Two more places around Capitol Hill where businesses are choosing to put street parking spaces to better use

Despite the common complaints about the difficulty of parking around Capitol Hill, there are two more spots in the area where street parking has been traded for new bike racks.

Work crews were seen last week installing new bike corrals on 12th Ave and E Pike. CHS has heard from a few other restaurants, bars and cafes in the Pike/Pine area also hoping to join SDOT’s on-street bike parking program:

Why On-Street Bike Parking?
Aside from the fact that a single on-street bike rack can accommodate many more bicyclists than a typical bike rack, pedestrians also benefit from the reduced clutter along increasingly-encumbered sidewalks.  Installing on-street bike racks near intersections or driveways can also enhance sight distance for motorists—a safety enhancement for all users of the transportation network.

Where do they go?
SDOT will consider installing on-street bike parking upon the request of the adjacent business owner. Converting a motor vehicle parking space to on-street bike parking is typically warranted in locations where bicycle parking demand is high and sidewalks are constrained—for example, outside of restaurants with sidewalk cafes or in neighborhoods with narrow sidewalks flanked with tree pits and assorted street furniture.


You’ll find the new bicycle-friendly features in front of Capitol Hill’s Kaladi Brothers (517 E Pike) and 912 12th Ave’s Von Trapp’s.

The bike corrals, while not garnering quite the same level of buzz as Seattle’s parklet experiment, represent yet another instance of local businesses pushing for alternative use of the public space near their establishments in ways that may flaunt conventional wisdom. Rachel Marshall, co-owner of E Olive Way’s Montana that asked for and paid for the first-ever Seattle parklet, said the decision was made because most of the bar’s customer base is local and doesn’t need to drive to get there.

Existing Hill corrals have included one on 12th at Pine in front of the Northwest Film Forum and another in front of Cafe Presse. Meanwhile, efforts like the Broadway bikeway nearby will hopefully also help inspire more drivers to mix a bicycle into their Capitol Hill travel habits.

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10 thoughts on “Two more places around Capitol Hill where businesses are choosing to put street parking spaces to better use

  1. I have walked or driven by the parklet adjacent to Montana many times, and have yet to see anyone using it. Perhaps it gets more use late at night? Or by smokers, who will smoke in the rain if they need to get their nicotine fix. But, really, how many days out of the year does someone want to sit outside in Seattle? Summertime, of course, but from late October to May parklets are going to get very little use. But the same space would get use 24/7, year-around if it was used for parking.

    • I see people smoking there daily. It actually reminds me somewhat of those smoking rooms in the airport. On side note I prefer they smoke in a contained space then on the sidewalk.

    • I live about a block away and more often than not, I see people in the parklet when I walk by, especially when it’s not raining outside. I’ve used it a few times myself since it’s been put up.

      Maybe there’s something wrong with your schedule, calhoun.

    • I don’t doubt your observations….there is nothing “wrong” with my “schedule”…but it’s true that I pass by there mainly during daytime hours.

      However, if this is primarily a place for smokers to smoke, albeit occasionally, then I think it is not a great use for the space…..because that it is minority (20% of adults) usurping the rights of the 80% majority, most of whom will not use the space if obnoxious cigarette smoke lingers in the air. Without a parklet, smokers still can use the sidewalk for their habit, as long as they comply with the law.

    • If you can afford a car (very expensive) you can certainly afford an electric wheelchair. Also, all buses in Seattle are fully accessible and you can board them with your wheelchair.

  2. Now if only Von Trapp’s would do something about the line of cabs double-parked in the bike lane every Friday and Saturday night, forcing me out into 12th Ave traffic on my commute home from work.