Bicycle storage facilities must pass test

New guidelines proposed by City of Victoria staff

If you have to cram your bicyle into an storage facility, you won’t be inclined to use it.

That’s a guiding principle behind the city’s bicycle parking strategy, presented to Victoria city council by transportation manager Brad Dellebuur at last week’s governance and priorities meeting.

Currently, developers of office buildings or condos must build a prescribed number of secure bike parking stalls, but have no guidance beyond that. The new document defines what makes bike storage accessible and secure in terms of aisle width, gate standards and more, so developers know what is expected of them. The strategy also provides guidance for building lockers, change rooms and other amenities for cyclists.

Once formally adopted by council, these standards won’t be simply optional or recommended. They will be included in the property’s zoning, said Dellebuur.

The strategy also sets out guidelines for on-street bike parking. It will take an estimated two years to implement.

In the interim, Coun. John Luton is hoping the city will “keep an eye” on bike racks being installed.

He points to the new coffee-cup shaped rack in James Bay outside the Serious Coffee. While there’s nothing wrong with its fun shape, it’s difficult to get a bike frame into the rack due to its design, he said. “Artistic sense is not enough”

Luton would also like to address what he sees as a gap in the city’s new bike parking strategy: old apartment buildings. Because the city’s guidelines only apply to new construction, existing multi-unit residences don’t have any incentive to add these green features.

 

Property owners could get some form of tax incentive, or get fast-tracked through the parking-variance process if they want to convert underused vehicle parking stalls into bike parking, he suggested.