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.