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Just in time for the start of the busy holiday event season, the City of St. Augustine has installed new bicycle parking racks in four locations, with another one about to be completed. Located in the downtown area, each new bike parking area accommodates 10-14 bikes and is free of charge.
The goal: to serve the growing number of current bicyclists, and to encourage more bicycling, especially during the city’s many special events.
To help ensure the parking areas will be used, the city worked to give bicyclists what they ask for in a proper bike parking structure: one that supports the bicycle in two places, allows both the frame and the wheel to be secured to reduce theft, and is adaptable to either front or back-in parking.
So the new parking racks are not the old familiar tire-holder model, which does not support the bicycle properly, but rather are the post-and-ring design recommended by the 2011 St. Augustine Bike Plan compiled by the North Florida TPO and Sprinkle Consulting.
These initial five locations were among those recommended by the bike plan which included suggestions for both new and replacement installations. The Historic Architectural Review Board approved the design of the parking racks as a component of the new Historic Downtown Streetscape Guidelines.
The first five new parking areas are all south of the Visitor Information Center and north of the Plaza de la Constitución:
• two on Cordova St., one adjacent to the Grace Methodist Church parking lot and the other adjacent to the Tolomato parking lot;
• one in the Toques Pl. parking lot,
• one on Treasury St. near its intersection with Spanish St., and
• one soon to be completed on Spanish St. near its intersection with Hypolita St.
The city hopes that the new parking locations will encourage a greater use of bicycles by those attending events in the downtown’s historic area.
Additionally, by providing parking locations, it is hoped that bicyclists will refrain from parking on private property or along the right-of-way using street signs and other fixtures which often block sidewalks.