City gets thumbs up on new bike racks

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Small town amateur journalists don’t get a lot of fan mail.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Small town amateur journalists don’t get a lot of fan mail. I know, you’re shocked — but every once in a while, I run into someone who reads Monday and recognizes me from the little picture on your left, and you know what people remember? Parking.

Now, I’m not complaining; I think parking is interesting, too. I’m just letting you know why this week’s column is on bicycle parking — because you asked for it.

Last week, the city along with the Downtown Victoria Business Association and a number of local cycling advocacy organizations unveiled a new bike rack design for the core. This is phase two of a project — which started last year when a number of vehicle parking spaces around the downtown core were replaced with bike racks — to test whether or not there was a demand.

Long story short, there was. And now the parking spaces will be fitted with the new bike racks for another trial period.

Unlike vehicle parking, bike parking in Victoria seems to be catching up with the times. Not only are vehicle parking spaces giving way to more efficient and environmentally friendly bike racks, the city has required that bike storage be incorporated into all new developments.

City councillor and cycling advocate John Luton thinks this is just a logical next step.

“We’ve got (a number of downtown) locations where there’s a high demand for bicycle parking and there’s no alternatives other than taking away vehicle parking.”

Emphasizing the value of this type of project, he  states, “I think it’s a good idea. I don’t think we need it to make a statement, we need it to address the practical problem of needing more bike parking.”

Usually, I’m of the opinion that conflict makes for a more interesting story. So I’m forced into an awkward position. With deadline looming, I can’t think of anything negative to say about more bike parking. In fact, I’m going to end this by saying this is a great idea, and I hope it continues to expand. M

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