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Bike Parking At Skinker MetroLink Station

Where you see bicycles locked to handrails on an ADA ramp that’s a good indictor of a need for convenient bike parking.

ABOVE: Bicycles secured to the handrail of the Skinker MetroLink ramp on the Washington University campus
ABOVE: Bicycles secured to the handrail of the Skinker MetroLink ramp on the Washington University campus

The night I took the above image a young man on the same train I was on unlocked his bike from the same rail and rode off away from the Washington University campus. Three bikes were locked here on a random Thursday evening (11/29).

This MetroLink station may have bike parking somewhere but I’ve seen bikes here before. We’ve got to do a better job at designing public space for the actual users.

— Steve Patterson


Pedicabs In St. Louis

Few things bring a smile to my face like the humble pedicab.

ABOVE: A pedicab parked on 9th in fromt of Culinaria
ABOVE: A pedicab parked on 9th in fromt of Culinaria

My one and only time as a passenger was in NYC in 2005. Riding among traffic in Manhattan leaving Central Park was a bit scary but it made for a great memory. Hopefully our pedicabs will create positive memories for St. Louis visitors.

— Steve Patterson


More Thoughts on Bike Parking

November 30, 2012 Bicycling, Featured, Parking 2 Comments

Tuesday’s post was  about a bike locked to a lamp post while two empty bike were further from the building entry, see: Locate Bike Racks Near Building Entrances. Today is a similar post about trying to find a place to secure your bike.

ABOVE: Three bikes recently spotted locked to the construction fence at Washington Ave & Tucker.

Transportation cyclists are resourceful types for sure and the above is a perfect example. While this makes an interesting visual I’d much rather see our streets lined with bare-bones inverted-U bike racks located on the outer edge of the sidewalks, near the entrances to active spaces.

ABOVE: Bike parking for 22 bikes located around the corner from the nearest entrance to the Laurel Apartments. Architects love this design even though it doesn’t support the bike’s frame in two places when used as designed

Unfortunately too often things like bike parking are on a green checklist and they get checked off as being covered even though functionally few cyclists will ever use the supplied racks, much less 22 at once, opting instead for a sign or lamp post near their destination.  This space should’ve been planted to catch water runoff.

— Steve Patterson


Locate Bike Racks Near Building Entrances

November 27, 2012 Bicycling, Featured 13 Comments

Public bike racks, if existent at all,  often end up in the worst locations.

ABOVE: Cyclist secured their bike as close to the entry as possible while empty bike racks bookend benches in the middle of the 900 block of Washington Ave.
ABOVE: close up of the bike

Maybe the engineers/designers of the streetscape thought someone would bike downtown to sit on a bench and face another bench? Several of these bike racks in adjacent blocks have been removed because their placement interfered with cafe seating and pedestrian flow.

Bike parking needs to be obvious as to use, visible to others, and near building entrances.

— Steve Patterson


Grocery Shopping By Bicycle

To many people stocking up at the grocery store means taking the car, but not everyone  thinks that way.

ABOVE: A woman loads two bags of groceries into baskets on her bike in front of Vincent’s on 12th Street in Soulard, Oct 13th.

When I saw this woman come out of Vincent’s pushing a shopping cart with two bags I expected her to go toward the parking lot. Instead she headed to the bike secured to the bus stop sign. Initially was a bit shocked because, like me, she wasn’t a young 20-something. The more I thought about it I realized I know people my age (mid 40s) to well into their 70s that bike everywhere.

If the bus wasn’t about to come I would’ve stopped her to find out more. Given that she has fold-out baskets on her bike I’d say if she has a car at all it doesn’t get used much for grocery shopping.

Those of you who drive everywhere may find it hard to believe that a person can live in St. Louis without a car, but more and more are doing so.

Note the bike racks in the background, not near the entrance. It’s telling she locked her bike to the sign post rather than one of the two bike racks further away.

— Steve Patterson