November 1, 2005
Lessons from the Netherlands: It's the Parking Stupid
When the planners in Amsterdam identified the critical factors in making cycling work on a large scale, parking was one of the key bullets. When you think about the amount of parking for 40% of all trips being made by bike, the numbers are staggering as the photos here illustrate. Bike parking must be provided at home, at work, at key transportation points (rail stations) and where people shop.
The Amsterdam Central railyway station has a bike parking structure floating in the harbor with three spiral levels. In Utrecht, we were in a room with 3,000 bikes and plans were underway to remodel to create space for 15,000 bikes in the station vicinity.
Parking also factors into the auto side of the equation. Amsterdam caps downtown auto parking, helping incentivize other modes. Rotterdam, more of a commercial city, has taken a different approach, working to make the city accessible by all modes, but using pricing to balance auto parking with other modes (i.e., auto parking is relatively expensive).
When I try to apply this thinking to Portland, there are some obvious disconnects. Union Station is NOT a good analog to the Amsterdam Central station. But the addition of bike parking at PDX is a good step in the right direction.
Perhaps more relevant is bike parking near transit stations. While bikes on bus and MAX are a good idea, they simply don't scale to the kinds of volumes we see here. So we would need parking for hundreds (not tens) of bikes at key transit centers and MAX stations. Any ideas on what this might look like in Portland's urban fabric?
November 1, 2005 2:05 PM
Club 3 seals with one swing: just take 1, 2, 12, or as many car parking spots as required on most blocks in the city and fill them with roofed bicycle racks, so large as to be effectively permanent, but movable by heavy equipment. Gets bikes off the sidewalks (good for peds), discourages driving by making parking that much more scarce, and tells bicyclists where they belong.
November 1, 2005 4:31 PM
November 2, 2005 8:58 AM
Lenny Anderson Says:
Two bike parking situations that deserve a close look in the Interstate Corridor.
On Mississippi Street at Shaver, PDOT with URA $ put in a large bike parking facility replacing 1.5 auto parking spots on the curb with about 30 bike racks. This was initiated by business and property owners along Mississippi and is heavily used at least some of the day. The community has requested a second large bike parking facility at Mississippi & Beech. They have a somewhat temporary look, but are serviable; the city is looking to require temporary permits for this type of bike parking. It moves bikes off the sidewalk space and responds to the demand in the area.
On the other hand, bike lockers were included at all Interstate MAX stations, and they appear to be underused. Not sure why, but I guess folks prefer to bring their bikes onto the train, which works to a point. Security may be an issue, but they are very secure lockers that one lock's with a regular bike U-lock. It may be that folks are just unaware or unfamiliar; there has been little or no outreach about the Interstate bike lockers.
I have one of just 4 lockers at the Rose Quarter, which the BTA manages; very convienent. Not sure what kind of demand there is for that location.
November 2, 2005 4:53 PM
Ray Whitford Says:
Hopefully if High Speed Rail is ever brought to Cascadia, we can have a expandable parking structure for bikes.
My choice would be to use the hillside just South of the Oregon Convention Center and create a covered tier structure down the hill with keyed access to each level. Expand it by moving East under MLK and Grand from each tier.
Use natural lighting and use planters to separate each tier.
This location for one of many possible central bike parking lots is based on the "Trails End Transit Station" concept at the former I84/I5 Interchange.
In other words, change that freeway interchange for the automobile into the interchange for the person to move from self-propulsion to mass transit (local buses, MAX, water taxi, streetcars, trams) and intra-city high speed rail and intra-city buses.
We need to get as efficient as possible and my opinion is the current location of Union Station isn't.
December 30, 2005 5:36 PM
Erik Mitchell Says:
My thoughts for bike parking hubs...
1. How about the old Powel's Travel book shop on/under Pioneer Square for a monitored bike room, the I-info folks are already under s-bucks. How about a one person walk up tourist and/or Tri-met info booth with extended hours that can monitor a self service bike parking room. Is accesible to Max, bus, and Street Car. Centrally located for all of SW downtown core. What's Portland's priority, a knick knack shop or restaurant, or showing we're serious about bikes, by letting them into the "Living Room".
2. PGE Park. Where is all the previous Morrison st bike parking going to be relocated?
3. South Waterfront. How about getting all the condo tower developments to chip in with OHSU for a Key card bike building in the new 2 block community park? Could service all residential/retail buildings, Street car and Tram. Build it early not late.
Then or now...
Lloyd Center, Hawthorne, Alberta, Sellwood, Expo Center, Milwaukie, Gateway... onward and outward.