On Street Bike Parking!

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 18

If you have ever had the misfortune of getting me on the topic of on street parking (a little of my venom came out when I heard that a parking spot sold for $300,000), you will have also heard me say long and loudly that I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see some on street bicycle parking. That is take out a parking spot and put in bike parking. Well looks like Newton has gone and done just that!

Newton is out ahead of Boston and other communities for once on biking: we had the first on-street bike parking we know of in the area, last Saturday, June 13. The event was seeded by four members of Bike Newton, who rolled up to JP Licks Ice Cream shop in Newton Centre, found an empty parking space, parked our bikes and paid the meter. Other bikers, single and families, joined the space; the number of bikes grew to more than a dozen, at which point the adjacent spot opened up and we took that one too. This photo shows a couple of interesting things: bikes parked in pedestrian spaces, indicating lack of bike parking; some bikers riding on the sidewalk, rather than street, presumably because they felt safer on the sidewalk; and the remarkable indifference of bystanders, who treated this as if it were the most natural thing in the world to have in a metered parking spot.

Now if only we could have these for real, with real parking racks. Personally I think they should be free to encourage more people biking. Now all we need is a couple brave business owners to go to the city and request that one of their spots be removed for bike parking. If they do this they will be able to fit ten-twenty customers parked in that one space, instead of just one. If you own a cafe, with one street parking in front, having those spots be turned into bike parking, would not only give your cafe patrons a better view, but would allow many more people to visit your cafe (more bike in same spot as one car). There are several business types that would benefit from this setup, but I think food places would be the most obvious choice.

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