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On-Street Bike Parking to Improve Intersection Sight Distance

Making Streets Safer With On-Street Bike Parking from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

StreetFilms reports that NYC recently installed it’s first on-street bike parking zone. The interesting part of this application is that the parking was installed more as a way to prevent parking near a busy intersection where visibility was limited. From the article:

By installing eight bike racks, DOT created a “daylighting” effect, improving visibility at the intersection. The bike parking is much less intrusive than parked cars and helps everyone at the intersection see everyone else. Oh yeah, and now there are a dozen new places to park bikes without taking away any space from Smith Street’s busy sidewalks.

A similar option would have been to construct a bumpout on the corner, and install the bike parking on the space created by the bumpout. Simply placing the bike parking in the street was probably substantially cheaper.

Since I’ve never used on-street bike parking, I’m not sure how on-street vs sidewalk bike parking compare from a usability standpoint. I can think of benefits and drawbacks to both.

2 comments to On-Street Bike Parking to Improve Intersection Sight Distance

  • We have on-street bike parking in part of the Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, VA. The street that it’s on is used a bit by cyclists (no bike lanes, but it has sharrows and traffic isn’t very fast). Especially convenient for those cyclists heading southbound (the side the bike parking’s on).

  • Of course, there’s a major difference between Minneapolis and New York or Alexandria: snow removal is a much bigger issue for us. The design shown in the video would not work well at all for snow removal — assuming the plow didn’t hit it, you’d have big snowbanks all around. The curb bumpout design would be better for Minnesota for that reason (though even then, somebody has to be responsible for shoveling it out).

    The on-street space could still be a useful seasonal experiment, though, to see if a full bumpout is worthwhile.

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