Thursday, June 30, 2011

Downtown bikes

I took a picture yesterday that made me happy. I had walked a couple of blocks from my new office—which comes with the new job that has kept me too busy to blog for the past few days—to try a little sandwich shop in downtown Anchorage.

After I downed my pastrami and made a tiny dent in some work-related reading, I stepped out on the sidewalk an noticed a bunch of parking meters covered full of locked-up bicycles. I've spent little weekday time downtown over the past eight years, and during my first week back in the neighborhood, I've noticed a lot more bike commuters than I used to see.

But this was a sweet thing to witness. A long string of bicycles, and all sorts of people coming and going from nearby shops while wearing or carrying bike helmets. I like this change. And I think I'm going to like being downtown again.

Best of all, after three days of driving to work while learning a new routine, I rejoined the ranks of bike commuters this morning.


Steve said...

Yes, lots more people biking to work. And it's time to let businesses know which sorts of bike racks work and which are a pain.

Parking meters aren't good racks - you can just lift the bike up over the top of the meter.

Notorious T said...

I agree, Steve. Though I should point out that these meters were the two-headed variety, so they worked OK for U locks, at least while people dashed inside for lunch. Real racks would be better, though, in a number of ways.

Daniel said...

Love the photo- and what it signifies here in Anc.
Im not sure if there is anything similar in the Anc Bike Plan or if this would even fall under that; but watching some films over at street I learned there are several cities now (Cleveland comes to mind) that have amended into their new building codes requirements for a certain amount of bike parking in relation to how many occupants in the building. This goes for any large remodels as well as new construction, so even the old parts of the cities are getting the bike parking they need to promote commuting.

saved by biking said...

I have always thought that a builder could use some of that 1% for art for bike racks - fun, functional racks like the one at Sagaya.

Jakes said...

A sight for sore eyes! Never knew Anchorage had such a booming cycling community! Hopefully it will spread to the rest of America. Thanks for the great article!

Jeff Moser said...

We're seeing more bikes on the road here as well. Great news, except all the newbies don't seem educated. I frequently have people riding at me on the wrong side of the road, and see people riding the sidewalks or blasting through 4 way stops while there are cars waiting. This all comes at a time when we're passing laws that demand more respect for cyclists, but the cyclists don't seem to respect the existing rules! Much work to be done, but we're on the right path.