Friday, January 13, 2023

Bike Parking is Required to Make Cycling a Convenient Travel Option

Before being elected as mayor of Langley City, my primary way of getting around the community was by foot. One of the first things I purchased after being elected was an e-bike, as I knew I’d been spending more time going from my house to City Hall and other appointments throughout the community.

I’m happy I purchased that e-bike, as it only takes about 6 minutes to get from my place to City Hall. I can get to most other places within Langley City in about 12 minutes. One of the things I have noticed that can be a barrier to cycling is end-of-trip facilities (aka a place to park your bike securely.)

I had to lock my bike to a fence at a convenience store in Downtown Langley. Select the image to enlarge.

At home, I store my e-bike in my garage. I can park my e-bike in the secure underground parking at City Hall. I can park my e-bike in front of entrances with good visibility at most places built over the last 20 years in Langley City, as our zoning bylaw requires bike parking. An example of this is the 7-Eleven on 200th Street and 56th Avenue. There is no place to park your bike at many older buildings because zoning bylaws aren’t retroactive. Some builder managers or business owners do not consider biking as a way their customers might visit their location. I’ve also seen newer strip malls in Langley City where bike parking has been tucked away in the corner, making it feel unsafe to park your bike.

We must build a safe, connected cycling network to give people the option of cycling. We must also ensure that bike parking is in high-visibility locations. The two must go together to make cycling an attractive transportation option.

While the City cannot force older commercial building owners to install bike parking, the City can encourage the installation of bike parking. The City can also install bike racks on the street. You can see this in parts of Downtown Langley today. In Kelowna, they’ve gone one step further and installed bike lockers in their downtown.

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