Sunday, June 6, 2010

Where would YOU park your bike?

Exhibit A: An artistic bike rack you’ll find on the north side of the INB Performing Arts Center. It’s accessible from the Centennial Trail, but if you arrive at the front of the building you’ll never know it’s there.

In fact, if you don't read the sign attached to the building wall behind the rack, you might be excused for thinking it's some sort of play sculpture for kids.

(Once you have read the sign, you will be excused for any groaning at puns understandable only by people of a certain age.)

Exhibit B: Where bikes were actually parked on our very rainy Earth Day this year for Mayor Mary Verner’s re-election kick-off. They are all hitched to the sign in the breezeway.

Yes, these photos were taken the same day.

Exhibit C: A Google Map started by local bike commuter Rachel Scrudder to capture bike parking, both racks and indoor options. If you have locations to add click to see the larger image. That will take you to Google where you can edit the map.

View Spokane Bike Parking in a larger map

A thought for people planning the installation of bike racks: If you have a choice between locations and one is covered....

Questions: Did you know that blue spider is a bike rack? Have you ever used it? Would you ever use it?


Rachel said...

Yes, I did know that was a bike rack, but I believe that's because I heard it from someone else (I forget).
No, I have not yet used it. The last time I went to a show down there, I walked.
As I recall, there is another, more traditional-looking rack just west of there and closer to the building (as in right next to the northwest corner of the building.

Yes everyone, please help add to my map! There are many places I don't usually go in this city, so I'm sure ther are many more bike racks to add. This map can be useful for recording racks that might go unnoticed, like the one in Barb's post here.
If you aren't sure how to edit the map, I've left instructions in a comment on the Google site (where you're taken after clicking the link).

Traditional Bike Club Curmudgeon said...

I quickly recognized it as a bike rack, and just as quickly dismissed it as a rack I would use, primarily because it is out of the way and not all that visible, making bikes attached to it vulnerable to theft.

I almost never use my bike for "transportation" in Spokane because there are so few safe places to park it for any length of time.

Until lockers and indoor, observable parking places are available this will not be a genuinely bike friendly city.

I hadn't noticed the plaque. Too bad more thought went into being cutesy than into creating a usable bike rack.

Rachel said...

But they are available (albeit, on a limited scale).

8 lockers (although these have to rented monthly) and indoor parking (register once and then pay per use)

Bart_Mihailovich said...

First of all, I've never, EVER seen a bike parked at that bike rack. I can't imagine ever leaving my bike there, in the dark, with very few eyes on that area. It appears that whoever was responsible for the placement of that was ashamed so they hid it in the back where very few people know it exists.
As for those bike lockers, those are good for nothing. I was so upset to learn that you had to rent those out for six months at a time. It's not even the cost of it as much as it's the principle. I agree with the Curmudgeon, until there is better parking downtown, I refuse to ride downtown to events.

John Speare said...

TBCC and Bart: I understand the desire for high-zoot bike parking, but why not just bring a lock for your bike until bike parking nirvana arrives to Spokane?

I leave my bikes locked up all the time around town. I lock them like this; I am careful to lock them in high-traffic areas, or where I can see them; and I use bolt on skewers for most of my front wheels.

Generally, I end up locking to parking meters in front of window'ed restaurants.

That said, I'm lucky that I can take my bike into the building where I work. If I worked downtown and I couldn't bring my bike inside, I'd ride a bike I felt ok leaving outside or I'd consider one those 6-month rentals.

But *not* riding to events downtown until someone puts in bike parking? That, I don't get.

Anonymous said...

I just wish I owned a bike people wanted to steal.

Whaaaa! Why doesn't anyone want to steal my bike?!

Monique said...

I walk by this often on my walk in to work and have never seen a bike locked up to it. It completely baffles me whenever I think about it. It seems like one of the sillier places to put a bike rack; I can't imagine someone put real thought into this location and assumed it was more about someone finding a place for a donated project. urgh.

BiketoWork Barb said...

Agreed that we need more secure parking in high-vis areas.

Seems to me that not biking as a silent protest doesn't make nearly the same statement about the need for better end-of-trip facilities that a bunch of bikes locked to sign poles, railings and what-not does. Not biking means....there aren't bikes. So they don't need a place to park.

I bike everywhere in downtown, always lock my bike, take my toolkit and headlight (since those have been stolen off my bike in the past), and the bike is always there when I come back.

The two times I had a bike stolen? One was when I foolishly left it in the lobby of a very quiet office building off the beaten track thinking that I'd be "right back downstairs". It wasn't there 90 minutes later.

The other time? Someone assured me he'd bring the bike in from the bed of a pickup truck. Didn't do it. Bike gone next morning.

Both times were operator error, not anything to do with lack of a bike rack or secure parking.