Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, joined by members of the city's growing bike community, unveiled the city's first on-street bicycle corral at the OTB Bicycle Café in South Side and encouraged business owners to apply for a bike corral in their business district.
"Bike corrals are a proven strategy to increase parking capacity in Pittsburgh's neighborhood business districts, while encouraging more residents to bike," said Mayor Ravenstahl. "We are aggressively working to make Pittsburgh a world-class, bike-friendly city by providing more bike lanes, more bike racks and now, more on-street bike corrals."
Since 2007, Pittsburgh has been named a bronze-level, bike-friendly community and one of the top 30 most bike-friendly cities by Bicycling Magazine. Additionally, bike commuting in the city has increased by 270 percent over the last decade – making Pittsburgh the 13th highest bicycle commuting rate in the Country (American Community Survey, 2011).
As the City of Pittsburgh experiences an increase in cyclists, the city is expanding its bicycle infrastructure to tap into the economic development potential of bicycling. Currently the city boasts 500 bike racks and 20 miles of bike lanes, with another 40 planned by the end of the year.
On-street bicycle corrals replace one to two parking spaces with anywhere from 10 to 22 bike spots. Increasing parking capacity allows more customers to shop in Pittsburgh's business districts. The city anticipates installing an additional four on-street corrals this year, and up to five next year. Materials for each city-funded corral costs approximately $1,300.
Bicycle corrals are typically installed when bike racks cannot be accommodated on sidewalks and/or the bicycle parking demand is high. Corrals will be installed based upon property/business owner applications. Owners located within a local neighborhood business district interested in obtaining a bike corral are encouraged to contact Stephen Patchan, the city's bicycle/pedestrian coordinator, at 412-393-0150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The applicant will be asked to canvas the location's host block to obtain 70 percent approval of adjacent businesses and property owners. Once the approval is confirmed, the applicant will enter into a maintenance agreement with the city.
As part of the maintenance agreement, the applicant will be required to keep the corral free of debris, oversee snow removal and inform the city of structural issues or damages. Once the maintenance agreement is signed, installation can proceed.
Bicycle corrals have been installed in cities all over the country including Portland, San Francisco and Minneapolis to great success.