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Local Voices: Motorcycle Parked in Coupa Cafe Bike Corral

The new Bike Corral creates additional parking spaces not only for bikes but for cars too.

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! 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

commuter September 19, 2011 at 09:12 PM
Bike corrals a great idea. Why did Palo Alto take so long to start building them? San Francisco has had them for years. One of the biggest deterrents to bicycle commuting is fear of having your bicycle stolen.
Andrew Boone September 21, 2011 at 10:25 PM
San Francisco is way ahead of Palo Alto when it comes to bicycle infrastructure. They've got loads of bike corrals, green bike lanes, bike boxes (where bikes queue in front of cars at tricky intersections), and even a bike traffic signal! And soon they'll have a two-way cycle-track in Golden Gate Park. But Palo Alto's 2011 Bicycle + Pedestrian Transportation Plan, championed by our pro-bicycle Mayor, Sid Espinosa, aims to help Palo Alto catch up. It prescribes more bicycle boulevards such as the popular Bryant Street Bicycle Boulevard, and innovative street treatments like green bike lanes and cycle tracks on routes designed to help less skilled and confident cyclists such as children and seniors get to popular destinations.

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