Wonking Out on Bicycle Parking Policy

Getting to a 25% bicycle mode share is not just a matter of building cycle tracks or expanding the network of off-street trails.

Every part of the experience of using a bike has to get easier and more comfortable, and that includes parking your bike at the end of the trip.

The bicycle master plan has several pages of action items around bike parking, and in the last couple of years while I’ve been on the Planning and Sustainability Commission, we’ve chipped away at a few of them, increasing the number of parking spaces per residential unit and more recently defining the dimensions for spaces in residential buildings.

I recently had the opportunity to testify before the Design Commission on that last point, as a building proposal requested an adjustment to allow much narrower spaces than I thought were workable. In the process I got a big dose of exposure to issues that make bike parking work or not. Some of the things to think about:

  • Is it reasonable to allow the required bike parking to be provided via a hook in the residential unit, where you have to take your bike up an elevator?
  • How much parking can be in wall racks (not everyone can lift a bike onto a wall rack)?
  • If wall racks are staggered vertically, how much can the spacing between bikes be reduced from the standard of two feet (if at all)?
  • Do we need to provide some portion of parking in larger spaces for extracycles, cargo bikes and bakfiets?

Well, we’re going to sort it out! Please join us for a “wonk night” where we’ll tear apart the Bicycle Parking section of the City of Portland Zoning Code and come up with a list of recommendations for updates:

Bicycle Parking Wonk Night
Tuesday, October 29th
5:30-7:30pm
Lancaster Engineering
321 SW 4th Ave # 400

Please join us. We expect to have refreshments provided by a sponsor.

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