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Downtown parking & bicycles

From: domainremoved <Andrew>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2017 16:40:23 -0700

Had lunch this week at a favorite restaurant on Crane Street that I have regularly patronized for over 20 years. I almost always meet a few friends there. But not very much anymore. “Where have you guys been?” was the greeting when I came through the door. Simple answer, “Parking”.

During lunch, I learned the city will eliminate street parking altogether on a number of streets in the downtown core, allegedly to make those streets safer for bicyclists. Eliminating already scarce parking will obviously and substantially effect surrounding businesses by pushing away life-blood customers. A bicycle is a vehicle. And a bicycle rider is obligated to abide by the same rules of the road as any other vehicle operator. Doing so would make it safer for everyone and then every street would then be a bike-safe route. And businesses would not lose more customers. I would hope all of us could agree that more rigorous enforcement of existing traffic laws could be effected by putting some police officers on bikes to patrol streets in the downtown core. Such a strategy also has other benefits and works quite well in other cities so this is well worth serious consideration.

Of course, there is no perfect solution to conflicting the parking vs. bicycles issue that will appeal to, or satisfy, all parties. But if the city wants to preserve a robust business environment then it will not eliminate on-street parking anywhere. And if the city wants to better protect bicycle riders, then it will do some educational outreach to bicycle groups and also increase the enforcement of existing traffic laws. And putting a few cops on bikes would be a good, visible, and friendly way of doing it, particularly in the downtown core.

A. Pitney-Ames
Received on Thu Apr 13 2017 - 16:45:49 PDT

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