More and more residents are using bicycles to get around town. We bike downtown to the Library; to attend movies, plays and concerts at the Screening Room, the Firehouse and other venues; and for coffee, dining and shopping. We also bike to more outlying locations such as Anna Jaques and its medical offices, to grocery stores and other shops on Storey Avenue and the traffic circle, and to parks and recreation facilities. While the downtown has a few bike racks scattered around, we often have to chain our bikes to fences (like at the Library and the Firehouse), utility poles, and street signs. Outside the downtown there are few facilities for bike parking, whether at private businesses and institutions or at City-owned facilities.
The City needs to purchase and install more bike racks, and needs to carefully plan the locations for new racks so that they do not interfere with pedestrians and businesses. In many tight locations, the appropriate strategy will be to use individual racks like those next to City Hall and the Green Street parking lot. In other places, such as parking lots, it will be possible to provide multi-space racks. New private developments should also be expected to incorporate bike parking in their site plans.
Bicycle Parking Needs Survey
NLS will be developing a Bicycle Parking Master Plan to prioritize locations for new bike racks and to establish standards for the types of racks that should be used by both the City and private property owners. As the first step in this process, we asked residents and visitors to complete a short survey about their cycling habits and bike parking needs. Over a three-week period in September-October 2020 we received 246 responses to the survey, representing all areas of the City and a wide range of ages.
We are currently compiling the results of the survey and will report on them soon. In the meantime, a rough summary of the responses to the survey can be found here and a short report presented at the December 2020 NLS meeting can be found here.
Essentials of Bicycle Parking: Selecting and Installing Bicycle Parking That Works (Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, 2015)