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Posted by on Jul 28, 2011 in Uncategorized | 19 comments

The Bike Corral is Installed!

The bike corral has finally been installed outside Ethos. I had a head’s up it was coming soon, but haven’t been over there for a few weeks. Mark Baratelli beat me to it on The Daily City.

Photo by Mark Baratelli | Owner, TheDailyCity.com

See more photos here.

The space has been dedicated for it since the repave last summer. We didn’t wait for the racks to park there. Here’s a pic of our bikes after last September’s First Friday ride.

The one Jason was taking is on his Flickr stream.

Thank you, City of Orlando, for yet another excellent bike parking facility!

19 Comments

  1. I saw that yesterday and thought, “Now that’s great!” It’d be wonderful if other places could/would do this.

  2. Anybody know how much it cost?

    • Racks are around $85 each (on contract), space –who knows? What is the cost of right of way, bollard combo is +/- $200 each.

      This installation required a technical evaluation. No data exists to support the installation or refute the installation. Would the corral impair safe use of the road? Would it involve unacceptable risks for cyclists or roadway users? There’s no simple answer. Engineering time is needed to assess the potential outcomes.

      The installation seems simple but all the engineering questions had to be chased down. Since this is new territory, it’s hard to say how much it cost. If a bike corral were a no-discussion option, it would be cheap. Since this is something new, it has more than hardware costs.

      • I’ve been trying to run a comparison of these racks to “The Wave” style — which I detest because I have two bikes and neither fit into “The Wave” properly.

        • Eric: For any public agency in Florida, these inverted U racks are available on a state contract with FDOT. They cost about $70 each with shipping additional. They are simple with a galvanized finish. They are available at slightly more with a powder coat color finish. Wave racks are much loved by architects but they are not considered ‘best practice’ for exactly the reason you mentioned. Most cyclists need to fasten their bikes parallel with the wave … so the wave doesn’t really park more than two bikes. You might be able to get a comparison price by checking Dero’s website. APBP also has a really good bike parking guide on their website. The first version is on line. You probably don’t need to buy the book.

          • Sadly, Winter Park either didn’t know that or didn’t care. They received grant money and put in Wave racks all over the city. This, from people that claim to “know what they are doing.”

            From what you are telling me, the cost for the steel would have about the same.

            Thanks!

  3. We recently installed our first downtown corral in Springfield, Mo. It looks very similar to this one. The reception with downtown business owners has been good enough that we’re working on a second.

    I park at the corral nearly everyday :-)

  4. Add some kudos to the Florida Dept. of Transportation. North Orange is a state road. If FDOT had not authorized the bike corral, it would never have been considered. Notice that the installers were wearing FDOT vests. It’s a nice, clean installation. Quality counts. Cost was shared. City contributed 4 racks, merchants contributed 2 racks. Bollards and installation were by FDOT. This is the first installation on a state road in the State of Florida.

    • Thanks for replying, Joan.

      I like the location since it is already a natural gathering place rather than a “build it and they will come” sort of thing.

      I’m very confused by the FDOT policies and have been for years. On the one hand, back in the ’80′s they transferred out bunches of rural two lane roads to the counties (which are now going to pot), thus turning many SR-xx highways into CR-xx, yet they cling tenaciously to old state roads that now run through cities.

      So tenaciously (and dictatorially, I might add) do they cling to these “citified highways” that they stop serving the public’s needs to seemingly satisfy their own. I’m thinking of Mount Dora when I say this. After the new US-441 was built which bypassed downtown in what 1962(?) the OLD 441, 5th Ave., was tightly controlled by FDOT so that if the City wanted to close the street for an event and detour traffic around it on streets wider than the state road, FDOT turned into an ordeal. I can remember when FDOT denied permission (or maybe the paperwork wasn’t filed on time?) as late as the ’90′s, so that the arts festival had traffic running through the middle of it.

      I can name of a lot of other cities that would love to turn their “pipes for cars” into livable space by adding trees and other amenities (not just l-o-n-g medians to discourage left turns), but are shut down at every turn. It takes all kinds of engineering expenses that most cities can’t afford and then FDOT just says, “no” and that’s it.

      FDOT denies this natch, and they could point at this project as how well they work with other governments, but as you said, the engineering costs and all the people involved must have been crazy high, just to turn a parking space into efficient parking for bicycles.

      • Sorry you feel frustrated. FDOT has been changing along with everyone else. When any complicated system gets into new territory it’s probably smart to try to have people think about as many potential outcomes as possible. That may mean putting extra time in on the front end.

        In some cases cities and counties don’t want to manage the roads. Let me rephrase that. They want to manage main roads but they can’t afford to pay for the costs of heavy duty roads. See how many former state roads are in shabby condition because cities and counties do not have sufficient revenue to keep the roads in good repair. Sometimes their staff is more generalist than specialist.

        It would be great to have more aesthetically pleasing roads. That said, there are a lot of considerations to making roads work for all customers. Often what is there was built when motor vehicle travel was the only focus for FDOT. It’s pretty clear that tight budgets for the foreseeable future are going to create some serious constraints on building big roads.

        There’s also the question of planning for all the types of vehicles that need space. What about big trucks? Like trains, they are the lifeblood of modern material commerce. How do you keep them out of cities without having an exodus of jobs? Trucks beat up roads and congest areas where they must travel. What about transit? What about pickup trucks and mini-s and kids and old people? What about night and day? Rain and sun? What about wind? Impaired? They all need to be considered..public projects don’t generally run on a few people’s unreflected opinion. At least that’s what is probably the most responsible approach.

        DeLand sometimes shuts down both SR 44 AND US 17-92 for entire weekends. Christmas Parades and Homecoming celebrations regularly take place on state roads. I think that’s been going on as long as I can remember. Possibly you are right about not getting the request processed in time for the Mt. Dora example. A detour route would have been planned out but coordination would have been necessary. That was more than a decade ago..

        • If you think that FDOT has been “changing like everyone else” than FDOT is at least 20 years maybe 30 behind the times.

          I perfectly understand that Cities and Counties want to have a “say” in how things are run without being on the hook financially for them, but there is one thing overlooked: that they “own” the land on either side of the roadway.

          And that is part of the problem. FDOT is focused on the roadbed and the ROW and throughput and satisfying all the users including trucks, while there is much more to the picture. Much, much, more to the picture.

          Roads are one of the most important parts of the infrastructure. Everyone relies on the roads, even shut-ins, who use meals on wheels, yet in my city streets get less money than the parks. People tend to take them for granted until they fall apart.

          Yet, roads change in nature. North Orange Avenue, where this new “corral” was created, was at one time unincorporated Orange County. According to the maps I have seen from 1912, the State Road Dept. stepped in and built a road from Orlando to Winter Park.

          Since 1912, times have changed. The entire route has been incorporated by the cities on both sides of the street, and once it has become a street rather than a highway, there needs to be a time when FDOT gracefully bows out.

          I have observed how more rural cities, such as Howie-in-the-Hills was restrained from “incorporating” any more state highways for the purpose of writing speeding tickets. They were not interested in the highways other than what it could make from them. They would have been shocked, had FDOT had said, “You want it? Here it is! Now you maintain it!” They would have wanted no part of that.

          In the ’70′s, Orlando “incorporated” I-4 as a thin ribbon down to International Drive. What would have happened if Orlando had to take over maintenance of I-4? Lots of patched potholes in the concrete, I’ll bet.

          So I understand how Cities take advantage of the State. But I also understand how the State takes advantage of the Cities. In theory, if a crash occurs on North Orange Avenue, only the decimated FHP should respond. That’s not happening more for political reasons than anything else. And that is because things have changed.

          For FDOT to cling with tenacity to roads they built and have maintained since 1912 doesn’t do the cities any good, nor the state.

          It’s a weird dance you guys are playing, but it doesn’t help “the customers.”

          • “there needs to be a time when FDOT gracefully bows out.”

            Hopefully, AFTER they have solved the drainage situation they caused all over the state, but are, one at a time solving. No need to saddle the Cities with responsibilities they didn’t cause.

          • By the way. I remember when city police and county deputy sheriffs used to be hard about things. If they saw a crash occur on a state highway, they might swing by and tell everyone that they were on a state highway and to wait for the FHP to show up. If the FHP decided to call an ambulance, that was their call.

            Even when the crash happened in the downtown business district.

  5. This looks fantastic! What a brilliant idea. What a wonderful asset. How nice to see tax dollars creating such livable urban areas. I’m sure it will catch on.

  6. On the edge of this zone here, there’s a new bakery opening up. Its an expansion of a great bakery in yahala, near howie-in-the-hills. Not sure if its open yet or not, but I recommend it.

    • That is excellent news!

    • I have seeing the sign “Comming” and have been drooling ever since!!

      • or “Coming” or whatever!!!