Monday, October 3, 2011

Post-and-ring bike rack update

Before I start, you may have heard the news that I've stepped down as President of the CCCA to work in the office of Somerset Ward Councillor Diane Holmes. I sent a message to the CCCA's members and followers on Wednesday night. If you're wondering, yes I'll still be blogging, yes I'll still be involved in community activities (perhaps even moreso), and yes I'll still be tweeting. I still want you to join and get involved with the CCCA, and to attend the AGM on October 25, 2011, at 7pm at the Beaver Barracks (464 Metcalfe, at Catherine). I won't be working regularly at City Hall until the last week of October.

With that out of the way...

I've written many posts about the City's insufficient provision of secure bicycle parking, particularly in the removal of parking meters. About a year ago, I gave the example of Elgin Street, which went from having many parking meters per block, per side, to one or two post-and-ring racks for both sides.

Back before they even started, I'd reviewed the City's list of where to put the bike racks that were left after removing most of them. In addition to noting locations where it was recommended not to replace parking meters, I also pointed out that bicycle parking shouldn't be limited to commercial areas and big condo buildings. I've often arrived at someone's place in Centretown to find that there was nothing in sight to lock my bike to, not even a street sign.

That's for short-term parking. It's even worse for many apartment-dwellers, like the ones along Frank street whose bikes were parked in the video in this post, and who don't have space in or outside their building to keep their bikes.

There is often a bike locked to this signpost on James Street at Kent, just across from St. Barnabas church:

What I suspect happened here is that someone unbolted the sign and lifted the bike over the post. Another related trick thieves use is to find a post that can be lifted out of the ground, so make sure to immobilize your wheel (i.e. don't just lock the frame to the post), and check to make sure whatever you lock your bike to is securely attached to the ground.

The number of bikes in town has grown significantly, even since last year, and these people need places to park their bikes. I've been told that a second round of post-and-ring racks is being installed soon (perfect timing given the imminent removal of the blue Velocity bike racks for the winter), and that Elgin is one of the streets that will receive them, after its recent resurfacing.

Whether this will include residential areas, I'm doubtful, but if there are people or stores you normally visit that have no secure place to lock your bike, please leave a comment!

(PS: As part of the Rescue Bronson Avenue project, I'll be meeting with the consultants on the Bronosn Avenue reconstruction to tell them where they can stick their bike racks.)

(Subsequent edit: In October 2012, many more bike racks were installed in Centretown, including 60 or so along Gladstone, which didn't have parking meters to begin with! Apparently the comments I had submitted a year or so earlier were consulted.)

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]


  1. Nice write-up of the situation. It will certainly be interesting to see how much additional bike parking gets added along Elgin. Keep us 'posted'!

  2. I would like to see the removal of a few parking spaces and have them turned into bike racks like they do in some cities in Europe. Often they have a cut-out car shape where the rack is and you can see how many bikes can park in the space of one car. One can always dream.