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Town Square

Survey says: Bike racks not used

Original post made on Jan 31, 2013

A survey of bike racks in the downtown area Friday, Dec. 28, found two of the 68 stands in use, it was reported Monday night at the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Committee meeting.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 10:09 PM

Comments

Posted by Steve Rosefield, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 31, 2013 at 3:06 am

First of all I very much appreciate that the city is interested in providing "parking" for bikes. However outside of the fact that these things provide a secured surface to lock something to (as do many other things if your inclined to lock and walk), what other feature exactly qualifies these things as bike racks? Like hundreds of others in the area I am downtown with a bike at least three times a week. It never even occurred to me that these things were "bike racks". And now that I know I still wouldn't be inclined to use them. A decent road bike is several (and sometimes several x2 or x3) thousand dollars. A unit that doesn't provide a stable way make sure your carbon fiber wonder bike doesn't fall over when someone brushes past really defeats the goal of providing it in the first place.


Posted by AnnaS, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 31, 2013 at 8:30 am

I think that Deborah Wahl made the best and probably the only working suggestion. Downtown Pleasanton is too small for both cars, bikes and pedestrians feel comfortable. Ideally, no one except of business owners and people who live there should drive or ride a bike there. But, if building enough car parking lots outside downtown cannot be done fast, building one or two safe, preferably covered places for bikes, should be doable.


Posted by Lynn, a resident of Parkside
on Jan 31, 2013 at 8:37 am

You need to recheck the bike racks in the summer. We ride our bikes downtown in the summer and have shared bike racks with others. I think there are a good number of bike racks and spread out nicely throughout downtown.


Posted by Dave Walden, a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2013 at 8:47 am

Dave Walden is a registered user.

Thank you Rick Romine.

I lived in Pleasanton for 35 years and have yet to use the "U" shaped bike racks. I have found them useful though to lean my butt (can I write butt) on while watching a parade. I did not see it, but I am old and my eyesight is questionable - are they thinking of removing existing ones, if so that does not make sense because five years from now some committee will see the error of their ways and re-install them at $1,000 each. Leave them alone.

I hope we are not using city staff to do a "U" shaped bike rack survey. How about getting Amador High School civics classes to do it as a project where they might learn something and we could put staff to better use.

Oh well, I will go back to work now:-)


Posted by Frank Lynn, a resident of Valley Trails
on Jan 31, 2013 at 9:25 am

Leave the bike racks alone. They are useful, don't impede foot traffic, aren't a fire hazard, etc. It's not to smart to do a bike rack usage survey in one of the coldest, rainiest months of the year. Not every Pleasantonian has a $2,000 bike. And with a U-lock, you can at least keep the frame from getting ripped off - no matter the cost of the bike. I think most people aren't going to try to saw a bike lock in broad daylight downtown - the likely time when most cyclists would be downtown with a parked bike. And some of us merely rest our bikes against them as we patronize eating establishments where there is outdoor seating.

There are a lot more pressing issues regarding traffic and public safety in Pleasanton. Apparently someone on a government committee has perceived a problem when there isn't one and already wasted city resources. Unfortunately, this is a reason why people lose faith in local government


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:09 am

I agree with the statement in the story that Pleasanton bike riders tend to own and ride more expensive bikes and are reluctant to lock and leave them on the sidewalk. Look in front of Tully's or Peets or even Starbucks and see nice bikes that people want to keep within their sight. Perhaps that's one answer: more and more appealing bike racks near places where bikes cluster, especially at the cafes. In Berkeley, there is far more diversity in the types and quality of bikes people ride. More people in Berkeley use bikes for regular transportation. So, you see many more bikes locked to that city's many racks. In Pleasanton, you have more weekend riders with more precious "status" bikes. Owners are more protective of those, though I wonder what the bike theft/vandalism rate is in Pleasanton (not counting the BART station, which, by the way, has lots of bike racks which are heavily used).


Posted by Timothy T, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:13 am

The fact that they did a survey on this during one of the coldest days of the year certainly explains why our "Traffic Engineer" can't even seem to get the traffic lights right in Pleasanton.

We also need to start enforcing the state law that doesn't allow for people to ride bikes on the sidewalks. It's dangerous and I watch people that are walking have a near miss with someone on a bike almost every week.

I guess we can just wait until someone is critically hurt or killed before we do that. You know, like with our crosswalks.


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:21 am

I think they should eliminate car traffic completely in the downtown area, that should increase the bike rack usage?


Posted by Karla , a resident of Danbury Park
on Jan 31, 2013 at 11:00 am

Yes, Please do recheck the bike racks during warmer weather. This has been the third coldest (and driest) January on record. It's no surprise that the bike racks were empty at the end of December. Right now our bikes sit patiently in the garage, waiting for Spring. Please check the racks again, later. We ride our bikes constantly during nice weather. Farmers Market, around downtown, to visit family, go wine tasting, have lunch and just generally, around. Please leave the bike racks where they are and check again when it is not so chilly.


Posted by Tim H, a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 11:05 am

We should never trust these kinds of surveys. Was the surveyer a libertarian firm or was it socialist? Was it in support of cigar smoking Humvee drivers on their way to realize their freedom on the golf course, or was it financed by the United Nations in its totalitarian attempt to take our cars away and make everyone ride bikes?

It reminds me of when I was at the DMV. The lines were probably over 200 people long, but I got right in. Hence my keen deduction that the DMV is succeeding despite severe cuts to its staff.


Posted by HumbleCake, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 31, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Two Observations - The city selected the worst shaped bike racks. My bike will not stay up when it is locked to that thing. Secondly, $500 for one bent tube with a green paint job and two welds? So continues our cities reputation of getting ripped off. A decent metal shop could make those for $100 and probably less..


Posted by Inge, a resident of Rosepointe
on Jan 31, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Would love to see a bike rack installed near Tully's. I usually lock mine to a tree or a post. Also, even though my bike is not super expensive, I like to keep it within my sight to reduce the chance of it being stolen or vandalized.


Posted by Ann, a resident of Val Vista
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:00 pm

I've ridden my bike downtown for the past 35 years and while the current bike racks are not perfect, at least they are there. My only problem with them is that you can only comfortably park one bike at each. If two bike riders are going to the same location, someone has to park down the street. So, either more businesses need to provide their own racks or there should be a few more.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2013 at 9:54 am

I've always been rather leery of riding my bike in the main downtown area-- it's a choice between riding in the street sandwiched between traffic and parked cars (not fun; narrow space + people opening car doors directly in my path!), or riding on the sidewalk (risking the safety of both myself and pedestrians). I agree with the comment that there isn't enough room for drivers, pedestrians, AND cyclists. I've always felt that the downtown area doesn't provide adequate space for walking, and there aren't designated bike lanes. When I do ride my bike, I usually end up locking up my bike at the library and walking from there.


Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I just checked, and ice cream sales are down in January, too.

Guess it's time to close down all the ice cream shops.

It's not as if some things are used more in spring and summer, right?

p.s.--If you paid $2,000 for a bike and you're not a professional cyclist, you paid too much.


Posted by The survey says-, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Earthshaking survey. My gosh, let's call "60 Minutes"!!!

Who rides their bike in the winter three days after Christmas?

So our taxpayer funded, city paid employees to go around and walk around looking at bike racks?