Alterra to Introduce On-Street Bike Parking to Milwaukee (Renderings)
Back on Park(ING) Day we wrote about the possibility of on-street bike corrals and how small changes to the built environment can help make for a better, more interesting Milwaukee. But to create those small changes we need the City of Milwaukee and local businesses to work together to get things rolling. Alterra is doing just that. Alterra is working with the city to develop an on-street bike corral at Alterra’s Prospect Avenue location that will allow customers to safely and securely park their bicycle in a parking spot in front of the business.
On-street bike parking, similar to this proposal, has been tried in other cities such as Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle. These cities have implemented on-street bike parking facilities because bike corrals help with traffic calming, provide a 10-to-1 customer to parking space ratio, improve the outdoor seating environment, welcome bike riders to an establishment, clear the sidewalks for pedestrians, and act as de facto curb extensions. With this project Milwaukee will be added to the list of forward-looking, innovative cities that are exploring multi-modal transportation options, improving the built environment, and working towards better utilization of pavement.
Alterra’s project is a great step forward, but to continue the momentum, more will need to be done to change how parking spaces are viewed and to formalize a legal and affordable process to allow installations such as these within the City of Milwaukee. For example, in Portland a formal process has been adopted for the creation of on-street bike corrals, and now more than 60 of these facilities have been installed. One possible solution would be to make the approval process similar to that of outdoor street dining, by making it a special privilege, which would include a minimal annual fee and straightforward guidelines.
Early renderings of the bike corral were published on OnMilwaukee.com, but the project has continued to be refined and improved. The updated renderings, by Chris Socha of Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc., are shown below: