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Delmar Loop Lacks Proper Bike Parking

ABOVE:poorly supported & secured bike on Delmar in the East Loop

I’m a huge fan of on-street parking for automobiles, the stationary cars provide a nice barrier between passing cars and pedestrians. But in addition to providing parking for cars in the public right-of-way we should also provide parking for bicycles.  The person who cycles for transportation purposes (vs recreational rides) will find a way to secure their bikes, but often in less than ideal conditions.

A parking meter is a poor bike rack because it is too easy for a thief to lift the bike over the top.  Also meters do a lousy job of supporting the frame. Sign posts can work but often thieves will pull up the post to steal the bike.  Yesterday a friend came over to my loft and he brought his bike up rather than risk theft on the street due to a lack of bike racks.

The Delmar Loop is one of our best areas but the lack of bike parking is noticeable. It has only been 4-5 years since the stretch of Delmar East of Skinker was narrowed from four to two travel lanes to allow widened sidewalks.  There is plenty of room for bike racks, they just weren’t  a priority.

– Steve Patterson


Vote Daily For A St. Louis Bike Station

December 11, 2010 Bicycling, Downtown, Transportation Comments Off on Vote Daily For A St. Louis Bike Station

DBS_logoThe monthly “Pepsi Refresh Project” is a tough competition.  Projects across the country compete for up to 32 grants.

What are the Pepsi Refresh Grant Levels?
Each month, up to $1.3 million will be awarded as follows: 2 Grants at the $250,000 level; 10 Grants at the $50,000 level; 10 Grants at the $25,000 level; and 10 Grants at the $5,000 level.

So what am I asking you to vote for?  The press release, in full, explains:

On December 1, the Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District (CID) entered the Pepsi Refresh Challenge to win $50,000 to help launch and market our new Downtown Bicycle Station. The only way to win this fierce competition is to turn out the most votes. So, for every day of December, we ask that you encourage your followers to vote for our Downtown Bicycle Station!

Here’s how: Vote online at the Pepsi Refresh project site (http://www.refresheverything.com/biketotownstl); vote by texting 104458 to Pepsi (73774); sign up for daily reminders (vote@downtownstl.org); retweet to your Twitter followers (www.twitter.com/downtownstlouis), and share the project by posting it to your Facebook wall (www.facebook.com/downtownstl)

What Are the Benefits?
By creating a safe, clean and welcoming hub for bike commuters, the Downtown CID will inspire a healthier, simpler lifestyle. This means fewer cars looking for parking and more people enjoying Downtown on two-wheels and two feet.

What does the $50,000 Grant pay for?
With our grant, we will spread the word about the region’s first Bicycle Station:

  • Advance an aggressive marketing and awareness campaign about the benefits of bicycling to work.
  • Promote the Downtown Bicycle Station with 25 bicycle giveaway packages and 50 free 1-year Bicycle Station memberships.
  • Develop collateral to market the new Downtown Bicycle Station.
  • Install an informational kiosk for prospective members.
  • Make the Downtown Bicycle Station welcome with a bright, hip mural on the exterior alley wall of the facility, and post signs to introduce the Downtown Bicycle Station to St. Louis and the world!

The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis serves as the catalyst for investment, creating a regionally celebrated asset and nationally recognized downtown. The Partnership also manages the Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District (The CID) that provides enhanced services to make Downtown St. Louis a cleaner, safer, more vibrant place.

Your vote is needed — not just once but each day through the end of the month.

Vote Here

– Steve Patterson


Bike Rack Uncovered

November 4, 2010 Bicycling, Downtown 4 Comments

On October 14th I posted about a bike rack hidden by cafe furniture (Sidewalk Cafes vs. Bike Parking)

ABOVE: Public bike rack hidden behind cafe tables & advertising
ABOVE: Public bike rack hidden behind cafe tables & advertising

I didn’t get around to emailing the post to anyone with the city. But I did send a pic to the Citizens Service Bureau via Twitter (@STLcsb) and they got it cleared quickly.

ABOVE: bike rack can now be used by cyclists.

The sign is in the way but that is easily tossed aside.

– Steve Patterson


Sidewalk Cafes vs. Bike Parking

October 14, 2010 Bicycling, Downtown 6 Comments
ABOVE: Bike secured to railing outside Flannery's
ABOVE: Bike secured to railing outside Flannery's Pub

I’ve posted before about St. Louis needing much more bike parking so that patrons don’t need to secure their bikes to parking meters, sign posts or railings. When I spotted this bike locked to the railing in front of Flannery’s Pub I thought, “wait a minute, this is one of the few areas where we do have bike parking!”  Did the racks get removed?  No, not quite, they are still there — somewhere.

ABOVE: Public bike rack hidden behind cafe tables & advertising
ABOVE: Public bike rack hidden behind cafe tables & advertising

Oh there is one, buried among Flannery’s cafe furniture and advertising.  Not exactly a usable bike rack, is it?  I’m a huge fan of sidewalk dining — I love the excitement it can bring to the sidewalk.  When I’m out I often see people I know dining outdoors, including at Flannery’s. But the restaurants must realize they don’t own the public sidewalk in front of their establishments. They must respect others using the sidewalk — including bicyclists trying to secure their bikes.

– Steve Patterson


Readers Think St. Clair County Transit Needs Bike Racks On Buses

ABOVE: Metro bus without bike rack at the Belleville IL MetroLink station
ABOVE: Metro bus without bike rack at the Belleville IL MetroLink station

Response to this poll was low but the results are clear, those who voted think St. Clair County Transit needs to add bike racks to their buses.

Q: St. Clair County (IL) Transit District doesn’t have bike racks on their buses, they 1) damage buses 2) damage wash brushes 3) take extra labor. Your thoughts?

  1. Madison County Transit finds a way, so should St. Clair County Transit. 36 [37.5%]
  2. So what if it takes more labor to wash the buses, they need to find a way to pay for it and get racks on their buses 29 [30.21%]
  3. No bus in the region should have bike racks 15 [15.63%]
  4. Other answer… 7 [7.29%]
  5. Unsure/no opinion 6 [6.25%]
  6. If it takes more labor saving money is more important than providing bike racks 3 [3.13%]

I thought #6 above would be the primary against answer so the 15 votes that “No bus in the region should have bike racks” was shocking.

The seven other answers were:

  1. SCCT should get over themselves and get with the program!
  2. Its up to the residents of st. clair county to want bike racks
  3. Why do the buses need to be washed, and how much money was spent on that?
  4. modify the bus wash to work with racks, like other transit systems do!
  5. Lame excuses
  6. there needs to be a balance between cost/benefit to the region of the bike racks
  7. If MCT, Metro and tons of other transit authorities can, St. Clair should too.

I’m going to stay on this issue until the day you can bike-n-ride in St. Clair County.

– Steve Patterson