Ordinance would require bicycle parking for new parking lots

The City of Topeka is working to become a bike friendly city. Their latest plans include an ordinance that would require newly built parking lots to include bicycle parking.

“This helps us become a bike friendly community, and encourage more bike transportation choices,” said Bill Fiander, Planning Director for the City of Topeka.

Phase One of the Topeka Bikeways project consists of 32 miles of on-street infrastructure. With all of the additions, planners say there is something missing to make Topeka a bike friendly city.

“As we encourage and actually stripe bike ways, and lanes and bike paths, and we implement our 60 miles of planned bike ways and trails, we need destinations for people to park at when they actually arrive,” said Fiander.

The city has introduced an ordinance that would require any new “off street” parking or parking lots — to include additional parking for bicycles. The parking would include the wave structures, or the inverted ‘U,’ something where the bike could not be stolen.
Additional parking for bicycles has to be the equivalent of 5% of the number of vehicle parking spots. So if you have 100 spaces, you must have five spaces for bicycles, within 100 feet of the entrance.

The project would go into effect for all spaces like an apartment complex or store like Walgreens.

“Topeka needs to grow, just like the other communities, the other communities seem to reach out with development. And bike trails are very important,” said Chuck Dultmeier.

Chuck Dultmeier is a developer, he’s lived in Topeka since 1956, and has worked in the area for 40 years. He says compared to other cities, like Manhattan, he thinks the Bikeways project can boost the city.

“I think that will promote Topeka as far as bringing the industry here, bringing people here,” said Dultmeier.

The ordinance on bicycle parking standards will go to the City Council next week. The planning committee has recommended approval. If the council approves the plan, the ordinance would go into effect immediately. Any parking constructed after May 1st would need to have bicycle parking.

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