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Executive Summary of Bicycle Parking: Key to a Green Philadelphia (May 2008)
Philadelphia’s path to becoming the next great sustainable and green city needs to include stocking up on more and better bicycle parking. In all parts of the City, there is a bicycle parking shortage. More bike parking is essential to encourage more people to use bikes for short trips to get to work and shopping, entertainment and cultural destinations. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia conducted an assessment of bicycle parking at major destinations and corridors in Philadelphia to ascertain the quantity and quality of bicycle parking and to make recommendations.
The results of the Bicycle Coalition bike assessment project show that Philadelphia has a hill to climb. While the City’s Streets Department has installed 1200 inverted U racks on sidewalks, and is planning to install 1400 more during 2008, 2600 bike racks is not enough for the estimated 300,000[i] bicyclists who live and work in Philadelphia. Just as important, other major public agencies such SEPTA, the Parking Authority, the Philadelphia International Airport and many cultural, sports facilities and educational institutions could substantially improve the quantity and quality of bicycle parking facilities it offers commuters, travelers, visitors, and customers.
Based on this study, the Bicycle Coalition recommends that:
- The City of Philadelphia establish bike parking standards and guidelines
- The zoning code be amended to require new buildings with car parking be required to provide bicycle parking capacity that is equal to 5% of car parking spaces
- The zoning code be amended to require new residence and office buildings to set aside space for long-term and short term bicycle parking
- The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) add bicycle parking at garages and lots that is equal to 5% of car parking spaces.
- The Philadelphia International Airport and PPA add convenient bicycle parking for employees and travelers
- SEPTA create bike parking shelters at stations and stops that serve park and ride commuters
- The South Broad Street Concourse be fitted out as a bike parking station
- Property managers of existing buildings and garages be encouraged to install bike parking facilities for all day bicycle parking
- Cultural venues and sports facilities that bring together more than 3000 persons provide bike parking spaces at a rate of 1 space for every 100 attendees.
- Shopping centers that provide car parking create bike parking spaces that is equal to 5% of car parking spaces
- Special events that attract over 5000 people such as Welcome America, the International Bicycle Championship, or Live Eight, provide temporary secure bicycle parking as a requirement for obtaining an Managing Directors Office (MDO) special events permit.
- As the PPA replaces parking meters with multiple-space meter parking, it adds rings to the existing posts to create a space suitable for two bicycles.
- After evaluating on-street bike parking facilities (“bike corrals”), and based on their performance, the City of Philadelphia establish more bike corrals at targeted areas that are currently overcrowded with sidewalk bike parking.
- The City of Philadelphia purchase and install 7500 racks on city sidewalks and streets over the next five years.
- The City of Philadelphia create a “Request A Rack” program for residents and businesses to suggest locations that need sidewalk inverted U racks.
- The City of Philadelphia encourage and install signage to indicate where bike parking is available.