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Additional bicycle parking may debut downtown

Council will review results of bicycle study in November

The results of a recent bicycle activity and parking study were revealed at a Danville Parks and Leisure Services Commission meeting on Wednesday. The study proposes that more bicycle parking be made available near downtown hotspots to keep up with the community's growing interest in recreational and sport bicycling.

The Bicycle Parking Study recommends that U-shaped bicycle racks be built to accommodate 152 additional bikes to be safely parked downtown. This plan would replace existing sub-standard bicycle racks and those located on the sidewalk adjacent to street parking, and calls for the racks to be built in areas that do not block sidewalks, doorways and other pathways.

The Town Council called for a study to be conducted at a meeting on June 8 and hired Alta Planning & Design firm to direct the study. This is the first time the Council has called for a comprehensive bicycle-parking plan to be implemented.

Consultants counted the total amount of bicycle parking spaces available in the downtown Danville corridor, which starts at San Ramon Valley Boulevard and the Iron Horse Trail crossing and ends at the Starbucks in Danville Square, including all throughways between the Iron Horse Trail and Prospect Avenue.

Bicycle traffic patterns and the number of bicycles parked in downtown Danville was analyzed on weekdays and weekends in August and September, on three separate days.

Currently, downtown Danville has capacity for 121 bicycles at formal bicycle parking locations, with the Danville Library having the largest parking capacity at 30 bicycles. 1,929 bicyclists were counted traveling through the downtown corridor on Saturday, Aug 20. 90 bicycles were parked in the racks downtown between 10 a.m. and noon, while 85 were parked between noon and 2 p.m.

These counts include bicycles that were locked up properly as well as bikes that were unlocked or parked in places other than the bike racks. Jennifer Donlon Wyant, senior planner for Alta Planning & Design, was involved with the study and estimated that 50 percent of bicycles were not properly locked in all three count times.

Based on these results, the study indicates that bicyclists stop in Danville along their longer trips. According to the study, "if bicyclists arrive at their destinations and parking is not available, they may be less likely to return."

"121 bikes can be parked downtown on the existing racks, but current counts only show 100 bikes parked at a time," said Wyant, "and this plan meets the current demand and allows for future growth as well."

Phasing for this proposal would occur in three stages over a fiscal year, adding and replacing racks in dedicated locations over a period of time. The proposed plan also includes additional portable racks be made available during special events and street closures, like the Danville Fourth of July parade and the Farmers Market. The planners kept sport bicyclists in mind and chose U-racks that won't damage the bike's frame if locked properly and most racks will be placed within 50 feet of a cyclists' destination. Racks will also be placed close to windows and doors so bikers can keep an eye on their parked bike.

The total cost of this project is estimated at $41,050, but the Parks and Leisure Services Commission intends to seek grant money to complete this project.

Members of both the Environmental Engineering Program at San Ramon Valley High School and Sustainable Danville voiced support of this proposal and commission to evaluate bicycle parking at the high school next.

The final Town-wide Bicycle Parking Study will be presented to the Town Council for adoption on Nov 15. The full study can be viewed on the Town of Danville website.

Comments

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Posted by Resident, Danville
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Oct 28, 2011 at 7:32 am

Pleased to see the town considering this subject. Hope the bike racks will be put near where the cyclist congregate, near the coffee shops, or they won't be used. Most of those 1900+ Saturday riders have valuable bikes that they will not leave far from their sight.

Putting racks in at the high schools is also an excellent idea. Both San Ramon HS and Monte Vista HS now have active bike teams. However, the students with their valuable racing bikes have no place to safely store them should they ride them to school. So, instead, we've added to the traffic problem. Either parents deliver their bike by car after school for practice or the students must drive to keep them locked in their car during the school day.

If racks exist at the HS's, maybe more kids would choose to ride a bike. After all, walking and biking from Monte Vista HS is often faster and safer than dealing with the traffic and congestion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2011 at 9:33 am

"The total cost of this project is estimated at $41,050, but the Parks and Leisure Services Commission intends to seek grant money to complete this project."

For clarification, is $41,500 the total cost, including the parts and installations ....OR just for the "study" and planning phase? Hopefully it's everything.

What/whose act initiated this concern and study?
Have many bicyclers (and/or downtown bicycle stores) themselves expressed this "need" and requested this capital improvement project?
Has their been a SURVEY of the bicyclers themselves, as to whether or not they feel they really need and will use these racks.....or have they found plenty of ways already to sufficiently "lock" up their bikes (such as just cabling through the wheels).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike McCormack
a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I live in downtown Danville and bike everywhere. The bicycle parking is abysmal. I go to the Post Office, no bike racks, so I have to park the bike against the window, locked to itself, and in view.
A bicycle locked to itself is a risk to be stolen.

While Danville city staff may have done the study for their public spaces/sidewalks, I am not so sure they really were able to consider parking in the privately owned shopping centers. Trader Joes/Post Office, terrible. FedEx center, terrible. Outside restaurants, terrible, Livery, terrible. McCalou's, terrible.

If you are reading this and have not riden your bike in a while, I encourage you to get your bike out of storage, if needed get a tune up at one of the three bike shops in Danville, and ride-an-errand. It's enjoyable.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike McCormack
a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Another comment, I rode to the Library two days ago, and the bike rack parking was... terrible. They bike racks were made of two metal triangles afixed to the ground, and my bike could not be placed between them in such a way as to keep it propped up without potentially falling over and damaging the bike. I don't use a sport bike for errands around town, but I still need a way to park it so it does not get damaged.
So I did what two other people had already done, park their bikes on the back side of the plastic benches out front.


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