The great thing about cycling around town is that all parking is free. In fact, we don’t think there is a place in Cardiff that’ll charge you to park your bike.
However, one problem we’ve encountered on a number of occasions is a lack of guidance on exactly where you can park.
Let’s take the local supermarket for example. We know for certain that our nearest supermarket provides cycle parking, but if you look on the website for that particular store, it won’t mention cycle parking at all.
We’ve also had to contact a nearby hospital, Royal Glamorgan directly to find out if cycle parking is available. Both the supermarket and the hospital are in the middle of nowhere, so this is the sort of information you need before you set off. As it turns out, Royal Glamorgan has cycle parking, but it is near their “facilities” offices, but we’ve yet to find anything resembling a rack…
It got us thinking. Have we been barking up the wrong tree when it comes to infrastructure? We mean, we already have the routes taken care of –they’re called “roads” and they cover most of the UK. Don’t get me wrong, it would help if there were fewer cars and they travelled a bit slower, but we can’t have it all. What we are not so clear about is where we can safely park our bikes when we get to our destination.
Anyone with a car will know that feeling of having second thoughts about making a journey, especially if it is to somewhere you know parking is going to be a problem –Penarth town centre, for example. The same is true for people on bikes.
Here’s how you can help
We’re planning to pursue a more robust solution with a few fellow cycle campaigners, but in the meantime we’d like to start collecting some information to get an idea of what we have. This is the part where we ask for your help.
We’ve created a Flickr group. What we would like you to do, if you are willing, is with your smartphone (with GPS turned on) take a photo of any bike stands you come across in Cardiff and add it to the group. Flickr has very nice iOS and Android apps and a basic account on Flickr is free. We’re not looking for artistically pleasing pictures of bike racks, but we’re not going to put you off. No, we just want them to show up on the map.
We’ll then be able to view the group’s map and see each parking area as a dot. Of particular interest is “destination” locations – hospitals, entertainment venues, supermarkets, high streets, that sort of thing. For a bit of bonus credit, take note of the number of racks in that area and add it to the caption, but it’s not required.
We’ll also be able to spot any major gaps in provision and attempt to apply a bit of gentle persuasion to correct that.
Thanks in advance!