Currently viewing the category: "Bicycle Parking"

Two tricycles, recently tuned up for the seniors at Bay Oaks – Miami’s historic retirement residence – gone. Broad daylight. The tricycles were locked and hidden from view behind a gate on the private property of the non-profit old folks’ home, just this week; just before any of the residents got to ride them.
Who does this?

Most of us have had a bike, car or other means of transportation taken from us.
It’s horrible. Violating. Nightmare and rage-inducing.
I’d like to believe there is a special place is Hell for such individuals, but the optimism is fleeting.

And then my friend told me about the BikeSpike.

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The BikeSpike movie is almost as awesome as the tool. Yes, that’s Gregory Holliman.

How we used to (try to) prevent bike theft:

  • Register your bike’s serial #. Keep insurance, any proof of purchase, up to date pictures.
  • Paranoia. Only park in secured, enclosed Bike Corrals, bike valet or else use your local bikeshare program.
  • Find your bike locked with a flat? Don’t leave her behind! It could be a trick!
  • Just ride a really crappy bike! Or ugly one. But, but… why??
  • Sign every Petition asking eBay and Craigslist to require serial # posting with ads. (I did.)

But now really, really soon, there’ll be app for all that: The BikeSpike. It’s definitely the future of bicycle theft prevention. Let’s help get there faster.

“Spike your Bike with the world’s smallest GPS chipset with built-in antenna, an on-board accelerometer, and a connection to a global cellular network.”  

Basically, the BikeSpike is the ‘Find My iPhone’ for your bike that we’ve all been waiting for. More than just allowing you and your local PD to track down your stolen wheels….

  1. You’re at work. Someone knocks your bike over – at your house. You get a text message.
  2. Your favorite city bike planner needs you to list all the places you ride so he can defend your safe-ish routes. You can share your data.
  3. You want to keep track of your training stats and compete with friends on your team who supposedly hit 35 going up the Bear Cut Bridge this morning. Um, yeah. BikeSpike tells the truth.
  4. In the event of a collision, the BikeSpike knows you’re down before the driver can even get away. Calls 911 plus your mom/significant other/roommate or whomever you designate.
  5. On a happier note, your many fans can follow your progress in a race, and thus can catch you at all the good cheering points. It fits all aero in a spiffy custom carbon-fiber bottle cage.

Wives, moms and boyfriends: The only way to make sure you get one for your beloved bicyclist is here. Early Bird price is temporarily $149. Why not get one for your favorite TM writers? 

And if you’ve lost all hope, just remember: Sometimes, the good guys win!

Keep your two (& three) wheels safe!

 

The Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is studying the feasibility of establishing a “Bike Center” facility in downtown Miami.

It would provide secure bike parking, showers and a locker room, bike repair, and retail. As recognized by the DDA, “Other cities across the nation have built these bike hubs to help those seeking an alternative to driving.”

Sound appealing? It does to us! Please take the Miami DDA’s Bike Center Survey as soon as possible to let them know how you too think a downtown Miami Bike Center would be great for our city!

Here are a couple pics of bike centers in Chicago and Washington DC.

Chicago's McDonald's Cycle Center. Credit: Triposo.com

Chicago’s McDonald’s Cycle Center. Credit: Triposo.com

washington-dc-bike-transit-center

Washington DC’s Bike Station

Here’s a quick factsheet the DDA put together describing what bike commuter stations are, as well as a few of the many benefits they bring.

MiamiDDA_BikeCenterFactSheet_2013

Don’t forget to take the survey, especially all the folks who live and/or work in downtown.

http://urbanhp.wufoo.com/forms/downtown-miami-bicycle-center-survey/

 

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For a development that got many things right – including pedestrian-oriented retail frontage, traffic calmed streets and a variety of locally-owned businesses, I can’t help but think that the bicycle-friendly part of Midtown Miami was botched. Anyone that’s tried to lock up a bicycle around Midtown is familiar with the clumsy and infrequent bicycle hitches pictured below. (These types of racks also do not comply with the recommendations in Miami’s own bicycle master plan).

No easy way to lock up your bicycle with these things.

People have to resort to trees.

Transit Miami strongly recommends that Midtown Miami management at least replace the ridiculous hitches already in place with simple ones like the City of Miami has been installing across the city, as well as increasing the frequency of bicycle parking hitches in front of more businesses and otherwise underutilized areas. Or why not strive for excellence for a marginal cost and install a public bike-repair stand?

One thing is certain – no one that rides a bicycle regularly would ever consider installing these things.

At many of the local business along Buena Vista Ave and SE 1st Avenue, trees inside planted beds are unfortunately the most common anchors for bicycles. We can do better than that. The problem is exacerbated here because Midtown is a new development, lacking the usual fruit salad of ornamentation like street signs, parking meters and utility poles that can work in a pinch if you need a place to lock up.

Decent and secure bicycle parking is an important component of encouraging active transportation. If Midtown management is serious about reducing the burden of automobile traffic, congestion and exhaust, improving their bike parking situation is an easy, low-cost and high-reward opportunity.

See our past Transit Miami post on best practices in bicycle parking from around the USA.

Going to visit a friend in Midtown? Good luck finding a place to lock your bike, even in a desolate, inactive paved plaza.

 

If you’ve spent the past four years of your life without purpose because Fort Lauderdale did not have their annual Air and Sea Show, then I’m sure you are attending the Air Show this Saturday or Sunday. Or maybe you’re just coming for the fun of it. Either way, as die hard fans of transportation that avoids automobiles, we’re here to fill you in on how to get there without driving. Parking at places like the Galleria Mall costs $20 and is pretty scarce anyway.

Bicycle:

Bicycle valet parking will be available at Sunrise Blvd. and A1A. New River Wesleyan Church, where this writer happens to be the youth director, along with Cycle Mobility, are hosting the bicycle valet service. There will be a $5 charge to valet park your bicycle, and the service will be available between 8 AM and 4:30 PM. The show organizers have also informed us that there will be self serve bicycle racks at all three entrances to the show. Don’t forget that you can plan your bicycle route to the air show using the Broward Bike Trip Planner.

Transit:

The Sun Trolley’s Las Olas route will be running, and may be a good bet as it connects downtown and the Broward Central Terminal to the beach area. You can always take Tri-Rail to the Fort Lauderdale Station and connect via BCT to the downtown terminal, then switch over to the Sun Trolley. Check the BCT home page for information on some routes that have been modified to get around the air show area. Otherwise Google Maps Transit directions work well for planning your route.

 

Miami-Dade Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Formally Endorses Project

It may seem hard to believe but one particular Miami neighborhood has a parking problem – with bicycles!

Miami’s Wynood Arts District, specifically the commercial district of NW 2nd Avenue between NW 20th street and NW 29th street is rapidly becoming a hub for Miami’s emerging cycling community. Several local businesses in the area cater to this diverse group, and the evidence is plainly visible. On any given day or evening, this stretch of NW 2nd Ave. is filled with bicycles. However, the growing number of bicycles has put the squeeze on secure places to lock up.

Bicycles locked to trees on NW 2nd Ave sidewalk. Problematic for pedestrians and cyclists alike (not to mention the tree!), especially during busy events.

With an inadequate number of sidewalk bicycle hitches already present, cyclists are often faced with the unsavory prospect of locking their bicycles to trees, signposts, fences and wires– and frequently down dark, less-traveled side streets. This creates all sorts of obvious problems, especially during Art Basel week in December when multiple bicycle thefts were reported. The issue really takes center stage during the monthly Art Walk events when throngs of pedestrians and bicycles alike compete for space on the narrow sidewalks. The situation is bad enough to deter would-be visitors from cycling to the neighborhood to begin with.

Bikes locked to posts and wires down dark side streets is an invitation for wrongdoing. (Pictured: NW 26th st.)

Fortunately, an easy-to-implement solution exists to solve the bicycle parking issue troubling the area.

At the last meeting of the Miami-Dade Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), I presented a proposal for a centrally located on-street bicycle-parking corral. The proposed location is the SE corner of NW 2nd Avenue at NW 26th st. After the ensuing conversation, the BPAC decided to formally support the project moving forward.

You may be wondering, what exactly is a bike corral? Simply, it is an on-street bicycle parking facility, typically installed over an existing parking space.

Bicycle corral in Portland, OR (The city has over 70 of them installed)

Below is a primer courtesy of CityofChicago.org.

Why a bicycle corral?

• Corrals provide a 10-to-1 customer to parking space ratio, increase foot and bike traffic, and advertise “bike friendliness.” They also improve the pedestrian environment by removing bicycles from the sidewalk.

• Corrals improve bicycle parking availability at popular destinations, and increase the visibility of bicycling as a transportation choice.

• Corrals improve sightlines at intersections by eliminating the opportunity for larger vehicles to park at street corners.

San Francisco, CA

What do businesses think about the potential loss of car parking?

Businesses support on-street bicycle corrals because:

• Storefronts become more visible.

• The presence of many bicycles parked in front of a business sends a message that the business is busy—and popular.

• The novelty of the facility attracts the attention of cars, bikes, and pedestrians alike.

• Businesses appreciate the increased pedestrian foot traffic that corrals promote by creating a more pleasant public space

• Businesses can advertise “bike friendliness.”

• When installed adjacent to sidewalk cafes, corrals can provide an additional buffer between people and passing vehicles.

Chicago, IL celebrated their first bicycle corral in June with a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring the local Commissioner, business owners and cyclists.

What do bicyclists think about corrals?

• Cyclists prefer to park in high-visibility environments, because it reduces the risk of bike theft.

• Cyclists enjoy parking at—or close to—their destination.

• Corrals offer a space where cyclists can maneuver and lock up while avoiding conflicts with pedestrians.

A creative bicycle corral in the UK. Perhaps one day a local artist will design one for Miami. Photo courtesy of BicycleDesign.net

What do pedestrians think about corrals?

• Pedestrians appreciate the reduction in conflicts with cyclists as they lock their bikes to racks.

• Pedestrians enjoy the increased availability of space on busy sidewalks with heavy foot traffic.

• Sometimes bicycles locked on the sidewalk tip over, presenting a pedestrian tripping hazard. Corrals eliminate this hazard.

• The bicycle corral ‘daylights’ the intersection, allowing pedestrians greater visibility to oncoming traffic.

If cyclists are considered to be considered 'traffic', then we need to provide legitimate, secure parking options for their vehicles. We can do better than utility wires and fences. (Pictured: NW 26th st.)

The City of Miami District 5 has a tremendous opportunity to take the lead in building Miami’s first on-street bicycle parking corral to accommodate the burgeoning demand. These facilities already exist in cities across the country as easy, cost-effective solutions to bicycle parking problems. Additionally, the Miami-Dade County public works department already uses the hitches suitable for use in the facility. The idea shares virtually unanimous support amongst local businesses in the immediate area of the proposed corral.

Construction of such a facility is estimated to cost under $2,500. Let’s work together with Miami-Dade Public Works, our local business community and area cyclists to complete this neighborhood improvement project we can all be proud of.

Voice your support for this project by commenting below, ‘Like’ it or share with your friends!

 

A special thanks to the Adrianne Arsht Center for organizing the first annual Fall for the Arts festival.  After today’s success this event will now become a yearly occurrence meant to kick-off the the season for Miami’s burgeoning arts scene. Downtown Miami came alive today as thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds showed up for this free concert.  Ozomatli rocked the Magic City and several other bands had everyone dancing and in good spirits. Events like this are great for our city and really bring our diverse community together. Over 100 community groups and cultural organizations participated to make this event an overwhelming success.

We would also like to thank the Green Mobility Network for providing a much needed free bicycle valet service. It was very much appreciated.

Perhaps next year we could coordinate this event with Bike Miami Days?  Just throwing it out there…

The esteemed people of Planetizen.com are just some of the people talking about car parking challenges this week –

A Very Tight Hoboken Street (Planetizen.com)

Ian Sacs, Hoboken’s own Department of Transportation and Parking Director, writes an engaging and informative piece on how the exceptionally dense but car-enamored city is anticipating its urban parking problems and introducing Flexcar, bicycle infrastructure, and connectivity improvements to reduce the immense waste that car parking lots can be. You can read the whole article here.

Parking is an incredibly challenging issue for any architect, planner or transportation engineer. Parking spaces can cost upwards of $50,000 and other than hold a car for a bit, consume an incredible amount of wasted space. Interestingly, it is precisely these costs that are driving developers and politicians towards active transportation (rather than health or fun).

Portland State University (like Miami-Dade College, one of its downtown’s largest land holders) has been struggling with this issue. In a recent article in the Portland Daily Vanguard, writer Vinh Tran points out that PSU’s newest bicycle parking facility will provide parking for 75 students at the same cost of just adding 4 car spaces.

Here in Miami, some residents of Miami Beach are getting vocal about the increasing costs of parking. An article in The Miami Herald has spurred comments from residents who can’t believe they will have to pay $15 to park ON Lincoln Road. (That’s it!?) This writer wonders why anyone would choose to live in the densest, most pedestrian-friendly neighborhood in our county and then want to drive anywhere-

Parking is a global problem. In countries as (seemingly) different as Italy and Japan, vertical parking is popular:

Not everyone will drive a smart car…

…so transportation engineers who can think out of the box and design successful parking alternatives are in demand. Naturally, so are those of us who advocate for even less consumption of space – by traveling by bicycle, on foot or mass transit.

UPDATE: This afternoon, we received a link to a great image that shows Chicago’s proactive work on increasing bicycle parking in the last year alone. Our hats off to the people at Active Transportation Alliance, who largely deserve the credit for these successes. Wouldn’t it be great if the BPAC or City of Miami Bicycle Action Committee delivered work like this?

Click on the image for the full size image and more information.

What are your ideas for addressing an ever increasing need for car parking in an ever shrinking urban environment?

Inspired by Daniel’s post, An informal Bike Count, I decided to conduct my very on spontaneous bike count while riding north on West Avenue a couple of weeks ago. My unscientific experiment was carried out around 7:00pm from 9th Street all the way up to Dade Blvd. The route is less than 1 mile and took me no more than 5 minutes to ride it. I counted 46 bicycles, of which most were locked up to anything but a bicycle rack. In all fairness there were about 7 bicycles that were locked up to the new bicycle racks at The Shops of West Avenue between 9th Street and 10th Street and another 4 bicycles locked up to a large “wave” bicycle rack in front of the Mirador. I must have seen about 4 other cyclists riding on West Avenue, and that left about 31 bicycles or so parked to trees, sign posts and garbage cans.

That’s quite a lot of bicycle activity.  The city of Miami Beach must begin to proactively meet the needs bicyclists.  South Beach is especially under-served in terms of bicycle infrastructure.  I don’t believe that the city of Miami Beach seriously considers bicycles as actual transportation. Although they do have a Miami Beach bicycle master plan (Atlantic Greenway Master Planner), they do not have a bicycle coordinator to ensure its implementation. At one point the city of Miami Beach did have a bicycle coordinator, but they decided to do away with the position. This is a clear sign that they do not value the bicycle coordinator position or the implementation of the master plan.

I took the time to review the Atlantic Greenway Master Plan which was commissioned in 2007. Upon review, I discovered that nearly 100% of the bicycle facilities that were slated to be completed by 2009 on South Beach have not even been started. This is a dismal performance by the city of Miami Beach.

Although there has been talk about a bicycle share program, there has been no other sincere effort by the administration to promote cycling aside from purchasing new bicycle racks. The Miami Beach Bike Ways Committee seems to be ineffective as per Daniel’s Miami Beach Bike Ways Committee Update. I have attended this meeting on several occasions and I have to agree with Daniel’s assessment.

This is really a shame.  Miami Beach, particularly South Beach, has the potential to become a truly great bicycling city. The demographics clearly support cycling.  South Beach has an extremely high population density, distances are short, and parking is expensive and difficult to find. In addition, the topography is flat and the weather is beautiful.  These are the reasons that bicycling is already flourishing on South Beach. Can you imagine how great cycling would be on South Beach if there was actual infrastructure to support safer cycling?

The city of Miami Beach should aggressively seek to promote cycling by building bicycle facilities that encourage more cycling. Bicycles must play a central role in Miami Beach’s transportation policy. The administration should be held accountable for not implementing the Atlantic Greenway Master Plan as was promised to its residents.

The “bog box” mall at 5th St and Alton Rd in South Beach surprises us yet again. After installing 14 new bike racks along the Publix front on 6th St, I just spotted 20 new bike racks along the Lenox Ave side of the mall.

I had already seen four when I first reported on the new ones along the Publix side, but wow, what a pleasant surprise to see an extra 16! This really gives me hope that they will also address the 5th St end of the mall once stores open there. Many thanks to the developers, AR&J SOBE, LLC.

And if we can be a bit bold, maybe you’ll also consider some of the ideas tossed out in this other post? I took this pic while it was raining, and boy, it would’ve been nice to have a dry place to park the bike. Just saying.

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Miami Dade Transit allows bicycles in the last train car, but there isn’t a safe place on the train to store the bicycles. On Sunday there were 10 bicycles in the last car. It was impossible for people to get in and out of the train because the bicycles were littered throughout the entire car; blocking the aisle and the doorways. Passengers had to navigate around the bicycles parked in the aisle, and then the bicyclists had to back their bicycles out of the train to allow people to get off.  There is no reason why we can’t retrofit bicycle racks like the ones below.  Having bicycles parked in the aisle and in the doorways is not safe or convenient for anyone.

Photo: http://www.trekbikes.com

Photo: http://www.trekbikes.com

Photo: http://fubicy.org

Photo: http://fubicy.org

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Check out these pictures of bicycle shelters and on-street bicycle parking. These are the types of bicycle parking ideas that should have been implemented at the new shopping center on South Beach. If two on-street parking spaces are removed, there would be enough room to park about 30 bicycles.  Considering the developer just over built parking due to city of Miami Beach minimum parking requirements, I  can’t foresee a problem with removing a couple of on-street parking spots and throwing up a bicycle shelter. The existing inverted U racks the developer just purchased could then be placed under the bicycle shelter.  Do we dare to try something different?  If there is one development on South Beach that deserves covered bicycle parking it would be this one. Bicycle shelters also need to be considered for  locations around Lincoln Road where bicycle parking is already undeserved.

Photo: Susty.com

Photo: Susty.com

Photo:Autopa.co.uk

Photo: Autopa.co.uk

Photo:austinbikeblog.org

Photo: austinbikeblog.org

carfreedays.com

Photo: carfreedays.com

New Bike Racks at the 5th & Alton Mall

I needed some things for dinner and quickly rode my bike to Publix at the Mall on 5th & Alton. It’s sort of a given that there would be no bike parking and I’d have to lock my bike to the garbage can, and indeed its what I had to do, but for a very different reason: there were new bike racks all full of bikes!

There are 13 new bike racks along the Publix side of the mall on 6th St, in addition to the two original ones.

Kudos go to the developer for actually delivering on what they promised the City of Miami Beach and for providing a service for their customers.

I did a quick circuit of the mall to see if there were more new bike racks. I saw four racks near the corner of Lenox and 5th, by the Vitamin Shoppe (I can’t remember if they are new or not, but I can’t really recall having seem them there before) and that was it. Since there are no stores on the 5th St-facing side of the mall yet there’s no big issue though once Petco finally opens, things may be different (the image below’s probably a small taste).

Still, thanks for the new bike racks. It makes me feel like we can indeed expect future bike needs to be met as well.

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Hi, I read Transit Miami daily, and I know you guys take suggestions for ideas for the blog. I was thinking TM could write something about bikes lanes at our local universities (most notable FIU and UM which have large biking populations). I’m a bicyclist at FIU, and I just recently wrote to our Facilities Department about the lack of bike lanes on campus, and the limited bike parking in many of our campus buildings, despite the large biking population.

Many buildings on campus, don’t have enough parking for the amount of bicyclists on campus. Some buildings, like the School of Architecture Building, and the Engineering and Computer Sciences Building, don’t even have bike parking, so people are forced to park their bikes on stairwells, handrails, and poles, making it dangerous for people walking around. Other buildings, like the Graham Center, the university’s student union, and Green Library, FIU’s main library, don’t have enough bike parking, and bikes are often crammed together or locked to tables, and handrails since there simply isn’t enough parking. An article on these problems at FIU, and possibly similar scenarios at other local universities could prove very educational and helpful for TM. Thank you!

-Kevin

Thanks Kevin. I think your observations on the lack of facilities at FIU is a perfect start on the subject. The least that local universities can do as part of their responsibility in providing safe and convenient transportation around campus is  by providing basic infrastructure like bike racks around campus. This is only a start, and should be as important to the university as providing lavish amounts of surface parking around its campus.

Does anyone else have suggestions for FIU or UM – or Miami-Dade College or FAU or Barry?

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The new Big Box shopping center which opened up on South Beach seems to be very popular amongst bicyclists. I have ridden and driven by on a number of occasions and I am astonished to see the number of bicycles parked outside the entrance to new Publix on 6th Street between Lenox Avenue and Alton Road. It seems like the developers of this shopping center did not account for the fact that shoppers would come to this shopping destination by bicycle.

Today I counted 23 bicycles parked outside the entrance to Publix.  With only two bicycle racks available on 6th Street, we can all agree that this shopping center is underserved by bicycle parking. In addition to being underserved, the bicycle parking should have been placed in a safe, secure and covered location, much like the parking which is available for cars. To be fair, there are additional bicycle racks on Lenox Avenue, but they are about a block away and not utilized due to their distance from the entrance. The parked bicycles on 6th street are locked up to anything that is anchored to the ground, including trees, garbage cans, and sign posts.

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This is poor foresight by the developer of this project.  It should be of no surprise to anyone, except for the developer, that so many customers would not arrive by car. Although I did not check out the parking garage, I’m willing to bet that a large percentage of the available parking is empty.

If the developers had really understood their target market, they should have known many of the trips undertaken to the shopping center would be done by bicycle, public transportation and foot. Crosswalks in the area have seen very little improvement, and with so many elderly people living in the area, need to be enhanced to ensure their safety. Developers should share the responsibility of providing safe and secure access, not only for cars, but for actual people too.

It’s really in the developer’s best interest to have fewer people arrive by car.  Instead of allocating precious square feet to unused parking, the developers would receive a higher ROI if they could lease out commercial real estate space instead of parking. Sounds like a win-win situation for everyone.

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It seems like it was just yesterday that Bicycling Magazine voted Miami as the worst city for cycling. Mayor Diaz seemed to take this insult personally, and over the course of the past year and a half, his staff has taken great strides to shed this dishonorable accolade.

Although our bicycling infrastructure has yet to see much improvement, awareness through events such as Bike Miami Days has certainly put cycling in the limelight and has shown that the cycling constituency is a force to be reckoned with. With a little luck, City of Miami commissioners will vote on Thursday to approve the Miami Bicycle Master Plan, and in doing so, they will effectively set the stage to improve the bicycle infrastructure of our beloved city.

Mike Lydon, from The Street Plan Collaborative, spent countless hours in the saddle, riding throughout the streets of Miami, developing the bicycle master plan. This comprehensive plan will  guide the development of our cycling infrastructure for the next twenty years.

The plan looks to expand the current bikeway network of 16 miles to 280 miles by 2030. It also emphasizes the fundamental need for bicycle parking and education as key components to a successful bicycle strategy. Included in the plan are 950 suggested locations for bicycle parking, comprised of 3000 new bicycles racks.  There are even suggested locations for commuter showers.

Please send your commissioner an email (My Commissioner tab above) to let them know how important the Miami Bicycle Master Plan is for our city. The commission meeting will be held on:

Thursday, October 8th at 9:00am

Miami City Hall-Commission Chambers

3500 Pan American Drive, Miami, FL

Please come out to show your support!

MBMP Page 1

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