In a Toronto first, the city has converted two on-street parking spots on lower Spadina Avenue into a mini-parking lot for up to 16 bikes.
The $2,250 pilot project, which began yesterday and will run until mid-November, looked to be an instant hit, with the racks filling almost immediately, as was the case with the $35,000 bicycle shelter erected last month at the St. Clair West subway. The on-street approach has been used in Montreal, Portland, and New York.
Cycling advocates at the Centre for Social Innovation, which is located at 215 Spadina, lobbied local councillor Adam Vaughan to set up the on-street lot because the city wasn't able to provide enough post-rings to keep up with runaway demand. "In the summer, you can't find a place to park your bike on Spadina," says CSI executive director Tonya Surman, who is thrilled with the move.
She's not alone. "If you walk around the city, you'll know that we're running out of space to park bikes," says Toronto's manager of cycling infrastructure Daniel Egan. With 16,000 post rings, Toronto has more bike parking than any North American city except Chicago. The municipality, Mr. Egan adds, is reviewing its policy for deploying post rings due to growing clutter on many sidewalks.
A post on Spacing Magazine's blog Wednesday invited suggestions for additional locations, and readers nominated parts of Bloor Street, as well as Kensington and St. Lawrence markets. Mr. Egan says the city is monitoring both the bike lot and the shelter, but hasn't decided where to situate more of these facilities.
Ms. Surman says the city should set up these lots where there's high demand, but Mr. Egan points out that the on-street racks can only be installed in areas where vehicle parking is permitted around the clock.