Berkley Bike Racks

Bikes, Beans, and Brews blog has an excellent post on proposed ordinance change in Berkley which would encourage more bike racks.

My dandy little town of Berkley, Michigan just had an article in the local little paper, Woodward Talk, entitled “Berkley aims to promote greater bike usage at city businesses“. This sounds like it will be all about new bike lanes and bike racks, right? Sounds encouraging, right?

Well, almost. The article is actually about how the council voted DOWN an amendment to the bicycling parking requirements for Berkley businesses and requested that the planning commission rewrite the ordinance.

The Woodwalk Talk article in included this telling passage.

However, as Councilman Dan Benton pointed out at the Oct. 19 meeting, the ordinance as written would have required business owners to install a new bicycle rack anytime their existing parking lot is developed or resurfaced.

‘”We should not be making businesses put in more bike racks if they don’t want to,” he said. “If they want to resurface their parking lot, then we’re not giving them a choice here. But businesses won’t want to do this unless it makes sense to them, like if they’re hoping to create a business that caters to bicycle users.”

So Berkley is comfortable requiring businesses to provide off-street parking (at an approximate cost of $8,000 per parking space) but won’t require businesses to provide $250 bike racks. And as Bikes, Beans, and Brews noted, the cost of a bike rack is relatively minor even when compared to the cost of redeveloping or resurfacing a parking lot.

Another point that Councilman Benton missed is that bike racks are not just for business customers. Businesses have employees. Having bike racks makes it easier for employees to ride to work.

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