Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Where is bike parking needed?

1. November 2008 • Matt Hampel
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After unlocking my bike from the transformer cage at the Amtrak Station (photo), I realized that there must be a bunch of places in Ann Arbor that need bike parking.

Here is an editable Google map — anyone can add points. Once we have a couple contributions, this might be info that getDowntown can use.

View Larger Map

  1. I wish there wan another place to lock up on the corner of Main and Liberty. I often have to squeeze my bike in with several others, which is good because that means that more people are biking downtown, but still it’s inconvenient….

       —Molliewobbles    Nov. 1 '08 - 11:42PM    #
  2. The People’s Food Co-op often has 30 and more bikes in front. More parking is really needed.
    And Main street needs bike parking up and down the street. Years ago a DDA board member told me they purposely excluded bike parking because it was unattractive. I disagreed with him then, and still do. The hoops around the corner on Washington are nearly always full. Liberty has nothing. The DDA blew it years ago, and it should be remedied.

       —Linda Diane Feldt    Nov. 3 '08 - 05:29AM    #
  3. Hey folks,
    Just to fill you in, I do help the DDA decide where to put more bike parking in the downtown (DDA) area. We are scheduled to put in more parking at Kerrytown as well as in some other places (like by my office on Huron which currently doesn’t have any parking).

    We try our best to put in as much parking as possible, but I will admit we will probably never be able to put in as much as everyone wants. There are a lot of competing needs on the sidewalks, including cafe tables, parking meters, Art Fair stuff etc. So when I go around and talk to the DDA about where to put in parking, we need to keep these other things in mind. And unfortunately, if the DDA does put parking in a place that it’s not wanted, people literally rip it out of the ground (yes, it’s not legal, but it’s hard to catch these folks).

    In terms of the Co-op, it is very true that the Co-op always has bikes in front of it. Rather than put in more permanent parking, I think it might make more sense to put in some temporary racks during the warmer months. What do people think about this?

    In terms of Main Street, this is a really tricky situation. We are planning on putting some racks into the planters (so that there are hoops that stick out from the planters). This allows for parking that does not obstruct other uses of the sidewalk. I’m not sure when the DDA is planning on putting this parking in, but I know it will be sometime in the future.

    Finally, please keep in mind that just as you can’t necessarily park you car wherever you want, you might not always be able to park your bike wherever you want. There is usually bike parking somewhere close by, be it at a parking structure or the next block over. Still, if you feel there is really a lack of bike parking somewhere, please comment here.

    In terms of Liberty, there is bike parking over by Acme, Kilwins and Sams and over by the Federal Building, and in the Fourth and Washington Parking Structure, and over by Bar Louie, the Michigan Theater, Starbucks, etc. Where is more needed?

    What I am sure would really help everyone is if we had a Google Map of all of the bike parking locations in the downtown. I hope I can pull this together at some point, probably in the warmer months.

    Matt, thanks for this post. I’ll keep checking in to see what people have to say.

       —Nancy Shore    Nov. 3 '08 - 07:14PM    #
  4. Have to say I’ve never had a problem finding a handy something or other to loop a cable around (tree, sign, post, whatever).

       —MarkW    Nov. 5 '08 - 05:11PM    #
  5. Thanks Nancy.
    An additional note, as far as interference, handicapped parking is also a issue. Right now, if both sides of the bike rack are used in front of the Co-op next to the handicapped space the passenger in that car can’t get out. Bad planning. A friend ran into this trouble and mentioned it to me. They had to pull up, let him out, and then re park. Not always an option.

       —Linda Diane Feldt    Nov. 16 '08 - 05:12AM    #
  6. The A2D2 proposed amendments to the city code include modifications of requirements for parking, and make recommendations on number of bike and car spots per square foot of business space. See:
    Page 44 shows the proportion of spaces recommended for bikes vs. cars. I think the proportions are way off in favor or auto transportation. If in each location, up to two spots allocated for cars were instead allocated for bikes, a lot more people could park bikes with greater ease in downtown. Why should the expectation be that bike parking should be on sidewalks? Bike parking in structures could be increased, to allow for more covered parking using such a model. For those of you with more biking experience, consider the proposals in this document, and if you have suggestions for change, write to City Council and to which links to the Planning Department. I agree with Linda that blocking pedestrian access to the sidewalk, especially at spots designated for disabled parking is terrible planning. With some planning, we can make this a much more bike friendly city than its current status. Review and write soon. ItThe A2D2 Steering Committee will be reviewing the proposals on December 3, then likely preparing them to send to Council for approval. Now’s the time to tell them what the biking community really wants.

       —M    Nov. 17 '08 - 04:01AM    #
  7. Given that for part of the year the weather here is really too miserable for biking (not to mention unsafe), I’m leery of swapping out too much car parking for bike parking. And I say this as someone who commutes by bike for at least half the year (I just put my bike up for the season). Bikes at least can park on sidewalks (at least they can when there are enough hoops to chain up at). And given the rash of bike accessory thefts this summer, I’d rather have my bike parked in a spot with lots of traffic than in a parking garage where a thief has far more unobserved time to work with.

       —KEF    Nov. 19 '08 - 11:23PM    #
  8. As someone who commutes by bike year round, I’m a fan of more parking.

    For example, I had to stop by Bennett Optometry the other day and there’s not really any bike parking on that stretch of Main unless you want to lock to a sign that’s almost all the way in the road. Same problem when I get homebrew supplies at the Drive Through Beer Depot.

    I guess I should add those to the map.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Nov. 20 '08 - 10:14PM    #
  9. Yeah!!
    There must be some parking space which should only for the two-wheelers!!!
    It is most urgent as there are no parking lots there and the regular visitors need one!!!

    parking sensor

       —philip1111    Jun. 8 '09 - 09:25AM    #
  10. Hello all,
    Just FYI if you have been seeing some pink and orange marks on the ground around downtown that shows where some bike parking is going to be located. There should be a hoop close to Bennett Optometry on Main.

       —Nancy    Jun. 8 '09 - 09:17PM    #