On Sunday, August 12, a crew of Bike Walk Tompkins volunteers carefully installed four on-street bicycle parking "corrals" to increase the number of bike parking spots in Collegetown and outside Greenstar Oasis. Bike corrals provide more space for pedestrians by moving bicycle parking off narrow sidewalks and allow on-street parking to accommodate more people. After the Board of Public Works expressed support in June, Bike Walk Tompkins chose the specific locations with City staff to proactively accommodate the bicycle parking crunch that comes as students return to Ithaca. This need is expected to be more critical as LimeBike begins to serve Collegetown, one of Ithaca's least car-dependent neighborhoods. There has been a lot of confusing information going around about this. Bike Walk Tompkins secured funding for and acquired the equipment and insurance, and had all the required City permits and permissions, but neither Bike Walk Tompkins or the City of Ithaca did a lot of public communication in advance. Key City officials were taken by surprise by the appearance of the corrals, as were some Collegetown merchants. The City is hitting "rewind" on this so that a new vetting process can include more input from the community. Public Works has expressed full support of increased bike parking. The City chose to remove the rack installations while the process unfolds.
What do you think? The City's Board of Public Works will discuss bike parking on Tuesday, August 21 at 6 pm. You can tell them what you think at (607) 274-6530 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please copy us at email@example.com.
Our mission at Bike Walk Tompkins is to make walking and bicycling safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. As we continue to work on barriers to bicycling by bringing best practices from across the country, we remain committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders in and around Ithaca.