What are on-street bike corrals?
On-street bike parking corrals are a low-cost way to provide parking for 10 or more bicycles in the same space typically occupied by a car.
Why install a bike corral?
- Bike corrals make it more convenient and inviting for people to ride a bike to a business.
- Bike corrals make the walking environment more welcoming by removing bicycles from the sidewalk in addition to increasing bike traffic in a neighborhood.
- Bike corrals increase the visibility of bicycling as a transportation choice and show that a business community is “bike friendly”—that it cares about its customers who ride bicycles.
- When installed adjacent to sidewalk cafes, corrals provide an additional buffer between people and passing vehicles. And when installed near crosswalks, corrals can shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians.
Two municipal studies conducted in Toronto and San Francisco showed that “while motorists may spend more per visit, cyclists tend to visit [local merchants] more often, are more numerous, and spend more per month.”
These are some of the findings from a Portland State University study done on the economic benefits of bike corrals in Portland, Oregon:
- Eighty-four percent of business owners strongly agreed or agreed that bike corrals enhance the street and neighborhood for residents and patrons.
- Two-thirds of the businesses surveyed said the bike corrals increased foot and bike traffic in the area.
- Businesses observed that on average one out of every four of their customers are bicyclists.
What do customers think about bike parking corrals?
The presence of many bicycles parked in front of a business sends a message that an establishment is busy—and popular. People on bikes enjoy parking at—or close to—their destination. Customers who walk to businesses enjoy the increased availability of space on busy sidewalks with heavy foot traffic.
How much will it cost?
A standard red 10-bike corral can be furnished and installed by CDOT for $3,300. This cost includes the rack, installation, city permits, and delineator posts.
Alternatively, you may choose to purchase and install your own customized corral. Branding of the racks will typically cost about $700. The City requires a Use Agreement for the installation of custom racks.
How will it be maintained?
CDOT requires the business owner or organization, such as an SSA, to sign a maintenance agreement stating that the corral area will be kept free of debris and snow, and that they will notify CDOT of any extensive damage to the corral.
How do I get started?
Visit chicagocompletestreets.org/resources/cycling/request-a-bike-corral/ to get started.
What are people in Chicago saying about bike parking corrals?
“Our bike corral is a great addition to the streetscape. Businesses and people are so happy with that. We would like to put out another one.”
—Jessica Wobbekind, Program Manager at Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce
“People are diggin’ it; they’re drawn to it as a special space for their bike. It’s on the street, but it’s safe.”
—Eleazar Delgado, owner of Café Jumping Bean in Pilsen
“The corrals are clearly being used. They advertise that Andersonville promotes healthier modes of transportation.”
—Brian Bonnano, Sustainability Programs Manager at eco-Andersonville