Monday, September 19, 2005

Biketopian Notion

In Biketopia there are transportation centers near concentrations of workplaces, industrial or office complexes, downtown areas and shopping districts. These centers provide safe parking for bikes, locker rooms, showers and transfer to mass transit if that's available in a given area. They might even provide work areas and small parts like cables and tubes (for a fee), or have commercial concessions selling parts and service. The centers would at least create an area nearby, where commercial service providers could prosper in a location convenient to the people who need them the most.

I wonder if any bike shops are offering safe, secure parking to local commuters, perhaps with a service deal thrown in. A business would need to realize income from the square footage in order to continue to afford it. A public facility could spread the cost over a wider base and use it to encourage more healthy behavior among citizens who might be more likely to ride if they knew they had a nice place to work from, once they got to town.

The first concern of any rider is safety on the road. The second is secure parking. Will the bike be there, rideable, when I get back?

Protected facilities extend the range of rideable weather. If the bike itself will be protected, and the rider can freshen up before reentering society, no one need fear a little rain, chilly weather or breaking a sweat on the way to work.

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