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  • Six Ways Property Managers of Apartments, Offices And Parks Can Generate Extra Fees

    bike rooms fees Bicycle commuters are willing to pay extra fees for secure, indoor bike rooms.

    One of the best ways to offer more amenities to guests and residents while also growing business is by establishing fees for extra services. People are willing to pay for additional features and understand that the fees go towards administrative costs.

    Charging additional fees is a viable path for growing your business. It provides additional income to put back into the property, allowing it to stay up-to-date and in tip-top shape. These new upgrades make it appealing for visitors from younger demographics to revisit your facility and, better yet, bring their friends.

    These are also known as ancillary-revenue programs—or any revenue outside of the main ticket price or rent. Those revenues could be significant. It’s why airlines charge you for baggage fees and food. United earns the most from this type of revenue, with $6.2 billion in 2015 non-ticket revenue.

    Whether you run a multifamily community (like an apartment or condo), rent office space to small businesses, operate city parks, or something entirely different, property and facility managers can implement a solid plan for growing their business through extra fees. Here are a few ideas to get started.

    Add a bike room

    Bike rooms are becoming very popular as a place for long-term bicycle storage. They are more secure and protective, which is a priority for those who own and commute by bicycle. Property managers frequently charge tenants or employees additional fees to access the bike rooms. This means that installing a bike room can pay for itself in a few short years and then begin generating additional revenue for the property.

    Fees range from $10 to $100 or more per month. Typically, higher fees come with more amenities, such as showers and bike repair stations. Individual storage bike lockers within the bike rooms can be an additional fee for tenants looking for ultimate security. Property managers who decide to add showers may qualify for LEED points, making their facility green certified if they reach a certain number of points.

    bike room waterstone The newly renovated bike room in the Waterstone building featuring UpLift bike docks.

    Vending machines filled with simple repair supplies like bicycle tubes can also earn property managers a small side profit. No matter what you decide to install, cyclists will appreciate feeling supported in their goal of healthy commuting. Even traditional bicycle parking racks are marketable since it shows support for those who own a bicycle.

    Add vending machines

    Vending machines are ideal for making a little extra income at your park, office, or multifamily community. They are used by guests of all ages and backgrounds: from children and adults to residents and travelers, people are always drawn to vending machines to find a quick snack. Newer vending machines accept credit cards, which can increase your customer base outside of those who carry cash or coins.

    Charge pet rent and a deposit

    Whether looking for an apartment to call their own or traveling and searching for pet-friendly amenities, there’s no question that there is a market for pet owners. The trend of pet ownership in America is on the rise, growing from 66.5 million households to 79.7 million households, according to the Humane Society. It is estimated that 65% of households own a pet, which means that more than half of your customers are likely to bring a pet along. If you run a hotel, park, or shopping facility, consider adding pet waste receptacles and charging pet fees to accommodate guests.

    For those who run multifamily communities, charge a pet deposit and small monthly pet rent. These fees have become standard protocol and pet owners know to expect them. Before you don’t allow pets, remember that you will be limiting the number of people who can live in your community. As Bigger Pockets cleverly put it, “If you do not allow pets, remember this: Quality renters can go anywhere, but most would rather sleep in the gutter with their pet than the Taj Mahal without it. Many renters would have a difficult decision to make if they could only bring their pets or their kids.”

    Rent out cleaning supplies

    Charging fees to rent out cleaning supplies like vacuums and carpet cleaners has multiple benefits: it can bring in some extra revenue, but it also helps tenants maintain your apartments, reducing the need to replace carpets and flooring. Charge fees for this bigger cleaning equipment to help pay for the supplies.

    Offer a coin-operated laundry room with a change machine if there is no in-room washers and dryers.   You can also charge for door-to-door trash service, allowing residents to simply place trash outside their door instead of hauling it to the dumpster.

    Install pet equipment

    dog park equipment Adding dog park equipment to a facility creates a fun place with easy access that pet owners will appreciate.

    If you want to keep up with your competitors and attract pet owners, consider adding simple dog park equipment. It’s a small addition that will definitely make pet owners smile as they experience fun memories at your facility. This equipment is great for all types of hotels, parks, and apartments. Small apartments can make rambunctious dogs feel crowded. The local dog park is a good option for exercise, but it may seem like a far drive after a long day of work. Apartments that offer their own miniature dog park can use this as a selling feature for pet owners, or increase their monthly pet rent to cover its cost.

    Public and private parks can install dog park equipment and charge an annual or monthly membership fee for access. Keep your facility up-to-date with new dog park structures and signage stressing the importance of cleaning up pet waste.

    Charge other fees at apartments

    There are plenty of other fees for multifamily community managers to implement. A few ideas include:

    • Clubhouse rentals
    • Satellite TV or telecom programs
    • Partial month leases (for when the apartment would normally be unoccupied)
    • Extra keys fee
    • Lease termination fee
    • Holding fees for reserving an apartment
    • Application fee to cover background checks
    • Extra occupant fee
    • Late payment fee
    • Advertising space in elevators or hallways
    • Covered parking fees 

    “With just a minimal investment in amenities, a facility manager can create an entirely new revenue stream,” said Adam Koonin, a senior executive with The Park and Facilities Catalog. “In addition, consumers are always looking for extras and this is another powerful marketing tool to attract new customers and stay ahead of the competition.”

    It’s important to note that property managers should not become too greedy. Some higher end, all-inclusive condos might not get away with extra fees, since tenants expect everything to be included in the base cost. Residents know when they are being nickel-and-dimed, so make sure the fees are reasonable.

    But as you can see, people are passionate about many things such as their bicycles and their pets. Provide amenities such as bike rooms, dog park equipment or other features that accommodate these passions and people will be glad to pay the few extra dollars.

  • Guide to Earning LEED Credits for Bicycle Facilities such as Commercial Bike Racks and Bike Rooms

    commercial bike racks A couple lock their bikes to commercial bike racks near a facility. Developers can earn LEED credits for adding bicycle parking racks to their apartment or office buildings.

    Did you know that you can earn LEED credits for  providing commercial bike racks at your facility?

    LEED is a highly recognized third-party verification program for green buildings—it stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Its innovations are changing the way people think about planning and constructing buildings. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, an incredible 1.85 million square feet of space is certified daily.

    Property managers, homeowners, CEOs of businesses, and all kinds of people are interested in earning LEED credits with a goal of adding the credits up to a certification level: either Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. LEED Certification at any level translates into great things for a business.

    How Credits from Commercial Bike Racks Helps Your Business

    1. Become more eco-friendly. While it seems obvious, there’s no denying that following LEED standards will reduce your carbon footprint and help protect the environment.

    The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 30% of greenhouse gas emissions are from electricity, followed by 26% in transportation and 21% in industry.

    Adding green features to your building can reduce its impact on each of these categories. For instance, if employees, customers, or residents can easily ride their bicycle to your facility and use a bike parking rack, that’s fewer cars on the road, reducing the amount of emissions due to transportation.

    2. Use your LEED certification in marketing. Many customers specifically choose green buildings because of their eco-friendly mindset.

    high-density bike racks Bicycle parking at certain facilities can be difficult due to lack of space. There are high-density bike racks that have a smaller footprint than traditional bike racks.

    No matter what kind of facility you run, LEED certification is a powerful accomplishment that will resonate with your customers. These people will view you as more than just “green”—they will also know that you are advanced and forward-thinking compared to competitors who do not have LEED certification.

    Even if you don’t technically qualify for LEED certification yet, following some of its guidelines and promoting green practices can still be marketable with customers.

    3. Follow trends to stay modern. Consumer trends are going towards green options. The younger crowd especially cares about the environment.

    A growing portion of Generation Z (the rising generation that is currently 15-20 years old) will pay more for products and services that are committed to social change and environmental impact.

    In 2014, 55% would pay more for green services, but that rose to 72% in 2015. If the younger generations will pay more for buildings that are green, you can bet that catering to their preferences will benefit your business for the next 10 to 20 years.

    4. Earn credits from federal or state taxes. Use the online Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Energy to discover federal or local tax incentives for making your building LEED compatible.

    The incentives can come as personal or corporate tax credits; bond, rebate, grant, or loan programs; or tax exemptions. They can help offset the cost of making your facility up to LEED standards, or reduce the taxes you pay each year.

    5. Save money on monthly energy bills. By installing energy-saving products at your facility, the investment can pay for itself after a few years, and then begin making you money.

    Solar roof company Solar World estimates that commercial solar roofing in North Carolina would have a net cost of $3,402 after tax incentives.

    The estimated utility savings over 25 years could be $223,321. Clearly, the savings add up quickly.

    Bicycle parking can also save you money because you can fit more bicycles than cars in your parking area, which means less square footage used for parking. You can also charge a monthly fee for access to bicycle lockers or a bike room, which will help you earn revenue from the parking area.

    6. Improve the resale value of your facility. For all of the above reasons, LEED certification is highly desired by customers and property owners.

    If you ever decide to sell your facility, it may sell at a higher price than a traditionally constructed building. Buyers will know they are investing in a building that will have low monthly bills and will likely not need updating since it’s already ahead of its time.

    Requirements for Earning Credits for Bicycle Racks

    Now that you understand the reasons behind updating your facility to LEED standards, you may be wondering how to qualify with bicycle parking. To earn LEED credits for bicycle parking, there are a few options for qualification.

    “LEED credits are such an important consideration today in the construction industry,” said Michael Kilmartin, Senior Relationship Manager at The Park and Facilities Catalog. “Adding bicycle racks, bike lockers or bike rooms is one of the simplest ways to earn those credits.”

    These apply to 90% of all new buildings—any buildings without bicycle storage cannot exceed 10% of the total project.

    • Bike rooms. These are considered long-term, indoor bicycle parking facilities because they are designed for more than just a few hours. It needs to be within 100 feet walking distance of any functional entry and easily accessible by all building users. The minimum number of long-term spaces is in addition to the requirements for short-term bicycle parking.

      bike room in a los angeles apartment building Bike room in a Los Angeles apartment building.
    • Shower facilities. These are also required if you want to qualify your bike room or long-term parking for LEED points (except for residential properties, which do not require showers since guests can go home and shower). Showers need to be onsite, but health club access does qualify, as long as the visitor doesn’t need to go outdoors.
    • Bicycle Racks. Called “short-term bicycle storage” in the LEED documentation, this parking needs to be within 100 feet walking distance of any main entrance.

    The amount of bicycle parking required depends on the type of facility—retail must have at least two short-term bicycle storage spaces per 5,000 square feet (with a minimum of two), while mult-iunit residential buildings need storage for 2.5% of peak visitors (with a minimum of four). On-site showers and changing facilities need to be for the first 100 regular building occupants and one additional shower per 150 occupants afterwards.

    Bicycle parking also needs to be no more than three miles from a bikable location, like a school, employment center, or public transit. Alternatively, they can also be within three miles of a bicycle network that extends at least three continuous miles and connects to a location like a school or employer.

    If you follow the guidelines carefully, you can earn 2 LEED points; 40-49 are required for the lowest level of Certified. These points will get you started on your path towards earning LEED certification and improving your facility for years to come.

    While going green might involve extra costs initially, one of the least expensive strategies you can follow to be sustainable-oriented is to add a bike room or commercial bike racks for buildings or apartments. It's a huge benefit for the public who use the facility, it's great for the owner of the building, and it's another way to protect the environment, one step (or pedal) at a time.

    Note: Visit this page for more information on how to design a successful bike room.

  • Potential Bicycle Trends We're Excited About in 2017

     

    bike rooms The trend continues - more cities are creating bicycle master plans, investing in bike infrastructure and requiring bike rooms in new buildings.

    There’s no doubt about it – bicycling infrastructure continues to grow in America as we see more bicycle master plans,  bike lanes, bike-share programs, bicycle racks, bike rooms and bike laws.

    According to the Census Bureau, 43 of the 70 largest cities in the US saw an increase in 2015 in bike commuters. Many cities are approaching a milestone of 4% bike commuting mode share. Portland is at 7%. How high is realistic? Well, experts say Copenhagen is able to achieve a 56% bike mode share.

    We think it’s only going to get better in 2017. Here are our predictions:

    Cities will continue to adopt bicycle master plans to be more bicycle friendly

    At one time Portland was considered the epicenter of great bicycle infrastructure and far ahead of the rest of the country. But other major cities have caught on to the benefits of making it easy to bicycle around town. A big catalyst has been the obsession of Millenials for their bikes and their preference for living in urban areas and biking to work. (Don’t think mayors haven’t noticed this – after all, this demographic is the next big block of voters and donors).

    So, across America, cities have been adopting bicycle master plans and ramping up investments in their bicycle infrastructure. Several city leaders have declared they want to be known as the “bicycle mayor.” And they are walking the talk.

    For example, check out this list of the Top Bicycle Cities according to Bicycling magazine.

    The magazine chose several factors to determine rankings including miles of buffeted and standard bike lanes, bike boulevards, bike share programs, dedicated bike paths per square mile and number of bicycle friendly businesses (The Park and Facilities Catalog is one.).

    No. 1 – Chicago – Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has built 100 miles of buffeted and protected bike lanes. Here’s the kicker, it only cost $12 million. Think of how much 100 miles of new roadways would cost in a city that large.

    No. 2 – San Francisco – you literally must be crazy to drive in this city. That’s one reason why bike commuting grew 16% from 2012 to 2014.

    No. 3 – Portland –  this city continues to set the pace for the rest of the country. For example, they just built the Tilikum Crossing across the Willamette River for transporting bikes and buses, but guess what, cars are not included. That’s right – no cars on a major downtown bridge. Talk about a paradigm shift. Again, Portland leads the way as far as bicycles as a means of transportation.

    No. 4 – New York City – Mayor Bill deBlasio is not to be outdone when it comes to sustainable transportation and he has spent $100 million on bike lanes and making it safer to bicycle in the Big Apple.

    No. 5 – Seattle – this city is trying to keep up with its neighbors to the south and created a new master plan for bicycling with a pledge of one billion dollars to be spent over the next decade. The city is also working on a proposed 50-mile network of connected bikeways.

    By the way, these connected networks are the next big thing for bicycle infrastructure and will be emphasized by the League of American Bicyclists when they contact members of Congress this year. Experts recommended creating an interconnected network of bike lanes so a bicyclist can ride safely not only from point A to B in a city, but can get all the way around to point Z.

    The next five are Minneapolis, Austin, Cambridge, MA, Washington, DC (which has a bike share program and is the best way to view the nation's capital) and Boulder.

    It’s worth mentioning that even car-loving Los Angeles moved up 28 places on the magazine's list. This is a good example on how every major city is hopping on the bike infrastructure wave. Tinseltown does not want to be left behind. The mayor has instituted a “Great Streets” project to add more protected bike lanes and the city has added a “Bike Metro” bike share program.

    As you can see, it’s to the point now where cities don’t want to be seen as not having a comprehensive bicycle planning initiative. How embarrassing would it be to attend a National League of Cities meeting and discover you were the only municipality that wasn’t adding a huge number of bike lanes?

    More bike rooms will be built

    Mayors and city planners sure like the idea of everybody getting on their bikes and riding around town.

    This solves a lot of problems. For one, it helps with traffic, which is always a nightmare. Secondly, as we pointed out, building a protected bike lane is certainly easier and cheaper than building a highway or a train station. Then there are the headaches during the road construction process which is always behind schedule. Anybody remember “Carmaggedon” in L.A. or the “Big Dig” in Boston?

    bike room waterstone The newly renovated bike room in the Waterstone building featuring UpLift bike docks.

    Third, every major city now has a sustainability initiative. You want to save the planet. Here’s a big way to do it – make it easier for people to ride their bikes around town instead of drive.

    That includes creating bicycle storage. For short term bicycle parking, add more bike racks around town. Take one car parking space and add a bike corral for 12-18 bikes. Set aside more bicycle parking in parking garages.

    But then there’s the issue of long-term bicycle parking. When people return to their apartments, where are they going to park their bicycles? Nobody likes lugging a bicycle up a set of stairs. Or bringing a bicycle covered in mud and snow into an elevator.

    More and more cities are now passing zoning laws requiring the addition of bike rooms in apartment buildings. They want to see support for their investment in bike lanes around town. City officials generally are requiring at least one indoor bike parking space per dwelling unit. (Here’s a way to check bicycle zoning requirements in different cities. This link shows Los Angeles’ requirements as an example).

    Smart real estate marketers use an attractive bike room as a selling feature, just like a spa, roof top terrace or a gym (and by the way, a bike room is much less expensive to build). With advancements in the manufacturing of vertical bike racks, more bicycles can be stored indoors without taking up large amounts of square footage which is obviously at a premium.

    Savvy architects are creating bike rooms that are not only equipped with convenient, space-saving vertical bike racks, but also with amenities such as showers, lockers, bike repair stations, bike washing stations and air pumps.

    One building in NYC is placing their bike room on the 19th floor with a view. How appealing is that to an avid bicyclist?

    President Trump will spend a “YUGE” amount of money on infrastructure. Will that mean more bike lanes?

    Let’s face it. Donald Trump may now be president, but he’s always been a builder. He has pledged to spend a trillion dollars to rebuild the country’s infrastructure of roads and bridges.

    Wouldn’t it be great if some of that money was dedicated to improving our country’s bicycling infrastructure? Once planners start to create a blueprint for the actual work and see the “YUGE” cost of building all those highways - adding bike lanes and bike parking racks as an alternative is certainly going to have some merit.

    bike parking racks As more people commute by bicycle, more bike parking racks will be required.

    Groups like the League of American Bicyclists have their eyes on that trillion dollars as well and are making the case to leaders in Congress to be sure bicycles are considered in that overall plan. The group urges every bicycling citizen to do the same.

    All in all – next year should be a great year for bike commuters and bicyclists in general. Sure, there is opposition. Some times the construction of a new protected bike lane makes it harder for motorists and they complain to City Hall. In fact, there have been instances where bike lanes have been ripped up and removed from roadways. That’s going to happen. We are in a transition period and adjustments will be made.

    But when you look at the numbers, bicycling across the America is on the rise. You want to address sustainability, pollution, congestion and health issues? Here’s a no-brainer way to do it.

    Make it easier for people to ride their bikes to work on protected bike lanes, ride their bikes around town on connected networks, store their bikes in dedicated bike rooms and safely cross intersections. Do that and more people will gladly pedal a bicycle.

    For proof, all you need to do it look overseas at cities like Copenhagen. They built a fantastic bicycle infrastructure and now HALF of the people there commute by bicycle. Automobile traffic and the associated smog has been reduced dramatically. It is estimated that the capital region of Denmark has one million fewer sick days.

    Imagine what that would mean to a city like NYC? You could literally close thoroughfares like Fifth Avenue. Turn them into pedestrian and bicycle plazas filled with planters, sidewalk vendors, and park benches instead of smelly and dangerous cars. Reduce air pollution. Eliminate traffic jams. Help people exercise. Wouldn’t that raise the quality of life in any city?

    Increasing bicycling infrastructure is a simple, inexpensive solution that works. Let's keep the momentum rolling in 2017.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Interview With Andy Clarke from Toole Design Group on Bicycle Planning

    bicycle planning As urban populations grow, bicycle planning in cities is more critical than ever.

    By Gerald Dlubula

    “Contrary to belief, our cities are alive and well, and we ought to be designing them as such, with walking, biking, and transportation modes that offer better and easier access.”

    So says Andy Clarke, Director of Strategy at Toole Design Group, one of the nation’s leading planning, engineering, and landscape architectural firms specializing in bicycle and pedestrian transportation.

    “The perceived importance of bike and pedestrian planning in developments is still not quite clear though,” Clarke added. “It still seems more likely to come up at the end of discussions about the master plan design, or even later on, in redevelopment situations, rather than up front where it should be.  And even then, it’s by no means a given. While it should be included in any plan, there is still plenty to do in the methods to measure any practical results.”

    “Bike and pedestrian planning seem to still be an afterthought,” says Clarke. “When planning a city’s transportation needs, there still, even today, is a strong tendency to start by planning for motor vehicle traffic first, and if there happens to be any space or resources left, then maybe, just maybe the leftovers can be assigned to bike and pedestrian traffic. It’s really an antiquated and backward way of looking at the design for our cities, which contrary to conventional wisdom for decades, are alive and well.”

    True Sustainability Demands A Change In Thinking

    bicycle planning Bicycle riders in Copenhagen, one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world.

    Clarke knows that change is always hard, especially when it involves our way of thinking and lifelong habits. What does he think has to happen to bring about a change in how planners and designers think?

    “In order to build communities in a sustainable way, i.e. taking into account everything from climate, energy, culture, social responsibility and more, the priorities during the initial design demand change. Realistically, we ought to be designing for pedestrian movement, bicycle commuting, and sustainable, locally based transportation needs first. Then we can work our way towards connectivity of all these transit options, and then worry about motor vehicle traffic flow after that.”

    It’s what people want, we know that,” says Clarke. “Walkable and bike friendly communities are not only possible, but when achieved, they really do provide the most spectacular places when allowed to grow organically. People are out and about, enjoying the community in which they live.”

    But as Clarke cautioned, “It’s a huge ship to turn to get this type of thinking in the mainstream.

    Listening, Bike Parking And Storage Are Key

    Clarke stresses that you can’t have a discussion about cycling and pedestrian based, sustainably-designed cities without including bike parking and bike storage options. So why not include the end users in these discussions?

    “Parking racks and bike storage rooms are extremely important when discussing bike planning, whether in communities or in the workplace,” Clarke says. “More employers are looking at installing and providing bike parking and storage rooms, and that’s great. They need first and foremost, to be located close to the entrance/exit of the facility. If the parking racks aren’t placed in the right spot, meaning convenient, easy to access and use, and near the entrance to the destination, the cyclists will simply park their bikes where they want, somewhere close and able to handle a lock,” says Clarke. “Cyclists will tell us where the most appropriate, ideal places for parking and storage are,”

    Clarke adds, “And we need to listen to them, otherwise those parking racks will end up tucked somewhere out of the way, being unused sculpture-like accessories instead of useful, inviting, bike parking solutions.”

    “We need to use cyclists and all experienced riders as sounding boards, then use that information combined with focused thought and a deliberate approach to our planning and design.

    Clarke does see a trend in many employers’ views on bike commuting these days. With more of the workforce turning to bike commuting, they’re starting to pay attention and take action, realizing that it’s another way to draw and keep top future talent in their organization.

    “More and more employers are realizing how valuable it can be to attract commuting cyclists to their company workforce,” says Clarke. “They are installing more usable bike parking for sure, but many are going beyond the basic bike rack, and making available higher end options like bike rooms for more secure storage, as well as shower facilities and personal storage lockers.”

    Important Points On Location Of Bike Rooms And Storage

    According to Clarke, whether installing bike storage areas or building bike storage rooms, there are important conditions that should be met:

    • Bike rooms need to be in close proximity to the entrance of the building or development. High visibility breeds trust.
    • Safety and security should be a priority. Bike parking facilities and storage rooms should be well lit, and in safe, guarded locations that are in close proximity and in full view of or inside the facility they are developed for. With the cost of specialized bikes approaching five figures, the rider should expect and receive the same safety and security as if they are driving a car and parking on premises.
    • Quick, easy, non-complicated access and operation is a must. The ability to park and store commuter bikes shouldn’t come with highly specialized instructions or intimidating rules. Make the storage facility and parking area as straightforward to use as possible. Hands-free operation can be a great help if the rider has arms full of backpacks or work satchels.
    • The space needs to be kept clean, with receptacles available to help the area stay free of litter and trash.
    • Parking areas and storage rooms are best trusted if the user is able to customize their options to fit their individual needs, like unique, personal codes for accessibility.
    • Seldom used but highly appreciated accessories can be kept in the storage room, like inflators or a basic tool set to use when needed. It can be protected by individually customized access codes.
    • Adequate floor space is essential. With the inherent designs of bicycles, we all know how easy it is to get them tangled or hung up on other bikes when piled into a rack system. Adequate space allows the rider the space to park and maneuver around without the fear of knocking or damaging their property or the property of others.

     

    Clarke has been in the business of bike and pedestrian planning for a long time, sporting three decades of experience in national and international bicycle and pedestrian policy, planning and program experience, including 12 years as President of the League of American Bicyclists.

    And although it hasn’t happened nearly fast enough, he has seen changes in bike commuting, specifically in larger metropolitan areas like Washington DC, New York, and Philadelphia.

    “But the most important thing you can do in planning and design of bike and pedestrian cities,” says Clarke, is “ask the users. It sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many decisions are made for people that haven’t been consulted as to what they really need. That’s not the way to build trust.”

    “Bike sharing has become a viable and economical alternative to other modes of transportation,” Clarke says. “And that’s a huge, critical change in commuters’ perception, seeing it as a viable means of travel, particularly for everyday, practical use.”

     

    Solutions For More Successful Bike and Pedestrian Design 

    In order to keep this positive news trending in the right direction, and hopefully accelerating the growth of bike and pedestrian planning and design, Clarke offered these insights into what must be done:

    • Make bike and pedestrian design a priority in the planning phase, not an extra benefit only if resources allow.
    • Start training and hiring engineers and planners with legitimate credentials, insights, and experience within the biking and pedestrian community. Quit hiring old school motor vehicle traffic engineers and expect them to prioritize bike and pedestrian design.
    • Support, promote, and believe in the decision to prioritize bike and pedestrian planning and design.
    • Treat and approach all new projects as dependent ecosystems. There should be no more individual, singular focused projects. They will all affect one another in some way, so the bike and pedestrian plans and designs, which will still demand strong engineering skills, must now be approached on a multi-disciplinary level to be successful.

    In so many current situations, bike and pedestrian paths start and stop, disappear and reappear randomly, leaving the rider and walker confused as to where they are supposed to go from one area to the other.

    This type of planning, which is happening in many cities that are now trying to retrofit bike lanes into their motor vehicle paths, is confusing, dangerous, and a main reason that bike commuting doesn’t grow and remain sustainable.

    With clearly marked, accessible bike infrastructure, you are allowing more people, both experienced and those that are newer to bike commuting, a chance to get on a bike and ride, knowing that they have a clear, safe path to follow.

    As far as Andy Clarke is concerned, “It’s about 30 years overdue.

     

     

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