The new Bike Corral on Ramona St in downtown Palo Alto has increased the number of available parking spaces not only for bikes, but also for cars. As described in , some residents who used to drive downtown now ride their bikes, just to park at the bike corral.
Really? You gotta be kidding me. Just one lousy set of bike racks and more people rides their bikes? Yes, it's true, and the key is location.
First, the bike corral is at a cafe, a place you never walk out of carrying heavy loads (such as groceries) that are difficult to carry on a bike.
Second, it's extremely unlikey for a bike to get stolen there. That's because it's in plain sight of the many patrons enjoying their cafe lattes out on the sidewalk.
Finally, when you park there, you're never alone - it has space for 10 bikes and seems to always be at least half full. This means it's less likely that a thief would single out your bike to steal.
But wait, there's more!
Some of the bikes parked at the bike corral would be cars parked somewhere else downtown if the bike corral didn't exist. It takes just one person who bikes instead of driving for the bike corral to make up for the one car parking spot it replaced. Since the bike corral holds up to 10 bikes and is often nearly full, it's likely that at any given time there's a couple of additional car parking spots not being used that otherwise would be.
It seems that the bike corral has created additional parking spaces for motorcycles, too! A motorcycle was spotted parked there one morning about a week ago. Not exactly legal, but nobody wants to be left out of all this new bike parking fun!