After initially struggling to find business owners on Capitol Hill supportive of new, on-street bicycle parking racks — a surprise considering the success of the one already in front of 12th Ave’s Stumptown Coffee and Café Presse –Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has begun to find a warmer audience outside their most preferred area.
SDOT’s Doug Cox said his department has made some good progress in finding alternative locations on the Hill, and that the community should expect finalized plans by this summer. But given the difficulty encountered thus far in finding businesses agreeable to the new bike parking, Cox said he’s not quite ready to reveal details of the new locations.
Responding to community suggestions, ideal logistics, and sheer demand, SDOT representatives said their top choice for installing a corral capable of accommodating up to 14 bikes in a space currently reserved for one car was along Pike St between 10th and 11th.
SDOT reps said that Caffé Vita turned down the opportunity to have a hub of bike parking directly outside their doorstep and opted instead to retain the street parking for a car in front of the coffee shop.
Caffé Vita’s Andrew Woodcock, who worked with SDOT on the decision, said that Vita’s managers are “big supporters of the biking community” but felt the space in front of Bimbo’s/Cha Cha was “a better fit for the block.”
SDOT said Bimbo’s/Cha Cha business owners were at first on board with the idea, but their property owners were less enthusiastic, and SDOT was left looking for more receptive owners outside the Pike & 10th core.
Wherever they end up, the new stalls are part of Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan, with funding already in place to sprinkle them throughout city neighborhoods this year. SDOT is betting on the success of this initial wave of installations to justify adding more in 2011.
As for getting more of the standard sidewalk bike racks, almost all citizen requests for new installations are being fulfilled, according to SDOT, and the best way to request one is by filling out the form on the bottom of this page.
Think an on-street rack would still be worthwhile at Pike & 10th? “Businesses might embrace it more if they hear this from their customers, rather than the City,” SDOT says.