Leave the Car at Home; Royal Oak Considers Bike Corrals

Where would you like to see bike corrals installed in downtown Royal Oak?

An on-street bike corral in Coronado, CA Credit: Patch File Photo
An on-street bike corral in Coronado, CA Credit: Patch File Photo
The Royal Oak City Commission unanimously approved directing staff to determine locations for downtown bike corrals at its meeting Monday at City Hall.

"We've seen increased popularity of biking in the city," said Mayor Pro-Tem Dave Poulton, who asked that staff come up with a list of appropriate locations and costs for bike corrals. He also asked that the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) consider funding the corrals.

Commissioner Mike Fournier suggested bike corrals play into an overall marketing strategy to welcome cyclists to do their business in downtown Royal Oak.

Location, location, location

"As a cyclist I always want to park as close to where I’m going as possible because locks are easily broken and you always want to keep an eye on your bike," said Commissioner Peggy Goodwin, adding, "It’s not like parking a car. Parking a bike is much more tenuous and needs a lot more thought."

City Manager Don Johnson told commissioners the DDA has discussed bike corrals on a couple of occasions and there has been informal discussion of removing on-street parking and putting a corral on the street.

Last year, Ferndale made history when it became the first community to install an on-street bike rack along Woodward Avenue. The Michigan Department of Transportation signed off on Ferndale's DDA plan to install a bright yellow, 12-bike rack in a former car parking space on the east side of Woodward just north of Nine Mile Road.

Where should downtown bike parking be located?

Bike parking is part of the non-motorized policy to ensure roadway development considers all types of transportation, including pedestrians, bicyclists, people with disabilities and others, as well as trains, buses and automobiles.

We want to hear from you, Royal Oak. Where would you like to see bike corrals downtown?

Brett A. Hermance February 04, 2014 at 06:49 AM
hmmm. That's a tough one to answer!
Brett A. Hermance February 04, 2014 at 06:51 AM
I would like to see one in front or near Leo's Coney Island because it's open 24/7? Also one on Washington street somewhere or maybe even at the parking garage for weather protection!? :-)
Brett A. Hermance February 04, 2014 at 06:53 AM
Can I see a pic of the one in Ferndale? :-)
Ron Arnold February 04, 2014 at 07:37 AM
I'd love to see some dedicated scooter/motorcycle parking as well. I've spoken with Jim Ellison about this in the past, as they could put three meters on one space and generate more revenue. It would be good to try one and see if it would would. A dedicated and secure bicycle parking area is also a fantastic idea, and maybe the additional revenue from the dedicated scooter/motorcycle parking space could help pay for the free bicycle parking space.
nofuture February 04, 2014 at 08:03 AM
I bike in the city a lot, even commute when possible. It would be nice to have racks in the parking garages, keep the rain and snow off. But I would not pay for it. The bus station is a natural. But honestly, I use parking meters mostly. That is the way they do it everywhere. Amsterdam is world's best bike city- and they use anything bolted down.
Judy Davids (Editor) February 04, 2014 at 08:07 AM
This is what I love about Royal Oak Patch and why I couldn't stand to see it wither away. I know many commissioners read Patch and your opinions matter. Keep the good suggestions rolling in and Brett, I'll drive by Ferndale today and snap a photo of the Woodward bike rack.
Alethea February 04, 2014 at 08:22 AM
I love this idea. But I also think that some thought and action needs to go into making the city safe to bike in, or for that matter walk in. Dedicated bike lanes maybe? And what can be done about requiring businesses to clean their sidewalks within a reasonable timeframe after snow? I walked 6 blocks of Main yesterday morning between the Hollywood and Catalpa with my son in a stroller to get to Jazzercise and had to do half of it IN THE STREET!
Tim H February 04, 2014 at 08:28 AM
Judy, are you back in action? Glad to see your work again!
Brett A. Hermance February 04, 2014 at 09:17 AM
Aletha, I did the same thing for 2 miles! No one shoveled the walk yet because of storm warning and it was still snowing! The snow was about 4 inches deep or more on almost all the walks that day! I think people were waiting for the snow to stop. The Oak view Cemetery street where I have to walk daily NEVER shovels the walk along the street. They only shovel up to the gate and the office. But this is off the subject. Sorry yall!
Brett A. Hermance February 04, 2014 at 09:23 AM
Thanks Judy!
Judy Davids (Editor) February 04, 2014 at 10:02 AM
Commissioner Jeremy Mahrle was kind enough to send me a couple of photos of the Ferndale bike racks and save me a trip. :)
Patience February 04, 2014 at 11:06 AM
The idea of having a covered bike rack is nice. I use the one in the OCC parking structure in bad weather and am always the only one who seems to use it. I would love to see a spot near 2nd and center maybe in the parking structure there? and one closer to the south end of the downtown area maybe Lincoln and Washington? There is always the option of putting one half way through the downtown area. Of course we need much more bike friendly paths to ride on to encourage people to bring their bicycles down here. Since riding on the sidewalks in the downtown area will get us ticketed. It makes little sense to add in a bunch of bike racks if there is no where for people to actually ride at.
l.c. February 04, 2014 at 07:59 PM
I would hope this idea follows thru & not end up like the "sharrow" very limited program.maybe those whom decide should leave the 4 wheels at home for a change & join the real world.maybe the rental bicycle authority would be the ones to ask where to place a corral for bikes???time for a change.
Brett A. Hermance February 05, 2014 at 10:26 AM
I had no idea bikes were not allowed on the sidewalks. I did it for years and seen many others do the same. Never got a ticket or anything. Where else am I gonna ride my bike? The Streets? Dangerous! :-)
Ron Arnold February 05, 2014 at 11:01 AM
Unless you have small children on bikes, please don't use the pedestrian walkway for riding. Studies have suggested that it's actually more dangerous to ride on the sidewalk due to cars turning and not seeing a bicyclist (even when the cars have the right of way) and uncontrolled bicycles crossing from both directions. It's a mess for sure, and requires vigilance, patience and respect from both sides. Please make sure that you have flashing lights both front and rear on your bike, and always wear a helmet. I do.
Levi Jensen February 05, 2014 at 12:47 PM
Michael S. February 06, 2014 at 01:14 AM
it looks like those bike racks in ferndale are getting quite a bit of use and being maintained during these winter months so they can be used. What is wrong with the bike racks that we have already scattered through the downtown area? Is it the fact that people are getting away with parking their bikes for free and now the city is going to start making it mandatory to register their bikes and ticket them if they don't park at a bike rack and pay topark? I really don't see why we need more racks unless it is for the city to profit from.
Brett A. Hermance February 06, 2014 at 08:03 AM
I don't know where all the bike racks are in Royal Oak. I have only seen one at the Barnes and Noble. And one near the Royal Oak Transit Center. That's it. Maybe we need a map?
Patience February 06, 2014 at 11:18 AM
There are a few bike racks around the area. I think the city could use a few more though. Here is a list of just a few in or near the downtown area. Rite Aid, Rochester near Gardenia National Coney Island, 12 Mile and Main Detroit Zoo (main entrance) Main Theater (rear of building) Oakland County Community College, Washington and Lincoln (front and back entrances and one in the parking structure) Locations along streets throughout downtown, including: locations at Fourth 4th and Main, in front of Police Station on Third, and at Sixth and Main Starr Jaycee Park (near playground and shelter, by parking lot just off 13 Mile) Senior Community Center (north end of building) Royal Oak High School (back entrance across from football field) Northwood Elementary School (back of school and by playground) Royal Oak Public Library (front and back entrances) Hollywood Market on main (near the front entrance) I certainly think we could use more bike racks on Washington.
l.c. February 06, 2014 at 03:28 PM
why would anyone object to something as useful as a bicycle rack to protect against thieves unless they are a thief.there is also a rack at the Trek super store on Woodward N. of 12 mile.there was a locking stand at the post office but has not been replaced since repaving.
Michael S. February 06, 2014 at 05:08 PM
I am not against having bike racks but it seems like there are plenty in the city as it stands right now especially from the list of places that patience has posted. besides if the city plans to start having people ticketed who ride on the sidewalk i think that is going to deter people from coming to the area to ride since there are no designated bike lanes for safe travel the accident rates are probably going to increase making the city. it is not about supporting theft but thinking about things from a logical standpoint. the city wants to provide more parking for cyclists but doesn't want to increase the means in which the cyclists get to the racks to lock up their bikes. i can see if they decided to dedicate a bike lane or make safe bicycle travel possible so there is more of a demand for safe bike parking but right now it just seems ridiculous. also on a side note there is a bike rack at 4th and washington that seems to have been overlooked in someones list of bike racks.
l.c. February 06, 2014 at 09:32 PM
its not that difficult to walk a bicycle on the sidewalk & there are only 3 blocks at the most where one can not legally ride on the sidewalk soon.its not as big a deal as some suggest.also it may benefit those who have not read the long term goals of Non-motorized transportation plan. http://www.ci.royal-oak.mi.us/portal/webfm_send/1825
B Lans February 07, 2014 at 10:03 AM
Well put l.c. Common sense is to not ride bikes where there is a lot of pedestrians--cities everywhere have that rule though you wouldn't think they would have to. You're also right that this is addressed in the non-motorized plan and I also believe the recently revised master plan. It's a few bike racks strategically placed people! Lighten up!


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