This week’s Bravo* goes to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia for installing of two bike parking corrals for Park(ing) Day that they arranged to keep in place for weeks beyond Park(ing) Day. The racks are in areas where bike parking is limited: "stadium" racks on the 200 block of South Broad, and a car-shaped corral on Sydenham Street below Walnut.
As I mentioned last week, the Bicycle Coalition’s two Park(ing) Day installations will stay put until early November. They each provide parking for 12-14 bikes in hot spots where bikes are locked to anything that won’t move. The Coalition was interested in testing out new bike parking in “high-volume, high-density, and high-use places,” and exploring the viability of in-street (as opposed to sidewalk) bike parking, said Sarah Clark Stuart, the Bicycle Coalition’s Campaign Director. That made a longer-term installation important, so they coordinated with the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, the Streets Department, Philadelphia Parking Authority and SEPTA to make it happen.
The reasons for extending Park(ing) Day a few weeks were also practical. The manufacturers loaned and shipped the racks here, so the effort had to be worth it. Now that the corrals made it to Philly, the Bicycle Coalition hopes that they can become permanent residents of the city’s streetscape.
Today the Coalition launched a fundraising campaign to buy the car-shaped corral that was custom built by Dero Bike Rack Company. They are hoping to raise $4,500 to purchase the corral, and one pledge of $500 has already been committed. If you or someone you know would be interested in helping out, you can donate via PayPal here.
If all goes well, Stuart said the Coalition would like to explore helping interested businesses and institutions to procure new racks and work with the city to coordinate installation.
Secure bike parking is scarce in many spots in the city, and while chaining your Schwinn to a planter is clever, there are better solutions out there. Bravo to the Bicycle Coalition for its playful car-shaped corral, reminding us that bikes deserve parking spaces too.
*Bravo is an occasional feature that takes a moment to applaud the people and places making Philadelphia great.