Monday, August 29, 2011

I Have a Dream...

...that one day, cycling will be considered a worthwhile mode of transportation and included in all planning, especially that of the National Park Service in the urban core of a major metropolitan city like Washington.

I took poetic license with the famous words of the great Martin Luther King, Jr., because it is at the new monument dedicated to him that bike parking is becoming a hot issue for cyclists in DC these days.

From Greater Greater Washington (GGW) (with a link to my favorite DC cycling blog, Washcycle):
What about biking? Certainly the crowds around the Memorial itself make biking an inconsiderate choice in close proximity to the ceremony, but bike parking and/or a bike valet a short distance away would allow people to bike to the event and reduce Metro congestion. Unfortunately, there appears to be no bike parking at the memorial at all. 
GGW goes on to add:
That's not terribly surprising, as the MLK, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation website makes no mention of biking whatsoever. It appears as if biking was not even considered as an transportation option. In contrast, the a shuttle bus for drivers is provided from the parking lots at RFK stadium.
I double checked myself and did manage to find the following about bike parking at the Memorial on their website (underlining mine):

Landscape the bookstore plaza – Surrounding the auxiliary building are more cherry trees, benches, pavers and bike racks, water fountains and trash receptacles.
Mind you, that's the only place on the entire site where there's information about bike parking. I was only able to find it using Google and searching the entire site for the word "bike".

Two thoughts. First, discussion of bikes at the Memorial belongs on a page that's a little easier to find than this. Scratch that, discussion of how anyone(not just cyclists) can get to the Memorial should be easier to find than this! The complete URL for the one page with the word bike is the incredibly easy to find/remember:

Secondly, I think it's sad when bike racks are simply a "landscaping" element.

Here are a couple photos (not mine) of the current bike parking arrangement at the Memorial:

I'll try not to prejudge the Memorial. Construction is sure to continue even though it's now "open". I certainly hope that they install their "landscape elements" soon. Given the metro is so far away and that we shouldn't be encouraging too many cars to head downtown, it would do a lot to make the MLK Memorial more accessible to everyone. And given what Dr. King fought for, isn't that kind of accessibility something the Memorial should strive to incorporate?

1 comment:

  1. The DC metro area has come a long way in making the region more bicycle friendly in recent years. I, too, hope this is just a temporary oversight and that bicycle parking is integrated into the plan, and all future development in and around the city.