Parking decision to come tomorrow

Despite having plenty of space out front, this QuikTrip placed their bike parking around the corner.

The Tucson City Council will decide the fate of bicycle parking in Tucson at their meeting tomorrow night.

At issue is how many parking spaces developers are required to provide when constructing new businesses and where they are required to put them. The new code could reduce the number of bicycle parking spaces and would allow the developers to move them 75 feet from the entrance. Currently, they are required to place bike parking within 50 feet of the front door.

The meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 255 W. Alameda St., provides an opportunity for the public to speak about bicycle parking. The agenda shows that the bike parking code update is the ninth item on the agenda. View the agenda and download the related documents here.

Both Tucson bike and pedestrian program manager Tom Thivener and Living Streets Alliance’s founder Emily Yetman, are encouraging cyclists to attend the meeting and voice their concerns about the proposed bicycle parking code.

“People showing up makes a huge difference,” Yetman said. “It puts a face to name and a voice to a letter they have read. It becomes much more real when there is a person there.”

But Yetman says its more than just overturning the parking code.

“I think it is empowering for people to see each other turn out too,” Yetman said. “There is something really exciting about when you show up and you see 30 of your fellow citizens there working toward a common cause. It is incredibly empowering and that is significant in itself.”

Thivener said it’s a right people should exercise.

“These opportunities don’t come along very often so this would definitely be one of those they should take advantage of to see how government works and let the council know their thoughts on the bike parking code,” he said.

 

Here is a roundup of what people are doing and saying about the issue:

Living Streets Alliance:

The Living Streets Alliance advocacy group is hand-delivering bike parking fact sheets to each of the City Council members as well as the mayor.

According to the Alliance’s founder, Emily Yetman, members of the group are meeting with each council member to go over the fact sheet.

Here is a snippet from the fact sheet. Download the entire document here.

Living Streets Alliance believes that if the City of Tucson is serious about maintaining and enhancing its bicycle friendly reputation — as well as encouraging and supporting bicycle usage as a viable alternate mode of transportation — increasing bicycle accommodations, not decreasing them, is the proper path.

 

Tucson Bike Lawyer:

Here is a comment by Tucson Bike Lawyer on his own post about the code update.

Read his entire post: Developers to Tucson bicyclists: Eff you and the bike you rode in on

I had a bit of a hard time getting worked up about this too until I saw how much energy is being put (by developers) into reducing the bike parking standards and how disingenuous the arguments for these reductions are. Retaining the current standards, as low as they are, or better still improving them, will also tell the world that bikes belong in Tucson and bikes are a legitimate way to get around. I have realized that things like bike lanes, bike signage, bike racks on buses, and bike racks in front of business serve to show motorists that people who ride bikes have a right to do so and a right to be on the road.

This increases our safety immensely in my opinion — probably more than having a receptive police department would, in the long run. And, it also increases the likelihood that our police department will be receptive to us.

Also, I think TPD has improved a whole lot in the last few years. I am not seeing *anything* like what I saw from them when I first started paying attention in 2007. Obviously there are exceptions, and too many exceptions, but nowadays it’s rare to get treated like a criminal just because you are on a bike. I attribute a lot of this to a change in personnel over the past few years. TPD’s priorities have changed for the better.

KVOA coverage:

Tucson Velo:

Remember the contest ends today at noon. Please get your letters in to the Mayor and council and send a copy to me. Details here.

Here is the list of people who have entered the contest:

  • Dan M. 2 entries
  • Janet M. 2 entries
  • Marysue S. 2 entries
  • Ezra R. 1 entry
  • Aida A, 1 entry
  • Frank T. 2 entries
  • Matt Z. 2 entries
  • Charles M. 2 entries
  • Kylie W. 2 entries
  • German Q. 1 entry
  • Colby H. 2 entries

Here are posts I’ve written about the issue:

3 comments
pedalsmart
pedalsmart

I lived near a Trader Joe's in California that put out a 6-bike portable bike rack each day near the front door. I used that rack a lot, because it was in a visible area with a lot of foot traffic. There was also a hidden, permanent bike rack across the parking lot, near the Ralph's supermarket, that was in a less visible area with little foot traffic. I used that remote rack once, and found that someone had tried to force apart my combo bike lock. Needless to say, I shopped a lot at that Trader Joes because of their nice parking rack.

Martha Retallick
Martha Retallick

I'm with Steven Vance. I've had my own informal boycott of Bad Bike Parking Businesses going for years. On the other side of the coin, I've been known to compliment businesses that get it when it comes to bike parking.

Steven Vance
Steven Vance

That's a great photo of QuikTrip. A lot of people won't see that bike parking and a lot of people won't park there. Many may choose to visit a different shop that has better bike parking than to park there. I won't hesitate to pass a business that has insufficient or perceptively unsafe or distant bike parking.