Friday, February 26, 2010

Stealing on street parking, in a nice way

Not that we want to do a wholesale conversion of every parking spot in the city, but here's an idea for repurposing parking to serve other needs. Borrowing spaces or converting them to different uses has been happening across North America. Here's a story from the San Francisco Chronicle on the concept:

I found the story through the Sightline Institute, a Seattle organization that is a goldmine of information on Pacific Northwest urban and environmental issues. Find them at:

Our own parking space conversions in Victoria have been for bicycle parking "corrals", (a concept pioneered in Portland), where some on-street parking spaces have been converted, and with the support of adjacent businesses! Here's one at our Mountain Equipment Co-op store (a project I developed several years ago as an advocate:

That project inspired Habit Coffee owner Shane Devereaux to come to the city and the cycling community to ask for his own. Working with him and our Cycling Advisory Committee, with support from staff, the council of the day and the neighbouring businesses, another permanent facility was built on Pandora near Fantan Alley:

One of the Portland examples:

What we'll try next in Victoria - an temporary solution to test out locations for permanent installations. It's an inexpensive way of testing demand and finding the right location for more and better bike parking:

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