where to put bike parking



where to put bike parking

As part of an effort to help “green” the campus, the new Presdent of Rhode Island College, Nancy Carriuolo, is trying to make RIC more bike friendly and so has proposed ending the prohibition of bikes on the campus “mall” and has sought to have bike racks installed on campus. In fact, thanks to help from RIDOT, the City of Providence, and the Providence Foundation, funds from an old grant are to be used to get 18 bike racks at RIC, (the round hitches that we see downtown) which are to be installed at RIC expense. There is a “Green Team” committee to help decide where, but it turns out there are a lot of constraints (such as keeping ADA and delivery vehicle access clear, potential damage from snow removal operations) that got me thinking about guidelines for placing bike parking more generally. There is also the question of what to do about the bike lockers that are in Kennedy Plaza that apparently RIPTA wants to give away as they have been unused due to security and maybe other concerns.

I invite anyone with an interest in bike parking issues and prioritizing locations to post comments or e-mail me at bschiller@ric.edu, thanks.


  • Labann
    Sep 19, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Obviously, bike storage would best serve Donovan Cafeteria, Student Union, and wherever they have dorms. Racks could go near all entrances to classrooms and offices.

    But entire campus is bike unfriendly. Entrances from Fruit Hill and Mt Pleasant don't have bike lanes, as required by law. Access is closed from Homewood and Sheffield Avs from North Providence, Obadiah Brown from the South, and St Augustine from the East, which has a feral sidewalk which would serve as a decent bikepath if repaved and relit. ADA compliant curb relief and short bike paths on campus itself could link existing mall and sidewalks to exits and roads.

    Instead of a hilltop impediment, RIC should be a compass drawing cyclists from every quadrant to pass through and thoroughly enjoy. And while they're at it, improve campus landscaping with help from the Life Science department and their existing greenhouse.

  • MattM
    Sep 20, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Labann – I'm curious about this statement you made. What law is this that requires a bike lane?

    " Entrances from Fruit Hill and Mt Pleasant don’t have bike lanes, as required by law. "

  • Labann
    Sep 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    According to state law, Chapter 31-19 (especially on state owned property but everywhere), any bridge or road 23' or wider requires accommodations for bicycles and pedestrians with ADA compliant sidewalk relief. This was passed in alignment with federal law, which I can't quote offhand. But "complete streets" initiatives are fully supported by Congress and FHWA and Director Lahood, if not the former Bush Administrations appointees at USDOT.

    RIC campus has none, but it's not alone. CCRI, most elementary and secondary schools, particularly Tollgate Complex, are as bad or worse.

    RI pays penalties for noncompliance in terms of funding cuts. Legislators figure it's easier to pass up funds than find matching funds for bike infrastructure, with a concentration on bikeways, which displace cyclists from their rightful place in travel lanes (not gutters). Few cyclists, however, are much interested in sharing lanes with motorized morons.

  • bschiller
    Sep 22, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Sorry, I checked 31-19 of RI general laws. It has 22 sections, so I may have missed it, but I didn't see any reference to requiring bike accommodations when the road is 23 ft or wider.

    However, sect 31-18-21 does direct DOT to accommodate bikes on its projects, with considerable escape clauses for cost, safety etc.

    I'm also unaware of any penalty RI has ever faced for non-compliance with any such requirement (we did face penalties for inadequate drunk driving laws)

  • MattM
    Sep 22, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Also, "Complete streets" clauses are requirements to consider all users of the project, even those being pushed by LaHood and draft legislation in Congress. There are not any requirements to include any mode specific accommodation in any project that I am aware of from the Fed. Its all just a directive to play nice.

    The Fed law being considered earlier this year was intended to be a prod to get state DOTs to adopt multi-modal planning rules for rebuild and new construction projects funded by federal dollars, and of course likely tied to loss of funding for not adopting such rules.

  • Labann
    Sep 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Just because you're not familiar with federal and state laws, like everybody at RIDOT, doesn't mean they don't exist. Authority comes from Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in Title 23—Highways, Title 49—Transportation, and Title 42—The Public Health and Welfare. And I'm well informed on the millions RI lost because of noncompliance with FHWA guidelines. The TAC doesn't want the public to know about it. They're pissed enough about bridges collapsing.


    But trying to sue the state is a study in futility. They intend CFRs as legalities to draw upon if they decide to harass you in the future. And there's no money for improvements…

    Why is it then that Elmwood Avenue, like Reservoir Avenue, is being repaved and restriped to exclude bicycling? When you don't have an adequate shoulder, there's no place to retreat and let motorists pass. So, don't. Jam up the travel lanes on Metacom Avenue, Post Rd, Warwick Avenue, and the like. Blame RIDOT.

  • mattm
    Sep 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Please refrain from the Ad Hominem attacks on commenters and writers on this site.

    If you want to educate us and share your opinions and knowledge of law and policy, please try to do so civilly. I think its safe to say that we're all in agreement that adherence to state law, Federal Policy and project planning rules as regards anything other than moving motor vehicles is spotty and ignored much more frequently than it is followed.

    Anyways, we are somewhat off topic here, the original question was about where to put bike racks, which some specific adjacencies were mentioned.

    In general, in a college environment, I think segments of concrete near building entrances or clusters are best added so as not to interfere with pedestrian and service vehicles, but they shouldn't be stuck in out of the way corners either. In clear sight is best, and near where people need to be. It may require adding more concrete pads to accomodate that such as by widening the sidewalk where it leads to a building entrance.

  • Labann
    Sep 23, 2010 at 4:52 am

    At least you said please. But there's no fallacy in saying the truth.

    That's all this site is, civil. Accomplishes nothing. Meanwhile, senatorial candidates with green intentions are being slaughtered by thoughtless monsters in grossly consuming SUVs, directly attributable to citizen apathy and traffic safety neglect.

    We are already at war. Tens of thousands are dying. These words are meaningless. Time to take action, don't you know?

  • MattM
    Sep 23, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Is the RIC Green Team anything like the process described in this 2 minute video that discusses bike rack placement and stakeholders at Pratt?


  • Sep 29, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I don't see ADA guidelines as a "constraint" as you put it. These guidelines are there to help everybody have access.

  • barry
    Oct 1, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Just to note that I don't see the word "constraint" as something to object to, just a condition that needs to be adhered to (along with truck delivery clearances, fire code requirements etc) for perfectly good reasons.