Bike Parking Design Workshop explains the not-so-obvious need for good design in bike parking
By: Dan Yablonsky
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but most all bike rides start and end at a bike rack! The quality and design of that bike rack actually has huge potential to encourage more people to get out and ride bikes. This last September BikePGH was able to host our first Bike Parking Design workshop to explore this idea further, thanks to the generous support of Dero, Urban Design Associates and Point Park University. The workshop drew over 40 architects, developers and urban planners together to hear impressive insights from local firms as to how they are using well-designed bike parking to create communities that are healthy, active and engaged.
Eric Osth and David Otieno joined us from Urban Design Associates to give an overview of the importance of well designed bike parking in urban spaces. Jonathan Kline, from the Studio for Spacial Practice, shared about his design for the newly constructed East Liberty Transit Center Bike Garage. Lora Matway shared on behalf of the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning about the City Zoning Code’s Bike Parking Requirements. Finally, Lena Andrews from Action Housing shared from a developer’s perspective about how bike parking allows her to save money on developments and meet the demand of her apartment’s residents.
Land use decisions are multifaceted, to say the least — there’s the cost, demand and social effect of such a choice; the environmental impact, the effect on community health/behavior, and on and on. So although it may be simple, the decision about whether or not to include bike parking in a development, and the decision about how that bike parking is designed, is actually a big deal. When architects and developers choose how they’ll design and use land, they’re making HUGE decisions that will affect the health of our communities for generations to come!
The data shows that more people are moving to cities and more people are riding bikes. Fortunately for Pittsburgh, many recent developers have been following these trends and are including more space to store bikes at their facilities. And fortunately for developers, Pittsburgh’s zoning code allows them to save money by including more bike parking.
This wonderful cycle (no pun intended) of cause and effect, and the benefits that they potentially hold for our city, is what spurred BikePGH to host this workshop and set a solid precedent. Thanks to Dero and Pat Francart, we have an incredibly fun and informative two minute video that captures the spirit of the event: Click this link to view.
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