Portland Bureau of Transportation today announced that New Seasons Market at 4034 SE Hawthorne Blvd. is the site of the 100th bicycle parking corral in the city. The installation is a milestone in a program that has helped businesses increase on-street customer parking ten-fold in the last nine years.
At the request of local businesses, the city has added bike corrals to the streetscape, beginning with Fresh Pot on N. Mississippi Avenue in 2004. Since then, requests and installations have accelerated, with the greatest demand coming from restaurants in high-travel commercial areas, including the Pearl District, Belmont, Overlook and Hawthorne business districts.
Altogether, Portland businesses and the city have replaced 163 auto parking spaces with 1,644 bicycle parking spaces, far surpassing the number of on-street bike parking structures in any other U.S. city.
“Requests for bike corrals are really driven by businesses in the City,” said Scott Cohen, a transportation demand management specialist with the Transportation Bureau. “I hear from businesses every week asking how to get a corral, and cities throughout the world often call requesting advice on how to start up similar programs.”
Bike corrals are groupings of six to 12 bike racks installed on-street. While most bicycle parking is provided on sidewalks, in a growing number of commercial areas the high demand for bicycle parking is exceeding sidewalk capacity. In other cases, local businesses simply prefer bicycles in the parking strip rather than autos in order to attract and serve customers as travel patterns shift from auto use.
In addition to increasing customer parking, bike corrals free up congested sidewalks, and improve visibility at busy intersections for those on foot or behind the wheel.
The Transportation Bureau continues to respond to business requests as bike parking demand increases, and currently has 98 additional applications under review.