Yesterday I posted about micrologistics and how, if we expect people to drive less, we need to provide more options for storing and moving personal items. Evan Landman commented on twitter that lockers “should be part of any future secure bike parking.” (https://twitter.com/evanlandman/status/1106252959199854592?s=21)
This got me thinking a bit about bike parking requirements and I wonder if we might be missing some lessons from mandatory car parking. Are bike parking requirements, particularly for residential developments, much different from car parking requirements? Certainly bike parking takes up much less space and bikes have far fewer externalities, but if we accept that it’s difficult or impossible to guess how many car parking spaces a land-use really needs, can we claim to have better insight about bikes?
Supporting bicycling requires more than secure bike parking. People need places to change clothes, to dry rain gear, to make repairs, etc. We can require developers to build bike parking, maybe even showers and locker rooms, but cyclists will often be using poorly designed facilities shoved in some semi-useable surplus space.
One strategy to reduce new car parking supply is to require (or at least allow) shared parking in new developments. Another strategy is to allow developers to pay in-lieu fees for car parking that can be used to build public garages that serve the commercial district.
Shared parking is great, but I’ve been critical of new district parking proposals because I think their time has passed. But I think district and shared parking for bicycles could be a very good and timely idea. Empty storefronts or fenced off stalls in parking garages could provide simple secure parking or, even better, valet bike parking and bag storage.
As mode shifts, perhaps we can get some of our own bike parking garages, like they have in the Netherlands?