How many bikes can fit in the space of one car? At least a dozen, as will soon be shown on East Carson Street when the city installs its first bike corral on the South Side next week.
Last Friday, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced that the city's first on-street bicycle parking would be located at OTB (Over The Bar) Bicycle Café
. The corral, at 2518 East Carson Street, will replace two vehicle parking spaces with infrastructure to accommodate between 24 and 30 bicycles.
The project was first initiated by OTB owner Mike Kotyk in 2009. He says although the City was very supportive from the beginning, because Carson Street is a PennDOT road, they had to work through that organization's lengthy process of documentation and permitting.
Kotyk says that in addition to increasing the opportunity for business, the corral will work, much like bike lanes, to encourage more people to cycle, and feel confident on city streets.
“The more bicycle infrastructure that the city has, the more people are going to feel safe cycling, and feel that it's a bike friendly climate,” Kotyk says, “Where they have the ability to park their bike [and] feel safe and comfortable that it's going to be there when they get back.”
And on the same day, City Councilman Bill Peduto announced a second project located in Shadyside, at the intersection of Walnut and Bellefonte. This bike corral will also be on-street, and is expected to accommodate between 6 to 12 bikes.
Funding for the corral was approved by City Council last November. They are expected to be installed by August or September, depending on the design and approval process.
According to Peduto, the idea for the corral came from the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce, a neighborhood organization, after identifying a need for increased bicycle parking in the neighborhood.
Another group, Shadyside Action Coalition, has also been involved in the process, and hopes to promote Shadyside as an eco-friendly community.
“I think the fact that the community chose the premiere location, the very center of the business district, shows how important it is to them to have bike parking, and how much they want to be able to promote it as part of the Shadyside experience,” Peduto says.
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Mike Kotyk; Bill Peduto