I know I don’t live in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, or one of the other top cycling communities in the United States, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have certain expectations for St. Louis…like good bike parking. St. Louis’ bike parking situation sucks! A rack in back by the dumpster at a box store or a dish drainer outside a shopping strip or a nice rack along a busy multi-lane road with no shoulder that few bicyclists would be caught dead (literally) riding along ain’t doing it for me or the community. So if I’m going to dream, I might as well dream big.
Suggestion 1: Secure parking
In California and Oregon they have these handy, secure metal boxes that store your bike for a small fee. Mostly they’re located near public transportation stops. I could see them working in downtown St. Louis near Washington, at the Clayton Metro Center, and where the crappy, abandoned auto shop now stands on Delmar. The following video illustrates. Please ignore the early focus on New York.
Suggestion 2: Take away car parking
Bicycles take up a lot less room than cars. One and a half car spaces, according to a plan Portland now uses, equal enough room for thirteen bike racks. So take a couple of car spaces out and put in some darn bike racks! Something this *radical* would surely work on Delmar. There are too many cars on the street as it is. Delmar needs to be more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, and it needs to become less conducive to auto traffic. A perfect spot for the type of design in the following video would be where the curb juts in/out near Meshuggah. Taking one or two spots away from cars there would hardly affect traffic flow (unfortunately), and it would create a place to park all those bikes that currently litter the parking meters and trees along the street without affecting pedestrian life. It would also get Mr. Patterson to write a nice blog post about how St. Louis did something right for once.