Bike Parking in Columbus

I have attended meetings for the bicycle subcommittee and the attitude from the top seems to be "let's go after the lowest hanging fruit," which is disappointing because I think it says Columbus is striving for mediocrity when it comes to city/transit planning. In all reality, Columbus hasn't even attained mediocrity.

When will the City of Columbus decide that striving for mediocrity isn't going to cut it anymore? When will Mayor Coleman and the city planners start listening to residents with vision?

Columbus recently started installing $30,000 bike shelters around town. 16 shelters will be installed for a grand total of $480,000. I am willing to bet that the cost of on-street parking (see below) would not be $30,000 each, but I am open to being proven wrong.

The photo below was taken recently in CINCINNATI by Ameya who is a City & Regional Planning student at Ohio State University! Cincinnati has ON STREET Bike Parking, a 3-foot rule (which requires motorists to give 3-feet of clearance when passing) and they are installing street cars.

Photo courtesy of CaptainPlanIt. Take a look at her blog!

Columbus, wake up! We, as a community, are being shortchanged.


  1. What can you say? Columbus city leaders love to talk about: becoming "the best bicycling city in the nation" as mayor Coleman said, installing streetcars/light-rail on the north side, etc. The first 2-3 years I was following city developments I thought we would see a city transformed, but it just hasn't happened. Residents with vision, and I did show up to city organized meetings, are routinely ignored: those are only put on for show since the decisions were already made. Some of us called their bluff when they didn't deliver and now we've moved to one of the coasts, Chicago, or in my case Minneapolis in order to enjoy all that Columbus talks about doing but never does (and if you ever have the chance to visit I can show you around this true Midwestern biking mecca). No streetcar will be breaking ground this year as I was hoping in 2008, bike infrastructure is lopsidedly being installed in areas with very few cyclists out around 270 with comparatively much less Downtown (why?), and city reps think they're improving neighborhoods just fine and "disagree" with my suggestions (umm, invest city dollars for residents and businesses to move in?) all while many hoods surpassed Cleveland's average population loss of 17%: Columbus' always-ignored working-class neighborhoods lost about 20% or more the past decade including Steelton, Southern Orchards, Driving Park, half of the Near East side, part of Linden, Milo-Grogan, and Franklinton which only recently got revitalization dollars and that seed will take at least a handful of years to bear fruit: too late for that missing 20+%. A good deal more lost almost as many residents. The silver lining is that on-street biking parking is now available on Oak & 18th, albeit 2 years after Mpls did it and admittedly was behind the times as far as this goes back in 2010.

    The writing was on the wall for Cincinnati to come out ahead as *the* premier city in Ohio: they're building the streetcar, they even started installing on-street bike parking back in 2010 (same time as Mpls), they even have 2 revitalized areas, Northside and some of Over-the-Rhine which combined offer several times more destinations than a new health center on Parsons or American Addition where all there will be to do is walk amongst all the new homes while holding your breath when the wind blows industrial pollution your way. Visit those places and see which you'd rather have. Contiuing the stream of large mind-boggling investments, Columbus cyclists can soothe themselves by riding the bike lanes down Karl Rd, but is there even parking once you've arrived to the strip mall of your choice? With huge investments being spent in almost all the wrong places, like those ridiculous bike shelters, is it any wonder that Columbus is now behind even Cincinnati when it comes to biking? Boasting about how flat your city is for easy biking means little if it's not utilized to its potential.

    Oh yeah, it apparently cost Cincinnati $1,000 to install one bike corral.

    Or in Columbus' case with $480,000: 480 bike corrals city wide. But at least the shelters are big and shiny showpieces for N High St while the vast majority of the city continues to be void of bike infrastructure or investments in general. No wonder I left that crazy place. Really, there's just not enough of an assertive culture there to make it a great biking city or great city in general: if anyone wants more out of a city they have to leave and I sadly say that as a former life-long resident.

  2. I agree with everything you said except American Addition being a destination. It is a neighborhood being revitalized and hardly a destination.


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