces at it’s Santa Monica Place, replacing them with the Santa Monica Bike Center. The Bike Center offers numerous bike services with parking for up to 350 bicycles in a secure setting. Let me say that again, 27 car spaces now are occupied by 350 secure bike spaces. That’s 13 new customers by bike for every one customer who arrived by car. If you own a business ask yourself what would it be worth to your business to get 13 more customers for every parking space you now have?
Some Culver City businesses are exhibiting signs of enlightenment including Target, Ralphs, Albertsons, Costco and Best Buy, all providing some bike parking at their locations. Additionally downtown Culver City installed a clusters of bike parking along Culver Blvd. near Main Street. As much as we love downtown, we’d also like to ride a bike and park at the other businesses across the city.
The city of Long Beach, a leader in bike friendly measures, purchased dozens of bike corrals that fit into a single car parking space, and can accommodate 12 – 16 bikes. After the first one (shown above) went into the Belmont shopping area, local business eagerly signed up on a waiting list to get one situated in front of their business. Los Angeles’ Department of Transportation recently announced expanding a pilot project to put bike corrals on the street in front of a requesting business. LADOT figures they get 10 bikes parked for each car space utilized. That’s 10 potential customers in the space formerly dedicated for one. Corrals, used correctly, can add to traffic safety near intersections by keeping views open due to the general low profile of bikes. It’s time to do this in Culver City and its rumored it might!
To aide cyclists in locating businesses which provide bike parking, we’ve created an interactive map where you can find parking or add to the map bike parking you already know about. If you can use Google, you can use this map. Go to our website at CCBike.org, scroll down to the “Local/Regional Bike Links” section and click on “Westside Bicycle Facilities Map”. There you’ll see many green bicycles, each representing bicycle parking. It’s a work in progress open to everyone to zoom in to any location in the city to locate or add existing bike parking that may be missing from the map. Be sure to scroll down the left edge column as Google only displays a limited number of place marks per screen so there are multiple pages with more parking locations shown here.