Bicycle Racks

Thanh -- February 12th, 2008

I love to bike around. And I love it when I’m able to lock my bike up to a good bicycle rack and not have to feel bad about locking my bike up to a street sign or poor tree. Hooray for new bicycle racks around the City! Through funds available from the Community Development Block Grant, the City of Harrisonburg ordered 28 new bicycle racks in December.

New bicycle racks were either delivered to or mounted throughout the City in the last two weeks at locations including: Keister, Spotswood, Stone Spring, and Waterman Elementary Schools, Thomas Harrison Middle School, Court Square (3 bicycle racks total), in the parking lot on Main St in front of the Shenandoah Bicycle Shop, at 3 Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority (HRHA) properties, at the Boys & Girls Club (Simms School), in front of the Free Clinic on Water Street, Massanutten Regional Library, under the Water St parking deck, in front of the City Municipal building, in front of Community Development/ Council Chambers, Public Safety Building, and at Our Community Place. Bicycle racks are still to be delivered to/ mounted at Harrisonburg High School, next to the new Farmers Market Pavilion, Liberty Park, Hillandale Park, and the Community Activities Center. These racks either replaced old models that were falling apart or are of the old design that are often referred to as “wheel benders”, or these are the first bicycle rack at that location. The new bicycle racks are of the inverted-U design that supports the entire bike and allows users to better secure their bike lock.

The picture below was taken Friday Feb 8 at about 2pm, one day after the bicycle racks were installed on Court Square. Its quite a beautiful picture and very encouraging. 6 bicycles on Court Square!

Bicycle Racks on Court Square

As I am now paying closer attention to the availability of bicycle racks around town I have been surprised to find 2 sets of them at Harrisonburg Crossing, and one set at the shopping center where the Kroger is (they are of the not-so-great, but still useful, ribbon variety). I’ve heard individuals mention how great it would be if more shopping centers had at least one bicycle rack, and I’ve been wondering how citizens could encourage these commercial property owners to install bicycle racks. Any thoughts or known efforts?

The Healthy Community Council has also recognized a need for bicycle racks in and around Rockingham County. What locations in the County do you know of that could use a bicycle rack or two? A group of individuals are working on compiling an “Inventory of Needs” in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County so that if and when funding becomes available again, we can all jump on the opportunity and request more bicycle racks or use the list and ask it to be considered by City/ County officials and commercial property owners. If you have any ideas, please post them in the comments.

Happy riding!

10 Responses to “Bicycle Racks”

  1. finnegan says:

    I don’t think I would have noticed that it was a new rack on Court Square if you hadn’t pointed it out.

  2. Lisa says:

    I saw the one outside of the Public Safety Building when I was downtown yesterday and was planning to email you, but now I can do it publicly! Thanh, thanks for all your hard work researching alternative transportation in other communities, evaluating different rack styles, hand choosing all the locations, and arranging the block grant funds. I know you put many hours. Having more, improved bike racks around provides a great service to the community.

  3. Justin C says:

    The ones outside our office by Dave’s look great! Now it just needs to warm up a little so I can enjoy my ride downtown.

  4. Hlestyan says:

    Nice work, Thanh! These are so much nicer than the old ones around Court Square. When I am not parking my bike inside my office, I will definitely use these.

  5. Thanh says:

    I appreciate the thanks, but seriously. These bicycle racks would not have become a reality without the help and support of a lot of people! To start, lets thank the:

    – Bicycle & Pedestrian Committees – facilitated by city staff, and participants include a variety of average citizens like you and me. They have identified sidewalk, bike lanes, and other facility needs as well as brought the bicycle rack need to the table
    – Bicycle Club/s – definately a strong voice in advocating for bicycle friendly facilities. There are also several key individuals affilated with the club/s that have done a lot of work and provided a lot of support. These individuals attendance to public hearings and meetings speaks volumes to show support and interest
    – Safe Kids of the Shenandoah Valley – for also bringing attention to the need for bicycle racks and safe pedestrian and bicycle facilities. With other partners, they have also organized bike rodeos and secured a substantial grant, that is currently giving away 4,500 bicycle helmets to children
    – The school principals for recognizing the need for and agreeing to allow us to provide them with good bicycle racks to help encourage more children to ride their bikes to school, and also assisting with determining placement of the bicycle racks
    – The Public Works Department staff and the director of special projects for their support and assistance in coordinating the financing for this effort to get bicycle racks
    – Parks & Recreation Department staff for their support and assistance
    – The Public Works, Parks & Rec, and HRHA staff responsible for actually delivering and installing the bicycle racks
    – To Bob, who works at the company we bought the bicycle racks from, for all of his help – I learned a lot during this process
    – And all the individuals who shared their thoughts and concerns with their peers and continued the conversation
    – I could go on and on, but I hope you get the idea…


  6. Thanh says:

    Gosh, how could I have forgotten to write this: Thanks also to HDR and Lisa Ha, formerly with Downtown Parking Services, for asking for someone at PW to help them really take a look at the situation. There’s still a lot of people locking their bicycles to street signs/posts on East Market Street. I hope that these new bicycle racks encourage those individuals to lock their bikes on the racks instead. Unfortunately, the East Market St sidewalk (between Main and Mason) is too narrow to install bicycle racks for safe distance from car doors without blocking pedestrian passage, and is even too narrow right now for clear pedestrian passage when bikes are locked up on the street signs now. Thanks.

  7. johnmarr says:

    It sounds like you are accepting a major award – I’m picturing the Oscar’s…


  8. Thanh says:

    Well, a lot of people played a role in making this happen. Good things happen when people work together.

    I’m just happy for bicycle racks.

  9. MStyer says:

    Now we just need bike racks at Red Front and Food Lion. I don’t feel very good locking up to shopping carts.

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