Mountain Equipment Coop is a large outdoor clothing and equipment retailer that recently located a major new outlet in downtown Victoria. Plans to include sidewalk bike racks were overtaken by work through the city’s Cycling Advisory Committee to propose a weather protected shelter over newly dedicated street space along the store frontage.
The proposal developed converted a couple of on street parking spaces into a new concrete platform where the facility was installed. Initial plans for a custom designed, purpose built cover evolved into a more cost effective use of an off-the shelf, over-sized bus shelter provided by Pattison Outdoor in Vancouver, a company that manages an advertising supported transit stop program.
The city’s signature inverted “U” racks were replaced in the final design by a pair of CORA “coat hanger” racks to reduce rack and installation expenses. Cyclists access the facility from the sidewalk and a curb ramp. Exit ramps were not provided deliberately, to ensure cyclists entering the street were more careful and backside glass ensures access and egress only from the sidewalk side for similar reasons. Advertising panels usual at transit stops were dispensed with to ensure visibility into the facility to protect against theft and vandalism.
Without the subsidy of advertising, the $20K cost of the project was shared by the city and MEC.
The facility was immediately popular and has been used to model other facilities starting to emerge in the city. Victoria expects to expand their bike parking program to provide similar enhancements and other solutions for a rapidly growing cycling population.