For the past year and a half I have been working on my master’s professional project as part of my degree requirements. I chose to explore on-street bike parking in Eugene. I was curious how Eugene approached on-street bike parking compared to its northern neighbors in Seattle and Portland. I was also curious what businesses with and without on-street bike parking and their customers felt about the on-street bike parking in Eugene.
My research resulted in 4 implications:
1. Majority of businesses and customers support on‐street bike corrals
2. Differences in opinions about artistic vs. basic corrals
3. Customers had conflicting preferences about how to use the sidewalk space
4. Cities should implement proactive bike parking programs
Included in the links below are my specific recommendations for how Eugene can create a bike parking program that works best for the city based off best practices and the business and customer input I gathered in my research.
“The art is here for the public and the public is here for the art”– Paul Ramirez Jones
By Dana Nichols, LiveMove President Elect (2015-16)
The American Planning Association Conference in Seattle this year had quite an array of voices, but none to me stood out more than those in the session “Making Space for Public Art.” As emerging planners and professionals, we are taught the technical, tangible tools to create inviting public spaces, such as urban design (form-based) codes, or things that create attractive streetscapes, like street furniture and landscaping. Rarely do we plan for the intangible, sometimes ephemeral, qualities that make a great space come alive.
When I stop to think about my favorite places in any city I have visited, the most enthralling and beguiling are those with public art. I immediately think of “LOVE” in Philadelphia, Cloud-Gate–a.k.a. “The Bean”–in Chicago, and of course, the “Simpsons” mural in Springfield. All of these pieces provide dimension to their space and allow the visitor to experience it in a way that enhances sense of place more than any other design feature.
As the Atlanta Regional Commission states, “Arts & culture are integral components of any livable community.” Neighborhoods can survive with pristine transportation infrastructure, walkable amenities, and historic charm, but they need more than these elements to thrive.
“Art can bring its viewers joy, surprise, stimulation, and reflection in a way that is unique to a specific place.” -Public Art Network
Often, what works best is to showcase public art that reflects a common theme and speaks on behalf of its community.
And, the best thing about public art? It’s completely free.
Attending the National American Planning Association Conference was a great way to learn about some of the major projects happening in cities across the country. One of the presentations that stood out the most as being relevant to Eugene was called, “Zoning for Bikeability”. This session focused on how cities can use regulations to increase the safety and convenience of biking for their communities, with an emphasis on how Austin, Texas is tackling this issue.
The presentation started out with a discussion on cycling commute rates in cities throughout the country. Eugene was described as having the second highest bike commuter rate (8.7%) for a medium sized city.
Source: The League of American Bicyclists. (2013). Bicycle Commuting Data. Retrieved from http://bikeleague.org/content/bicycle-commuting-data.
So how do we increase the rate of those who commute by bike in Eugene and other cities across the country?
The presenters offered a variety of solutions including several changes that can be made through the code, as well as initiatives that can be taken on by building owners.
The three biggest code changes that could increase safety and convenience for cyclists include:
Parking ratios- requiring a minimum number of bike parking spots for every car parking spot. In Portland, the code requires a certain number of bike parking depending on the building square footage (for retail), per rooms, or per number of car parking spaces. For example, office uses are required to have 2, or 1 per 10,000 sq. ft. of net building area.
Rack Standards-Include racks that are visible and near the entrance of buildings. It is also important to make sure that the racks are not too close to some sort of barrier, like a wall, or can only accommodate one bike per rack.
Security- Parking should be in a visible location which would alleviate many cyclists’ fears around bike theft.
These requirements could also be implemented through form-based codes. This means that bike parking would have to be included as part of the design of a site.
Building owners can also increase convenience by incorporating indoor bike parking or, at the very least, parking near the entrance of the building to increase convenience for cyclists.
Other important infrastructure projects that can help increase the bikeability of a community include connecting all bike networks, so that there are direct routes for cyclists in reaching their destination. Other projects can include retrofitting streets to create a protected bike path and/or cycle track that separates the bikes from the cars.
Austin is seeing an increase in cyclists as the city works to promote bike infrastructure and a connected network that is built for pedestrians and cyclists alike. In addition, through the code, off-street parking for bikes is required to be provided at every facility. Even better, Austin’s code requires that 50% of bike parking has to be within 50 feet from the building entrance, which creates convenience for cyclists and addresses security concerns.
For communities that value biking, improvements to the cycling experience can always be improved upon. As communities increase the connectivity of their bicycle network, city planners should be thinking about these simple, yet effective changes, to promote convenience and safety for all users of the road.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog, where Ross Peizer will discuss his research about bike parking in Eugene.
Each morning members of LiveMove arrive in Springfield at 11th Avenue and the “shared use path” to walk with students of Elizabeth Page Elementary to school. In partnership with Safe Routes To School, LiveMove is volunteering with the Walking School Bus program, and has accumulated over 30 hours of early-morning time since January. Most days there is only one pick-up location, however on Fridays we add a second stop at 5th Avenue and the shared use path.
To participate in the Walking School Bus, students arrive at the “bus stop” and wait with the leaders before beginning their short journey to the front steps of the school. Along the way, students are able to harness their pre-school energy into positive interactions with classmates and Walking School Bus leaders, chatting about ALL their favorite things, while at the same time learning how to be safe when walking to school. Studies have even shown that physical activity improves cognitive functions, which increases a child’s ability to concentrate, memorize facts, and problem solve.
As members of LiveMove, we feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with our community, interact with funny and excited kids, and encourage healthy, sustainable modes of transportation. According to Safe Routes to School National Partnership, only 13% of students walked to school in 2009. This is down significantly from the 1970’s when 50% of students walked to school. Also in 2009, parents drove over 30 billion miles carting their children back and forth to school. The Walking School Bus has taken the initiative to help change these numbers by providing parents with a safer, healthier, and smarter choice when deciding how their children will get to school.
The Walking School Bus is just one of many programs that our friends at Eugene and Springfield Safe Routes to School offer for parents and students to take control of their transportation activity and learn new ways to getting around.
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010 July) The Association between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth
 Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Quick Facts. Retrieved from: http://saferoutespartnership.org/resourcecenter/quick-facts
LiveMove has been working hard for almost three years on this project. Come celebrate and support what will be one of the first visual bicycle counters on a college campus in the US and second visual bike counter in Oregon. See you Wednesday!
LiveMove has been working hard all summer to plan a Park(ing) Day event on campus. Our event just so happened to work out perfectly to coincide with ASUO’s Street Faire, so grab some food and come hang out with us this Friday! We will be prepared for rain with tents (thanks Campus Operations!) or shine, have places to park your bike (Possible extra racks and bike valet to help with the bike parking taken away by the Street Faire) and activities to envision what the intersection of University and 15th could be. All the details below and in attached flier.
What: Repurposing two parking spaces into a space where you can enjoy snacks from sponsors and delivered by bike, relax in a unique space with your friends and envision a different way to utilize streets.
Why: Because tactical urbanism is all the rage. Did we mention we will have snacks from local businesses being delivered to us by Cascadian Courier Collective! Oh and some blankets and perhaps hot beverages if it’s cold.
We hope you’ve had a great summer. The three officers have been busy this summer meeting with our partners, continuing on our ongoing projects, attending transportation conferences (a benefit of being involved with LiveMove!) and getting ready for the year.
Before we get into our weekly meetings, we want to take advantage of the hopefully still nice weather and have a couple bicycle orientation rides. The rides are an opportunity to:
Get introduced to Eugene via bicycle if you’re new to town or just to get some fresh air if you know Eugene by bike already
Get tips and ask questions of seasoned pros about bike commuting
Learn informally about LiveMove
The rides will be Monday September 29th and Wednesday October 1st from 5-6pm-ish. We will meet at the corner of 13th and University St on campus and take off from there. If you need a bike, check out our partner at the UO Bike Program.
Fall meetings will start October 6th and will be every Monday from 5-6PM in the EMU Rogue River Room.
year (note our Oregon APA Award in the center of the photo) and gone their respective ways for the summer. Some of us are busy looking for jobs in active and public transportation, others are traveling abroad and some are simply enjoying a summer in Oregon. Look for updates in
LiveMove hit the national stage this past week as Allison Camp, LiveMove alum and current Transportation Options Coordinator at Lane Transit District presented our collaborative efforts with LTD on advancing active and public transportation projects in the Eugene-Springfield Community. The presentation was very well received and included a number of comments such as “we need a group like that in our town!” Congrats Allie, and congrats LiveMove, on a job well done! See the