For the first time I noticed the new bike locking rings and posts actually installed on a street (err, sidewalk). The city is going to install about 500 of these, utilizing about 12% of the freed-up old-style parking meter posts rendered obsolete by the conversion to pay and display.
Too few posts are being converted to bike locking posts. Parking meter posts were convenient locking points for me, my cheapo U-lock wouldn’t fit over the meter head so no one could lift the bike up and walk off with it (and who would want to? it’s ages old, rusty, 6speed Cdn Tire bike that only works on one speed).
I am alarmed by the City’s choice of very high standards for where to locate the posts. They aren’t up against buildings, since they must be able to accept two bikes, not just one; and they won’t be on most city sidewalks as they are too narrow … the city wants five feet or so of clear space between the handlebar of the parked bike and the obstructions along the curb.
The ones pictured above are in the Market area. By locating one at the end of the building, the parked bike is off the sidewalk. The other hitching posts were set well into the sidewalk away from the building, which almost made them feel like pedestrian obstacles. Hmm.
I walked along Somerset with the parking staff last week looking at where the pay and display posts are going and where the very few bike parking posts will go. Since most of the buildings are immediately adjacent the sidewalk, there were few locations that met the city’s criteria. Once the old meter posts are removed (about six months after the pay and display starts up) it will be necessary for the BIA’s to nag harder for more bike parking to replace that which was lost.