Bike Parking in the French Quarter
Accessible parking for both residents and commuters is critical for a growing community of bikers
Many “Bike Corrals” have been installed around the French Quarter! These corrals transform a section of street (about the size of a parking spot) into a designated place to securely park bicycles! After years of advocating and developing the extensive report, we at Bike Easy see this as a huge victory for the bicycling community.
While bicycle riding is thriving in New Orleans, bicycle parking in the French Quarter has become a contentious issue. Many FQ property and business owners have dealt with bicycles being locked to their private property. A lack of designated secure bicycle parking also creates congestion on side- walks, blocking the right of way for pedestrians on a daily basis. This analysis of bicycle parking in the Quarter provides baseline data about bicycle riders in this neighborhood and serves as the basis for Bike Easy’s proposed solutions to bicycle parking nuisance issues in the Quarter. We found:
- The majority of bicyclists said they are unlikely to walk more than three blocks from where they lock their bike to their final destination.
- Due to a lack of bike racks, riders believed that locking to gallery poles and private structures is secure and legal when it might be neither
- About half of our respondents work in the French Quarter and a quarter live in the French Quarter
- 3 of 4 riders report their bicycle as their primary mode of transportation
Bike Easy proposes that the City of New Orleans install a systematic bicycle parking system in the Quarter. In addition to installation of the bicycle racks, this systematic change includes a reclaiming of public space for safe and secure bicycle parking. Bike Easy and other stakeholders should develop a comprehensive public awareness program that includes education among bicyclists, property owners, businesses and their employees. We must continue encouraging bicycle riders to visit our businesses and commute to work without a car. The benefits of in- creased ridership include: reduced traffic congestion, reduced public space used for automobile parking, increased business for merchants, improvements to public health, improved air quality and increased community awareness of bicycling as a viable transportation option in New Orleans.
Once a solution is implemented and bike racks are installed: stakeholders, nonprofits and city agencies will need to educate bicycle riders about where it’s okay to park through a concerted and coordinated campaign. Bike Easy strongly believes that this will reduce impediments to pedestrian traffic and decrease the number of illegally parked bicycles, and ultimately increase ridership and commerce in the Quarter.