Friday, September 16, 2011

Making the Center City Bike Corrals Permanent (with a nod to Tinker Bell)

In Center City, transportation space is at a premium. There isn't enough car parking. There isn't enough bike parking. The streets and the sidewalks are narrow. To maximize the number of people who can get in and out of Center City, we need to get creative.

Here is an example of an unimaginative use of a parking space at the corner of Walnut & Sydenham St.
Here is our idea, on display beginning this morning and continuing until early November:
The difference? Increasing Center City parking capacity by 8-13 shoppers/workers/residents (depending on how many people ride in that Hummer. And let's be honest, Hummer owners these days are usually driving alone).

Stop by today and check out our two bike corrals (we've got tents up at both places, handing out literature and talking about bikes and bike parking). One at the above parking spot next to the Chipotle at Walnut & Sydenham St (Walnut between 15th and 16th). The other is atop subway grates on the East side of the 200 block of S. Broad Street.

These corrals securely hold 12-14 bikes each, increasing Center City's bike parking capacity at the cost of one car parking spot. For any local business with employees who commute by bike, or customers who arrive via bicycle, this is good for business. It also prevents creative but destructive bike parking solutions like the one below:

Check out more photos of our bike corrals on our Flickr site.

These installations are part of Park(ing) Day, but they will remain up until early November. Like them and want to see Philly adopt more progressive transportation solutions? Send an e-mail to and let the City know! The more encouragement the Mayor's Office gets from bicycle-friendly residents and businesses, the more bicycling infrastructure we will see. (It's kind of like clapping to bring Tinker Bell back to life...but for belief in progressive transportation infrastructure. C'mon, everybody, clap!)

These racks are generously loaned to us for free from Dero Bike Racks and Saris Parking Systems, a division of Saris Cycling Group. We are looking for funds (several thousand dollars) to buy them and make them permanent. Contact if you can help keep them around post-November.


Danni said...

Dear Mr. Ritz,

I am a resident of the City of Philadelphia, living in the museum area and commuting to school in University City and work in Center City.

I choose to commute by bicycle for a number of reasons: it's cost effective, environmentally friendly, healthy and about as fast as driving a car or riding public transportation.

I believe that it is the duty of the City of Philadelphia and its residents to work hard to make the city more bicycle friendly through efforts such as those promoted by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Efforts such as adding bicycle lanes on residential streets and through key avenues throughout the city help relieve bicycle-automobile tensions and increase safety for everyone. The experimental efforts with using one car parking space to provide 13 bicycle parking spaces are also a great way to send a message to the city that cyclists are a welcome part of our community whose lifestyle choices help everyone by reducing emissions and traffic congestion.

Thank you for your efforts in making Philadelphia the great city that it is for everyone, and especially for your efforts to improve the living experience for cyclists.


Danni Catambay
University of Pennsylvania
PhD Candidate, Economics