A small and simple part of riding a bicycle anywhere, yet such a key part of the journey. Bicycle racks are a key part of cycling. If it is available, it can be a huge encouragement for many people considering taking their bicycle on the road and if it’s not available then it becomes a big reason many will not even consider using a bicycle for transportation.

No matter the reason for a cyclist’s ride, it is important that when they get to their destination that they can lock up their bicycle and walk away from it knowing it will be there when they get back.

In the world of bicycles there are many different kinds of bicycle racks or bicycle parking. From the very basic u-shaped stand to entire rooms with lockers and showers. These all fall under the umbrella of “end-of-ride facilities”. Of course, the type of end-of-ride facility that is available is usually dependent on the demand and location of the facilities. Parking outside of a strip of stores is most likely going to be small, simple, and free for short trips. It will take up very little space, allowing for room around it so that it is not blocking traffic on the sidewalk or incoming foot traffic from the street.  While a train station may have bicycle lockers where cyclists can lock their bikes in a secure and weather resistant locker for a few hours for a small fee. And employers in a big city that want to encourage their employees to be more active or commute by bicycle will sometimes create whole rooms or large spaces for bicycles complete with small repair stands, personal lockers, and showers.

Location is everything. If cyclists can’t find the bicycle rack then they can’t use it. Racks should be in front of businesses, parks, parking lots, etc., in view of a street. Not hiding behind buildings or in alleyways.

Obviously Jamaica’s few sidewalks in good shape do not look like the one above. The image above depicts a sidewalk that is wide enough to be shared by many people and still accommodate parking for bicycles and benches. This is an ideal setting because cities are made for people and not cars. Again, something to aspire to for Jamaica as a country. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. A quick Google search will show you that there are many types of bike racks and that a lot of thought should be put into their style and location.

What are your thoughts on parking for bicycles around the island?

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