Will Bike-Shaped Parking Racks Increase Driver Awareness?
Rebecca Parr writes of the successful effort by Ben Schweng, owner of the Cyclepath bicycle shop, to have the racks installed along Foothill Blvd, including near his downtown shop which is located on a new, downtown street configuration known as the Hayward Loop (part of the Rte.238 Mission Corridor Improvement Project) that appears to be bicycle-unfriendly, according to Schweng.
According to Schweng, cyclists may "have to cross five lanes of traffic to get to the other side where my store is... It's definitely sketchy, even for experienced avid bicyclists, let alone casual ones."
"We tried to make the curb lanes wide enough to accommodate a bike, but the roadway wasn't wide enough for a full bicycle lane," said Don Frascinella, Hayward transportation manager.
Sharrows are planned on the roadway, and the idea is that the shape of the racks will perform a similar function - alerting "motorists that bicyclists also are riding on the new one-way downtown traffic loop... Traffic can be heavy on the five-lane loop, and drivers often speed through the area", writes Parr.
According to the city's corridor project manager, the "11 bicycle-shaped racks [known as the 'bike-bike racks', (PDF)] were manufactured by American Bicycle Security Company, of Ventura, for about $450 each, with funds coming from the Route 238 project."