$100K study suggests $500K more for bike racks

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EUGENE, Ore. - A $100,000 study found 55 out a sample of 509 bicycle parking spots in Eugene/Springfield in use - and concluded the community should add 2,376 more.

The community has 2,934 existing spaces. The study looked at spaces in 14 centers of bicycle activity across the region, like RiverBend Hospital, when 1 of 24 spots was in use. At Gateway Mall, 12 of 66 bike spots were in use.

The methodology relates not just to current use but to projected use, based on a transit industry recommendation.

Government and businesses could meet the forecast need for bike spots with about $500,000 in investment, the study found.

The person who led the study said that the day the study took place and the number of spaces utilized is not representative of the demand.

A couple bicyclists questioned on the topic asked whether bikes needed more places to lock up - and whether the money would better fund making bike routes safer.

The study inventories the existing bicycle parking, and notes that newer installations appear better suited to actual use by bicycles. Some older bicycles racks actually

"The study was led by point2point Solutions at Lane Transit District (LTD). Regional partners included the City of Springfield, the City of Eugene, the City of Coburg, the Lane Council of Governments (LCOG), and Lane County. The study was funded through a grant from the Central Lane Metropolitan Planning Organization," according to the study.

Among the findings related to the current state of bicycle parking:

In both downtowns, short-term bike parking is most often found in either the furnishing zone or the frontage zone of the sidewalks in front of local shops and businesses.

In downtown Springfield, numerous bike racks have been installed well at both the Justice Center and at Springfield Station; the latter feature covers to shield racks from the rain. Numerous racks are also installed outside of the Juvenile Court building and surrounding City Hall. Generally speaking, newer bicycle parking installations are higher in quality and better installed compared to older racks.

In downtown Eugene, parking is also often found on the grounds of some of the larger institutional properties such as the city, county, and federal buildings, hospital campus,
etc. There are many examples of covered bike parking, under awnings and alcoves.

Wide sidewalk widths often allow perpendicular or angled parking in the downtown core. Many bike racks were located in less conspicuous areas, tucked between buildings, concealed partially by walls or hedges, and in downtown Eugene's numerous alleyways. When bike parking was difficult to find, it was typically underutilized.

Many racks were improperly installed with regard to spacing, orientation or general location. In some cases, this necessitated parking at awkward angles and limited the potential capacity of the racks, or impeded pedestrian travel. As expected, there are higher concentrations of bike racks available near the core of downtown. There are far fewer racks further north toward the river and east toward the Sacred Heart Hospital and the more residential neighborhoods between downtown and the University of Oregon campus.

Read the study: A PDF copy of the LTD Draft Regional Bike Parking Study