Call to Action: Proposed Bike Parking

Monday, 3/27/2017 at City Hall at 6 pm the Dunwoody City Council has a first read of proposed ordinance changes that — FOR THE FIRST TIME — actually ADD Bike Parking as a requirement throughout our city. In two weeks, at the following council meeting these changes could be voted in and become law. Click HERE for the meeting agenda & details.

We think it’s great that the city is adding bike parking requirements. This effort has been going on starting back in circa 2011 when the first zoning re-write was undertaken. But in October, 2013 Dunwoody took a sidestep and removed any requirement to accommodate bike parking. The disappointment is well documented over at BicyclingJoe.

We have a few overarching issues on the proposals; and ask that you; a) Attend Monday night’s meeting and speak up either in support or opposition to the proposals. On the agenda, look for FIRST READ for Chapter 27 revisions. When they open up the Public Comments, that’s when you can walk up there and speak. A total of 20 minutes is allocated. 10 minutes in support & 10 in opposition. We have both Pro & Con comments, so if you do too, then you could speak during either or both of them.

Executive Summary / Asks:

  1. Why do we require & mandate minimum car parking at all?  Encourage greater use of non-motorized transportation by not requiring all of this parking. Plan for cars. you get cars. Plan for people you get people.
  2. Cost about $30,000 per car parking space in Perimeter area. Huuuuge financial burden to businesses. Why not let the market dictate “minimums”, or reverse it and put in maximums?
  3. Streamline the bike parking matrix. Adopt a simple formula for bikes as is a ratio to car parking. Can’t assume certain uses won’t ever need to accommodate a person arriving there on bicycle.
  4. Follow & reference the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. The APBP has produced an 83-page detailed document entitled, “Bicycle Parking Guidelines

Our Issues

1: What behavior do we want to encourage or discourage?

“If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic.

If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.”

Why do we require & mandate minimum car parking at all? People pretty much all agree that traffic is at or near the top concern for everyone. Build it & they will come. We’re in the middle of building out and investing public funds for a connected trail & bike lane network, right? We’ve got this recently approved “Last Mile PCID Connectivity Study“, right? We’ve got this PCID Trail Plan, right? Then encourage greater use of non-motorized transportation by not requiring all of this parking.

Here’s a partial list of cities that have ELIMINATED parking minimums:

2: Cost of Car Parking is HUUUUUUUUGE

“Financially, the return on investment for storing cars

is much less than just about any other use that could go in a downtown area,

yet this use is considered necessary, often mandatory. ”

In the Perimeter business district, land runs around $2M per acre. That’s about $30k per car space. Say you’re building a new apartment / condo complex with 500 units. Half are 2 bedroom or greater. With our current proposed requirement, that comes to 800 parking spaces at a surface level land cost of $24,000,000! 

Why not let the market dictate “minimums”, or reverse it and put in maximums? Or listen to the likes of former Decatur mayor Floyd and let folks find on-street parking or walk a bit further to a paid parking garage, shared parking, etc.? Not to reinvent the wheel, all the facts & arguments are posted here:

3. Source of Formulas for Bike Parking

What was the national or international standard / reference used to establish these formulas? What existing examples were used to establish this? Where did the city find examples that listed out by the use, for example saying that fraternity houses or hotels don’t need any bike parking?

The CVB & city just successfully petitioned the state assembly to increase the hotel/motel tax to fund parks & trails. So we’ll advertise our great trail network to encourage visitors. When they arrive at the hotel, they won’t have a place to secure their bicycles.

Some bike parking requirements don’t have a ratio and simply state, 2 (or 4) bike minimum. Regardless of the facility size, number of people using it, or cars being parked there.

Here’s Atlanta’s Bike Parking requirement. Soooo simple & straightforward using a ratio of bike to car parking spaces.

Here’s an extract of what Dunwoody is proposing today, with our comments. It’s a laundry list matrix listing out nitty gritty details. For the full list as proposed, click HERE.

Sampling from Proposals Minimum Off-Street Parking Ratios        
Uses Motor Vehicle Parking Bicycle Parking Comments Cost for car parking if in PCID
@ $2M/Acre
~ $30k/car space
Cost for bike parking @ $100 per 2-bike rack
Multi-Unit Building 1 space per dwelling unit + 1 additional space for 2+ bedroom units + 1 visitor space per 8 units 0.1 spaces per dwelling unit; min. 2 spaces eg. If 500 Apartments, 250 are 2+ bedroom units =
50 bike parking spaces.
Say 2 people per unit on avg, then 1,000 people sharing 50 bike parking spaces?
For cars, there would be 500 parking spots + 250, plus 62 visitor spaces =
802 car parking spaces
Cost for car parking if in PCID
@ $2M/Acre
~ $30k/car space
$24M
Cost for bike parking @ $100 per 2-bike rack
$2.5K
Multi-unit building
(age-restricted 62 years+)
1 space per dwelling unit + 1 visitor space per 8 units 0.05 spaces per dwelling unit; min. 2 spaces eg. If 500 Apartments, =
25 bike parking spaces.
Say 2 people per unit on avg, then 1,000 people sharing 50 bike parking spaces?
For cars, there would be 500 parking spots plus 62 visitor spaces =
562 car parking spacesSeniors are more active and want to stay healthy. Bike parking accommodates this. We should have more bike parking for seniors.
Cost for car parking if in PCID
@ $2M/Acre
~ $30k/car space
$19.5M
Cost for bike parking @ $100 per 2-bike rack
$1.3K
Convent and monastery 5 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. None Monastery in Conyers on Arabia Mtn Trail has bike parking for visitors for about 40 bikes
Fraternity house or sorority house 1 space per bed None Many college kids don’t have cars. Many college kids ride bikes. Fewer young adults are getting drivers licenses. The use of Uber, new technologies and demographic trends is making this requirement obsolete.
College or university 10 spaces per classroom None GSU Dwy Campus has 6,800 students. They offer FREE parking to all of their students. Traffic is already a mess in that area due to the collenge. Why reward car parking and have no accommodation for these students to ride a bike?

We MUST have bike parking at our colleges.

School, private elementary or middle 2 spaces per classroom Minimum 4 spaces So if there are 1,000 or 2,000 students, we are saying they only have to put up a couple of bike racks.

Need to have a better formula either by number of students or classrooms, or ratio to car parking spaces

School, private senior high 5 spaces per classroom Minimum 4 spaces See above comment.
School, specialized non-degree 10 spaces per classroom Minimum 4 spaces See above comment
School, vocational or trade 10 spaces per classroom Minimum 4 spaces See above comment
Restaurant, drive-in or drive-through 10 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.; minimum 5 spaces Minimum 4 spaces So if the restaurant seats 50 people or 500, we are saying they only have to put up a couple of bike racks.

Need to have a better formula either seating capicity, square foot or ratio of car parking

Restaurant, other than drive-through or drive-in 6.67 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.; 3.3 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. for PC-zoned property Minimum 4 spaces See  above comment
Retail Sales 4 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. + 1 space per 1,000 sq. ft. of outdoor display/sales areas; 2.5 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. for PC-zoned property (see also “shopping center” requirements) 0.1 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.; min. 4 spaces
Other eating or drinking establishment 6.67 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.; 3.3 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. for PC-zoned property Minimum 2 spaces Say has seating for 20, 200 or 1,000 people. Only a single bike rack required. As does not have any ratio to number of customers, square footage, or car parking requirement
Lodging 1.25 spaces per guest room; 1 space per guest room for PC-zoned property NONE CVB & city just petitioned the state to increase hotel / motel tax to build parks & trails as an incentive to do business & visit Dunwoody. It’s waiting on the Governor’s signature.

We MUST have bike parking at our hotels & motels.

4. Misc

Shared Parking.

We really, really have to get this in place and make this work.  BUT, we have to remove this requirement to accommodate a once a year “Peak Demand”. This is the opposite of a livable, walkable community which is what the citizens of Dunwoody have stated they want.

As proposed below in red. This is counter to a livable, walkable community:

“The shared parking analysis must demonstrate that the peak parking demands of the subject uses occur at different times and that the parking area will be large enough for the anticipated demands of both all uses.”

Bike Parking Guidelines & Standards

Remove the “wave” bike rack that is proposed as permitted and stick to the inverted “U”. Wave does not allow correct 3-point bike placement to be secured.

Why reinvent the wheel? Follow & reference the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. The APBP has produced an 83-page detailed document entitled, “Bicycle Parking Guidelines“. In 2012/2011 copies of these guidelines were provided to Dunwoody planning staff and consultants for reference.

This second edition of Bicycle Parking Guidelines updates the original guide and adds material on long-term and sheltered parking, as well as event parking, in-street bicycle parking, and bicycle transit centers. The new edition is now a comprehensive resource for practitioners and includes (highlighted items are new to the second edition):
• General bicycle parking principles and definitions of bicycle parking terms
• Guidance for both short- and long-term bicycle parking
• Elements of a good rack or locker, including specific performance criteria
• Maintenance best practices
• Sample site plans and diagrams to help avoid blunders in rack and locker placement
• Sample quantity requirements for bicycle parking to meet need by land use
• A worksheet for programming bicycle parking for a building or cluster of buildings
• Abundant images and charts to illustrate concepts and conditions

On-street Bike Parking Corrals

We need to accommodate the ability for businesses or adjacent property owners to petition to the city / or the city simply installs on-street bike parking corrals. This is simple & easy to do. Take out one car parking spot & install a bike corral to accommodate 10 more bikes! That use of public space will now accommodate 9 more people than a single occupancy motor vehicle space.

Why not put in a few of these in front of Dunwoody High School on Vermack?

 

Closing

This is a start, and we commend the city for considering this. But bike parking can be made much clearer & simpler in our code. We’re putting all of these precious public taxpayer funds into building trails & bike lanes. Our commercial landlords, tenants and property owners can SAVE big bucks by removing car parking minimums. AND, it’ll cost them a FRACTION to put in bike parking for their employees, residents, guests and shoppers.

The citizens of Dunwoody have stated they want a livable, walkable community with a sense of place. Car parking adds more congestion and takes as away from achieving that vision. Have straightforward and predictable bike parking guidelines.

Action

Send emails to mayor & city council: councilmembers@dunwoodyga.gov

Attend Monday’s council meeting and speak during public comments during the HEARING

Forward this on & invite your friends. And THANKS!!

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