Friday, May 8, 2015
Saskatoon Cycles Address the Parking Meter Conversion Pilot Project Report to City Council
Saskatoon Cycles is of the opinion that the amount of replacement bike parking and the timing of the proposed pilot project are entirely inadequate to address an immediate and growing need for places for locking bikes in our BIDS as the old parking meter heads are removed over the coming weeks.
Currently, there are nearly 1,500 parking meter heads that have also served as defacto places for bikes to be parked/locked for many years. The project being proposed to replace this lost parking includes a total of 45 new bike locking stations and that this ‘demo’ be carried out until at least the Fall of 2016.
Saskatoon Cycles cannot support replacing only 3% of the current places that bikes can be parked and locked to in our BIDS. We also cannot support, nor see the reason why, the 2 year demonstration project.
While Saskatoon Cycles is not advocating that all 1,500 meters be converted to bike parking, we are suggesting that the number be significantly more than 45. The need for bike parking is especially important along and near the main commercial areas in all three BIDs, and we would suggest that additional parking be strategically placed in these areas (Broadway Ave, 20th St, Farmers market, 2nd Ave, to name a few). Already along these routes places to park/lock bikes is under-supplied.
Saskatoon Cycles would point out that City Council recently took the bold step of approving the demonstration separated bike lane project for 23rd and 4th Ave. However, if this current conversion plan is implemented, there will be less than 10 parking spots along both of these 1 km long roads during their demo period. Studies have shown that those who choose to bike spend the most at businesses along bike routes, but those people need a place to secure their bikes too.
Saskatoon Cycles wants to emphasis that time is of the essence in ensuring an adequate number of bike parking stations be provided in our BIDs. Replacement parking spots are need this week and not months or years from now. Therefore, instead of advocating that the current plan from City Administration be rejected, we are asking that City Council work to amend it so it doesn’t get sent back to the starting line again.