Birmingham Begins Installing New Bike Racks
The first of a three-part project involves installing 47 new bike racks throughout downtown Birmingham.
After the Birmingham City Commission approved the program in early April, the city has begun the process of installing up to 47 bike racks around Birmingham.
Phase I of the three-phase project began last week, with the installation of 42 permanent bicycle racks and five temporary racks throughout downtown Birmingham, in city parks and at Baldwin Public Library.
The final plan calls for bike racks to be installed at more than 80 sites throughout the city over three years, said city planner Sue Weckerle at the April 9 city commission meeting. The second and third phase of the project is expected to take place in spring 2013 and 2014.
Why more bike racks? According to Weckerle, the limited amount of bike parking has resulted in bikes locked to everything from lamp posts to city parking meters.
The hope, Weckerle said, is that the new racks encourages cyclists to park their bikes safely and correctly.
"I think it would send a strong message to folks with bikes if we gave them a place to be," she said.
The temporary bike racks would also provide overflow parking in busy, pedestrian-heavy areas, including space adjacent to the outdoor dining decks at Phoenicia, Dick O'Dow's, Commonwealth and the Birmingham Farmers Market.
According to a press release from the city, throughout the planning process, Birmingham officials consulted with the cities of Portland, OR and Minneapolis, MN, both of which are known for their advanced biking practices.
"The city's plan will result in new bike racks ... that will be visible, accessible, high-quality, easy to use, and well-distributed. Bike parking will be well-lit and will not interfere with pedestrian or motor vehicles."
According to City Manager Bob Bruner, the city chose an inverted U rack.
"We chose an inverted U rack, which is a classic model known for being the best in terms of form, function and space efficiency," Bruner said. "Our goal is to make the city more user-friendly for all modes of transportation."
Where will the new bike racks be?
During the first phase of the project, permanent bike racks will be installed in front of or near the following businesses, or at the following locations. In some cases, more than one bike rack will be installed at one location.
- South Bar (210 S. Old Woodward)
- The Custom Shop Clothiers (northwest corner of Old Woodward and Merrill)
- Chase Bank (southwest corner of Old Woodward and Merrill)
- Leo's Coney Island (154 S. Old Woodward)
- Biggby Coffee (108 S. Old Woodward)
- New Bangkok Thai (183 N. Old Woodward)
- Baci Salon and Spa (101 Willits)
- The crossing island at Old Woodward and Oakland
- Red The Salon (470 N. Old Woodward)
- Parking Lot No. 6 on North Old Woodward Avenue
- CVS (444 S. Old Woodward)
- Yoga Shelter (401 S. Old Woodward)
- Birmingham Place Condos (401 S. Old Woodward)
- Near the main entrance of the office building at 555 S. Old Woodward
- Anthropologie (214 W. Maple)
- Backcountry North (284 W. Maple)
- Roots (corner of Henrietta and Maple)
- The Italian Dish (288 E. Maple)
- Sotheby's (370 E. Maple)
- Bank of America (corner of Pierce and West Maple)
- City Hall (corner of Pierce and Martin)
- Pierce Street Parking Garage
- Margot European Day Spa (101 Townsend)
- Schubot Jewelers (230 Merrill)
- Surnow Company (320 Martin)
- Baldwin Public Library
- Shain Park (at the Martin/Henrietta entrance, the Bates/Martin entrance and the Bates/Townsend entrance)