post and ring

Toronto needs more bike parking: here's how we can push for it

Post and ring bike parking is lacking in many heavily cycled parts of Toronto. The City of Toronto was once in the forefront of supplying short-term parking for cyclists and this may help explain why so many people bike despite the poor cycling infrastructure otherwise.

We've got to hold onto the parking we've got and push for more. Currently the City is slow to re-install the parking removed when sidewalks are reconstructed (or for other construction). And they seem slow to put in enough parking otherwise.

Here's a neat website, SeeClickFix, that allows people to post issues with their city and to get crowd-support. If people mark down where they think bike parking is critical, use the keywords "bike parking" or "post and ring", or vote on an existing issue then we can gather all this information to send to councillors and staff.

It's clear that there's more demand for parking than is being met. If the city doesn't want cyclists to lock to gas meters, trees or fences then we want them to take bike parking seriously.

Try it out! And while you're at it also submit your suggestion directly to the City through their online suggestion form. It would be good if they also get flooded with requests.

The motorists can have a vegetable garden, why can't we?

Seeing some of the commentary on my first post, I decided that it would be helpful to show you just how the street in question is laid out.

Street with markings.: Satellite image from Google.Street with markings.: Satellite image from Google.

First post (and ring)

[Editors: We'd like to welcome Kris as a guest blogger who in his first segment is going to document his pursuit of bike parking. Kris is a long term organizer of Critical Ass and a ward captain in the bike union.]

Bike parking on College.: (Wikimedia/Xavier Snelgrove)Bike parking on College.: (Wikimedia/Xavier Snelgrove)

I've never been one to shy away from a good challenge. Really. One of the challenges I'm looking at right now is to get the city to install some bike parking in an odd little corner of the city. One of those unique little places that it would be completely impractical to accomodate in any official policies or guidelines as an exception to the general principles (because you'd have to list it, and all the others not quite like it, one at a time).

As far as I can tell, the place where I want to get some bike parking isn't a bad place to have it. It's just going to be politically inconvenient to get it installed. I expect the city staff to be busy enough with other things that I'll have to shoulder a good deal of the inconvenience myself.

So that's what I'm going to do. And I'm going to write about it here. That way, when you want to get some bike parking installed, you can take a look at your situation, figure that it isn't any worse than this one, and be able to refer back here as a guide if you need it.

Toronto Star: Wobbly bike posts a gift for thieves

Broken post and ring rack
Jack Lackey is reporting in today's Fixer column in the Toronto Star that many of Toronto's famous "Post and Ring" style bike racks are easily removed.

"We checked yesterday and found one laying on the ground, but the rest appeared to be okay – until we pulled on one and found it could be hoisted out of its hole with almost no effort. Three posts were still in their holes in some inlaid brick, but not securely anchored."

Dan Egan, manager of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure at the City is apparently getting it fixed.

Cyclists: Please be careful when locking your bikes up. If you're locking to a bike rack (post and ring, or other style), make sure you: 1) Verify that it's securely anchored to the ground or other unmoveable object, 2) In good condition and not falling apart (some of the rings come loose!), and 3) Follow the usual "best practices" when locking your bike (use a good lock, park in a well-lit and trafficked area, lock as many parts of the bike as possible, etc.).

Bike theft won't go away any time soon, but let's at least make it more difficult for the thieves.

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