by Mark Seinen, Planner at Alta Planning + Design
Barrier-separated cycle tracks are a great opportunity to add high-capacity bike parking in downtown areas. Here are some design strategies that have proven effective in Vancouver, BC.
Begin with a two-way cycle track adjacent to motor vehicle parking. The space between the intersection and first vehicle space is wasted.
Filling some of this space with a floating curb island calms motor vehicle traffic and provides a refuge for crossing pedestrians. Here, a bioswale is provided for infiltration purposes.
Instead of landscaping, you can carve out an area for a bicycle corral in the middle of the curb island.
Once you have some space to work with, pick your favorite bike rack. In Vancouver, two versions are in place (3-rack and 5-rack). The 3-rack is based on the inverted-U “Bike Vancouver” rack that can be found elsewhere in the city. Assuming double-sided use, the 3-rack has a capacity of 6 bicycles and the 5-rack has a capacity of 10. Angling racks at 45 degrees is the most efficient use of limited bike corral space.
Install the racks inside the corral. Here, a corral with a length of roughly three parking spaces accommodates five 3-racks (capacity: 30 bicycles). Note that this capacity could also be provided using three “5-racks.”
In small installations, 3-racks are the obvious choice due to space constraints. Here, a jog in the cycle track at a T-junction opens up just enough space for a small bike corral. This corral takes up no more than one on-street parking space.
Even when there is no parking next to the cycle track, there can still be space for a bike corral. Here, a 5’ wide bike corral is provided instead of adding width to the motor vehicles lanes. This is constrained relative to the 10’ corrals elsewhere in the city—reducing the ability to park two bikes per space—but still provides capacity for at least 20 bicycles.
Sometimes there is enough right-of-way to fit a bike corral between the cycle track and the sidewalk. Here, a mid-block jog in the curb line allows the cycle track to go straight, opening up space for a bike corral next to the sidewalk. This is the largest bike corral in Vancouver, with 30 racks (bicycle capacity = 60).
Motor vehicle parking movements (such as reverses) should be considered carefully. Here, a flexible bollard is evidence of past collisions that have damaged the bike corral.
Sidewalk parking should also be provided next to the cycle track at key destinations.