Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Another element of underground parking at the National Mall: High-capacity bicycle parking

Another section of comments I made with regard to the National Capital Planning Commission's draft of the Visitor and Commemoration Element of the Federal Elements section of the DC Comprehensive Land Use Plan concerned bicycle accommodation.

Dallas Bikeways signI wouldn't claim the comments are particularly scintillating, even if they are important:

- The National Park Service should require that special event permitting processes for special events on the National Mall better integrate with transit service planning. (For example, if large events are scheduled on the National Mall, WMATA should not be operating on reduced service schedules.)

- NPS special event permitting processes for events on the National Mall should require the provision of bike parking (beyond the bike valet services which may or may not be provided currently.)

Above: Dallas Bikeways logo and name on bikeway signage is used to brand the city's bikeway system.   Flickr photo by Bike Denton.

- Bikeways informational signage in the National Mall/Potomac Park areas is inadequate and should be improved. (E.g., try figuring out how to find the bikeway on the 14th St. bridge. Even if you are an experienced biker, it's not easy.)

- Branding regional bikeways with a common logo and contact information should be suggested.

- Bike tourism services should be integrated into visitor centers, especially at Union Station and the proposed Jefferson Memorial Metro Station.

If you put in an underground parking structure on the National Mall, include high quality bike parking too

But in the context of the proposal for an underground parking structure at the National Mall (and note that there are underground parking structures at Millennium Park and Grant Park in Chicago, similarly, Lexington Market in Baltimore makes a significant amount of revenue from its parking structures, which supports operations at the Market), along with the concepts I laid out in the previous blog entry, I would expand this idea in terms of adding high capacity underground bike parking, either self-serve, like how it's done in Amsterdam, or automated, like in Tokyo.

This would be to serve special events and regular demands, and ideally would replace the more ad hoc bike valet services provided presently.

Underground bicycle parking, Apeldoorn, Netherlands. This parking is single level. Depending on the height of the space, it can be two or three levels, although third-level bike parking requires an attendant.

Double stack indoor bicycle parking

High-capacity underground, automated bicycle parking in Tokyo. See "Tokyo buys itself underground bike parking areas to confront the lack of space issue" from Innov'in in the city.

The advantage of the fully automated system is that it's automated. But such systems are set up to only deal with one person at a time, which in special event situations, doesn't work very well when there are dozens or hundreds of people in line, waiting to be served.

Probably traditional bike parking, underground, with security, but self-serve, is the best way to go.

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