Have a Bike Parking Solution for the Folks in Austin?

One of the great things about the Streetsblog Network is the way it can connect people in different parts of the country so that they can share solutions to livable streets problems. So maybe someone out there will be able to help Austin Bike Blog figure out what cyclists in that city should do when parking meters begin to be replaced by electronic parking kiosks:

2085628522_2097c3046f.jpgA repurposed parking meter in Baltimore. Photo by bosconet via Flickr.

Should Austin try to convert some of the removed parking meters to bicycle parking, or should they remove them all and then install more bicycle parking after the fact — and if they do, how long will it take? Are we destined to have a “bicycle parking crisis” for a couple of years while things get sorted out? Will cyclists riot in the street? Will a private entity swoop in and save the day?

Also on the network today, M-Bike in Detroit writes about a Detroit News columnist who started off the year by listing some "fun facts" about auto crashes and fatalities. If you’d like to tell him those facts aren’t fun, they’ve got all the contact info for you.

We’d also like to bring to your attention the National Journal’s Transportation "Expert Blog," which puts out a question every week for a group of transpo honchos including government officials and environmentalists. Some of the more high-profile members of the panel, such as California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oregon congressman Earl Blumenauer, haven’t weighed in lately. But a recent question about falling gas prices did elicit responses from such varied sources as NJ Transit Executive Director Rich Sarles and Robin Chase, writer of Streetsblog Network member blog Network Musings and founder of the GoLoco ridesharing network. It’s worth checking out.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Turn the meters into bike parking, with a charge of a nickel for up to 24 hours. Use the revenues for additional bicycle improvements.

  • Here in Berkeley, city staff has found that it is cheaper to remove the parking meter posts and install new U-racks for bikes than it is to convert the parking meter posts into bike parking (as shown in the picture).

    Unfortunately, they are months late in installing the U-racks, so we have a temporary drought of bike parking.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Here in Berkeley, city staff has found that it is cheaper to remove the parking meter posts and install new U-racks for bikes than it is to convert the parking meter posts into bike parking (as shown in the picture).”

    I don’t doubt you, but find it hard to understand. Heck with a U-lock and the head on it, a parking meter is already bike parking.

  • Perhaps a creative stop-gap solution is to bolt some bike racks to the bed of a flatbed truck and park it someplace with a poverty of bike parking. Add a ramp or a valet to help get the bikes up and you’ve got a solution that takes advantage of the glut of motor vehicle parking and devotes some of it – legally – to bikes.

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