Eyes on the Street: Parking Density in Toronto

This Toronto bike rack is a perfect illustration of how curbside parking sucks up valuable street space. Here, six cyclists are able to park in an area normally taken by one motorist, and since the rack was installed on the street, rather than on the sidewalk, pedestrians are unimpeded.

Photo: Spacing Toronto

  • da

    We could use something like this on my residential Park Slope block. As of the past year or so, about 4-5 bikes are now parked permanently on the sidewalks, chained to street poles and fences. Before that I never saw any bikes kept outdoors.

  • fafa

    Attractive, practical bicycle parking which also make a powerful statement.

  • Brent from Toronto

    Although it’s an interesting concept, it’s not from Toronto. It looks like it’s something dreamed up, maybe as a one-off, by some guy in Switzerland. (There is a link to him on the Spacing post.)

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Great idea but poorly executed, at least for North America. The rack appears to a “wheel bender” rack which is one of the worst rated rack styles for security purposes.

    That’s a problem you often get when some industrial designer builds a product they know little about and then do not do consult with experts in the field. I’ve seen generalist Industrial Designers do it too many times before within the bike industry.

  • Looks cool, but I wouldn’t want to lock up my bike to one of those. I’d be afraid it’d get hit by one of those parked cars on either side. Not to mention the idiot drivers who can’t drive in a straight line in the road.

  • Lauri

    da: Agreed; I’ve been watching the number of bikes overnighting on both residential and commerial streets in Park Slope for a while. Bike parking isn’t complex like CP and RPP. We need a new tool (not cityracks) that’s “doable”…low tech, relatively simple and inexpensive. I bet the new DOT has some ideas. But here’s one I’ve been thinking about: Sometimes the first parking spot around a corner is eliminated to increase visiblity for turning vehicles (daylighting.)and I would love to see more of that. Could those spaces be used for bike racks, with bollards providing protection for the bikes?

  • That’s a great idea, Lauri.

    You could also turn those day-lighted bike rack corners into little Green Street areas with special drainage to mitigate sewage overflows. You could put benches there if it wasn’t a great spot for bike racks.

    There actually already is a little Green Street project like this up in Harlem where they’re doing the special drainage treatment.

    Sblog will do a piece on that…

  • MikeM

    I agree with #5. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people TRY parallel parking only to hit the bumpers of the cars they’re parking in between. Harmless to a bumper, maybe, but not to my bike. Maybe if they put guards on each end, I’d use it… if I didn’t just get run over and totaled my bike.

  • The Toronto parking system is developed comparing to other cities this is my observation. I like this idea very much the rack is installed on the street because usually the pedestrians suffer the most by the unappropriate parking. More and more people realize now that using public transport can be more effective and you can eliminate the undesired traffic jams, in addition you take care of your environment.

  • Interesting idea, however, parking system needs more than few bicycle racks. Parking is problem in every town bigger than few thousand inhabitants and I am afraid there is no ideal and universal solution. Just appropriate system of rules, parking lots and permits could manage increasing traffic. We summarized all info about Toronto parking on our website, take a look if you are interested.

  • I would like people to take a fresh look at parking!! Forget parking lots, why not use that space to create more green!! I know that is a bit of a stretch however, if we use the parking that already exists, under condos, in backyards, maybe would have less traffic directed to such a small area. I think that the monetization of peoples home parking may have a postitive effect on traffic congestion

    HAve a look at http://www.parkingspots.com maybe this can free up lots of space for bikes.

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