Encouraging biking could help with parking woes

info@islandpacket.comOctober 31, 2013 

During this years' public debate about downtown Bluffton's parking problems, one word is conspicuously absent -- bicycles.

Calhoun Street is at the center of a fairly robust and safe bicycling network in the greater Bluffton area. Yet there are virtually no bicycle parking facilities provided by merchants or the town of Bluffton to accommodate Blufftonians inclined to ride bicycles downtown, nor is there any encouragement offered by anyone to do so.

The logic and need to promote this should be compelling; one vehicle parking space converted to a bike corral can accommodate 6 to 10 bicycles. Add bike racks near commercial establishments, and the numbers will add up quickly. And for major community events, perhaps temporary bike parking corrals similar to the ones successfully employed at the RBC Heritage golf tournament and the upcoming Concours D'Elegance would help.

Bike parking facilities by themselves are not the solution to downtown Blufftons' parking problems, but surely they should be in the mix of long-term solutions.

Frank Babel

Palmetto Cycling Coalition

Hilton Head Island

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