At GObike, we advocate for infrastructure that serves people of all ages, abilities, and confidence levels, like protected bike lanes, and encourage complete street ideology in every street design. A recent report points at an oft-overlooked element of encouraging people to ride bikes: bike parking.
According to a recent report from Transportation Alternatives, in NYC, the absence of secure bike parking at destination locations was the number two reason people do not choose cycling for their commute. This is good news! Bike parking is inexpensive, easy to install, and doesn’t take up much space (you can park 10 to 12 bikes in one car parking spot).
In NYC, the number of safe bike parking structures is dwarfed by the availability of car parking. According to the report, there are “1.5 free on-street parking spaces for every car registered in New York City, but there is only one bicycle parking space for every 116 bicycles in New York City.” Buffalo’s bike parking accommodation is similar; the City of Buffalo has installed about 600 public bike parking spaces throughout the city–which is great–but compare that to 22,840 public car parking spots in downtown Buffalo alone.
Business owners, of course, can install their own bike parking. Per the Transportation Alternatives report, they have good reason to do so: they found converting one car parking space to bicycle parking generated 3.6 times more spending at local businesses in NYC.
In 2019 and 2020, GObike installed bike racks at Nickel City Dentistry, The Reading Park at the Central Library, Buffalo Wings and Brewhouse in Tonawanda, and Resurgence Brewery at Chicago Street.
“I like the improved aesthetic of our sidewalk and as a bike rider myself enjoy knowing there’s a safe option available,” wrote Michael Augello, Practice Manager Nickel City Dentistry, in an email to us.
Augello also notes, in addition to customers, someone in the neighborhood uses the rack regularly.
With bicycling booming locally and throughout the nation, bike parking has never been in greater demand. Additionally, many people cannot pay the $8,000 a year to own and operate a car. Bicycle share systems, cycling lanes, and bicycle parking make biking to work a feasible option for low-income workers and increase job opportunities available to residents outside their own neighborhoods. Additionally, multi-modal active transportation allow commuters environmentally friendly and socially conscious choices rather than contribute to the never-ending need for more parking. These priorities should not be limited to commercial districts. In the interest of our health, the environment, and the economic well-being of Buffalo, the expansion of public works projects related to cycling is a must for a sustainable economic renaissance.
Read the Transportation Alternatives report on the power of bicycle parking here.
Businesses can request a bike rack from the City of Buffalo here though it may take several years.
If you are a business interested in installing bike parking, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.