by N McNeil · Cited by 1 — 0Block%20St%20Paul.pdf. Bicycle Coalition of Nabti Tabla Mediterranean Bistro NE 28th Ave. 8/21/09.
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1 ABSTRACT In 2009, the City of Portland installed 31 on -street bicycle -parking facilities, known as bicycle corrals, at locations around the city. In June and August of 2009, Portland installed five bicycle corrals on an eight -block stretch of East 28 th Avenue between SE Pine and NE Glisan Ð an area with numerous bars, restaurants and shops. This paper examines how bicy clists visiting 28th Avenue are using and perceiving those corrals, using counts of parked bicycles and surveys of bicyclists. Findings indicate that cyclists will park in the corrals when they are not out of the way. Cyclists are less likely to go out o f the way to use a corral in rainy weather, at night and on weekends. Survey results pointing to improved ability to find available racks corridor wide imply that the corrals have eased a bicycle parking dearth; however this is only a postulation that wou ld need a ÒbeforeÓ phase of the study to prove. INTRODUCTION In 2009, the City of Portland installed 31 on -street bicycle -parking facilities, known as bicycle corrals, at locations around the city. The corrals consist of a series of inverted U type bicy cle racks with a painted or raised lip surrounding all racks. The corrals are intended to encourage bicycling and to re -direct bicycles that might otherwise have parked on sidewalks. Although Portland continues to expand its installation of the corrals, a nd many other cities have followed suit, there has been little research done as to whether corrals are achieving these intended goals. Figure 1. Bicycle Corral at NE Glisan and NE 28 th Avenue, installed June 26, 2009

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2 In June and August of 2009, Portland installed five bicycle corrals on an eight block stretch of East 28 th Avenue between SE Pine and NE Glisan Ð an area with numerous restaurants, bars and cafes, a theatre -pub, a Whole Foods grocery store, and several buildings devoted to manufacturing and offices. Figure 1 shows a corral installed at NE Glisan and 28 th Avenue, in front of Pambich” restaurant. This project sought to understand how bicyclists visiting 28 th Avenue are using and perceiving those corrals. This was done using counts of parked bicycles along 28 th avenue, both at corrals and at other locations along the stretch , and surveys of bicyclists. Results of the counts revealed that, while both bicycle racks in corrals and in non -corral locations were more heavily used in the evening and on weekends, corral racks received more usage relative to non -corral racks during w eekdays and daytime counts. Counts also revealed that corrals received more usage relative to non -corral locations in dry weather, but that effect is lessened in rainy weather. Surveys showed most respondents had difficulty finding places to lock their bicycles prior to corral installation and found the corrals made visiting 28 th Avenue more convenient. However, the corrals did not make respondents more likely to bicycle to the area, and most respondents would choose a rack over a corral if they rack we re closer to their destination. These results suggest that cyclists will park in the corrals when they are not out of the way. Cyclists are less likely to go out of the way to use a corral in rainy weather, at night and on weekends. Survey results poin ting to improved ability to find available racks corridor wide suggest that the corrals have eased a bicycle parking dearth; however this is only a postulation that would need a ÒbeforeÓ phase of the study to prove. Further directed research could directl y target these questions and design controlled counts and pointed surveys to confirm or rebut the suggestions posited in this paper. This and ongoing research into bicycle parking is an important

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3 component in understanding how end -of-trip facilities effec t cyclists decisions and may inform future planning to target improvements that better meet cyclists need and improve business districts. BACKGROUND Portland installed its first bicycle rack in 2001 at the PGE Park stadium in order to accommodate visitor s to the facility. The PGE corral, as shown in Figure 2, was eventually removed in 2005 during construction on a new condo high -rise Ð the Civic (S. Figliozzi, personal communication, November 18, 2009 ). A second corral was installed in 2004, in front of Fresh Pot Coffee House on North Albina Street. Four more corrals were added in 2006 and 2007 Ð two at North Mississippi street locations and two at SE Belmont Street locations. With these North Mississippi/Albina and SE Belmont installations, Portland Bu reau of Transportation (PBOT) established the practice of partnering with local businesses that agree to provide basic upkeep on the facility. This practice would be used in the 2009 corral installations. When PBOT installed the corrals on East 28 th Avenu e, it embarked on installing the densest collection of corrals in the city Ð previously, no more than two corrals had been installed in such a small area (the North Mississippi and Southeast Belmont locations, and at North Vancouver and Failing [installed June 2009]). Table 1 shows the East 28 th Avenue corrals, with partnering business, nearest business, number of racks, and installation date. Corrals along the Figure 2. Bicycle Corral at PGE Park

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4 stretch have a bicycle capacity of 102 bikes, while racks outside of corrals have a capacity of 79 bikes. Table 1: Bicycle Corrals on East 28 th Avenue Intersection Partnering Business Nearest Business Number of Racks Installation Date NE Glisan St & NE 28th Ave Pambich” Pambich” 12 6/26/09 NE 28th & Pine St KenÕs Pizza KenÕs Pizza 12 6/28/09 NE An keny St at NE 28th Ave Crema Cafe Crema Cafe 12 6/30/09 NE 28th Ave & NE Couch St Beulahland Fonda Rosa 9 8/21/09 NE 28th Ave & NE Davis Tabla Bistro Tabla Bistro 6 8/21/09 Of Note is that in the case of the corral at NE Couch Street, the partnering bu siness was not the closest business to the corral, Fonda Rosa restaurant. Sarah Figliozzi of PBOT explained that although the Ò demand for this corral is clearly Beulahland,Ó locating the corral at the barÕs mid -block location would have meant Òvisibility of the corral itself [would be] lower, as well as visibility of cyclists entering and exciting the corral is loweredÓ. Although initially hesitant, the owner of Fonda Rosa agreed to the corral Ògiven that the corrals dramatically improve the visibility of shop fronts and improve outdoor seating environmentsÓ ( S. Figliozzi, personal communication, November 18, 2009 ). LITERATURE REVIEW This review will first examine the literature on bicycle parking in general, then focus specifically on the information ava ilable on bicycle corrals, primarily from practice literature and public agency documents . Thorough research on the topic of on -street bicycle parking is quite limited and narrow, and the sub -topic of bicycle corrals has received even less study. Several evaluations have considered the impact of the presence of bicycle parking facilities in general,

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5 although parking is usually a consideration in a larger study of bicycling facilities, rather than the main focus. Bicycle corrals have received some notice in professional and non -academic resources, which will be discussed below. Finally, methods used by previous studies, including research into bicycle survey and count best practices, will be reviewed to inform this evaluation. Bicycle Parking Several stu dies point to the importance of good bicycle parking facilities; however, as Pucher et al (2010) point out, the presumption of the importance of good parking facilities has resulted in a paucity of research on the relationship of parking facilities to incr eased levels of bicycling. They do point to several studies which have found such a relationship: Wardman et al (2007) analyzed National Transit Survey data in the UK and found that outdoor bicycle parking r aised cycling levels by 0.5% (and indoor parki ng facilities raised levels about another 0.5%); Hunt and Abraham (2007) surveyed cyclists in Edmonton, Canada, and found that secure bicycle parking facilities made cycling significantly more attractive; and Martens (2007) found the secure parking facilit ies at transit locations significantly increased cycling and transit use. None of these studies took up the issue of on -street bicycle parking. In comparing differences in biking rates between American and Canadian cities, Pucher and Buehler (2006) note that Canadian cities have both substantially higher cycling rates and substantially more bicycle racks (bicycle racks are often prioritized in development code, in public rights of way, and at transit locations). At the same time, they also note that stu dies linking bike parking to cycling rates are lacking (and that most American cities know relatively little about existing bicycle parking, including the number of racks installed in the city). There is a wider collection of non -academic writing on bicy cle parking. This includes both policy and instructional documents from governments at various levels and from

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7 cyclists suggested that convenience is more important than security or protection from weather (B. Haggerty, personal communication, November 19, 2009 ). Bicycle Corrals in North America As stated above, Portland introduced bicycle corrals at a few locations from 2001 to 2007; however, it was not until 2009 that corral installations became a regular sight around the city. Nabti and Ridgeway (2002) discu ss on -street bicycle parking in section 7.3 of their 2002 report, citing existing bicycle corral type facilities in Berkeley, Chico and Palo Alto, California. The Berkeley installation, shown in Figure 3, included two wave racks surrounded by seven thick metal bollards, while the Chico racks, shown in Figure 4, included standard parking lot style curbs abutting the parking strip and approximately 3 inch in diameter plastic bollards facing the street. Nabti and Ridgeway knew of no evaluations of such on-street bicycle parking facilities. Montreal, Canada began installing seasonal on -street bicycle corrals at least as early as 2005 1, although they did not have bollards or curbs protecting them from travel lanes. San Francisco installed corrals as early as 2 006. Following Portland’s introduction of corrals to neighborhood centers on North Mississippi and East Belmont, a number of cities have installed such facilities, with many citing Portland’s corrals. New York City took space from automobile parking and converted it to bicycle parking as early as June 2007 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That facility included a newly installed concrete raised curb upon which the bicycle racks were mounted. Victoria, BC 1 For corral installation date, see: http:// -bike -bandits -strike -again.php Figure 3. On -street bicycle parking in Berkeley, California. Nabti Ridgewa y

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8 installed a bicycle corral mode led after the Portland corrals in summer 2007. Seattle installed three corrals in February 2009. These were promptly followed by other cities, including Baltimore, Maryland (March 2009), Missoula, Montana (April 2009), Bloomington, Indiana (June 2009), Ann Arbor, Michigan (5 on-street bicycle racks purchased and installed in August 2009), and Key West, Florida 2. None of the documentation identified on bicycle corrals suggests that evaluations are ongoing or planned. See Appendix A for further information about existing bicy cle corrals and related on -street parking facilities. Urban Design and Pedestrian Environment Aspects of Bicycle Corrals The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation website states that corrals are not only good for increasing the attractiveness of bicy cling, but also that they promote effective urban design, claiming that corrals improve sidewalk conditions “by removing locked bicycles from the sidewalk”, “serve as de facto curb extensions”, and “improve visibility at intersections by eliminating the op portunity for larger vehicles to park at street corners” (2009). As is evidenced by the lack of scholarly research on the topic, these claims have not been documented in an academic context; however, there is research on each of these urban design issues outside of the bicycle corral context that support these claims. Supporting the claim that corrals improve sidewalk conditions, the 2008 Update of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan states that Òcurb extensions create good opportunities to provide bi cycle parking out of the pedestrian zone, especially in areas where sidewalks are 2 See Works Cited page for documents pertaining to the installation of corrals in these cities. Figure 4. On -street bicycle parking in Chico, California. Nabti Ridgway

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9 narrow. They also benefit from the proximity of a curb cut at the corners. The parking should be placed where it will not obscure visibility of pedestrians crossing the stree t, or motorists waiting to enter a street.” According to the Oregon Department of Transportation Design Manual (2003), “curb extensions reduce the pedestrian crossing distance and improve the visibility of pedestrians for motorists on streets where parkin g is allowed.Ó A 2005 study by Randal S. Johnson found a significant reduction in the average number of vehicles that pass a waiting pedestrian before yielding to the pedestrian with curb extensions installed. Regarding the claim that corrals remove the potential of sight -inhibiting parked cars or trucks near intersections and thereby improve visibility, a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report states that improved sight distance at an intersection permits “approaching drivers to ant icipate and avoid collisions” (1996). When corrals are placed adjacent to intersections, they improve sight distance (assuming they are replacing parked cars or trucks) and, thus, may contribute to reducing collisions. Methods in the Literature This pr oject will utilize bicycle counts and user surveys to assess the usage of bicycle corrals. Recent studies that touched on the issue of bicycle parking offer some insight into methods utilized to frame this study. Wardman et al (2007) used a national gov ernment -administered survey to assess how the availability of end -of-trip facilities, such as secure bicycle parking, influenced the attractiveness of bicycling to commuters; the researchers did not conduct additional surveys. Hunt & Abraham (2007) survey ed 1128 cyclists in Edmonton and asked respondents which of two hypothetical bicycle route scenarios were preferred – among alternatives, the presence or absence of secured parking at the end of the trip was stated. About 3500 surveys were distributed to cyclists or left attached to bicycles, for a response rate of

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10 around 33%. Schneider et al (2006) caution about taking care in wording and distributing cyclist surveys, including being aware of potential differences between online and other types of survey s. Schneider et al (2005) seek to put together a methodological framework that can help researchers and evaluators to answer questions about walking and bicycling, including what effect facility construction has on levels of bicycling and walking. Count s of parked bicycles can be used to predict bicycling rates as well as parking facility usage. The University of Washington conducts annual counts of bicycles on campus as a means of estimating bicycle trips to the campus. The survey is done on a similar day each year (described as a sunny Wednesday in May with temperatures in the 70s). In addition to interpolating cycling rates on the campus, the results of the count were used to identify underused and overused bicycle racks, and to shift placement of r esources accordingly. In the UW study, a rack with greater than 80% utilization was identified as in need of additional racks, while utilization of less than 5% was identified as underutilized. No efforts to count or assess bicycle parking or corral usag e were identified in the government and advocacy organization documents reviewed. METHODOLOGY A two -pronged approach was employed to understand how the bicycle corrals on East 28th Avenue are being used and perceived. To get concrete data on usage, a cou nting scheme was used to assess usage at various times of the day and week. To get data on perceptions, a short survey was administered to cyclists.

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