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Habit Coffee and Culture Bike Corral

  • Reclaiming street space to serve local business

Habit Coffee is a relatively new arrival in Victoria's downtown business culture. It's a popular destination for young people and a diverse downtown workforce. Many customers to the café arrive by bike. Nearby businesses also attract numbers of cyclists.

A very narrow sidewalk fronts the coffee shop and the owner sought assistance to fund a solution that would clear the sidewalk of bikes while giving his many cycling patrons a convenient place to park nearby. He sought us out and working with our Cycling Advisory Committee, helped identify an option for the location.

He had seen Portland's "bike corral" designs, coincidentally serving a coffee shop in the city's Belmont neighbourhood. Local businesses had petitioned the city to create bike parking "corrals" using inexpensive elements to cordon off street parking spaces to protect bikes and racks along sidewalks likewise too narrow for bike racks but also at destinations that attracted a lot of bike traffic.

We had also seen the facility and proposed a similar design for the Victoria location. With several hundred customers signing a petition at the coffee shop, we were easily able to convince a sympathetic city administration to plan a solution.

Going one better, the city paid for a concrete curb extension to convert two on street vehicle parking spaces into a bike parking facility. A CORA or "coat hanger" rack design has been used to keep costs in check, paid for by contributions from the coffee shop and other local businesses.

Like some other facilities, the rack has quickly filled with bikes and street furniture like light standards and signposts continue to be used for informal bike parking, signaling a need for further increases in better bike racks and similar types of parking cluster designs.