Saturday, August 22, 2015

Better Placed 'Bike Rooms' needed in StudioCentre proposal on Eastern

 - to reduce the rate of increase in neighbourhood motor vehicle volumes 

Ward 30 Bikes' "Eastern Avenue Working Group" is making steady progress on our submission to City Planning about the proposed StudioCentre development on the south side of Eastern Ave between Pape and Larchmount.

From our still-in-draft report, this is a snippet about the Bike Rooms indicated on the drawings near loading docks in 5 buildings:

Bike (parking) Rooms in drawings submitted by StudioCentre are located right next to loading docks. This is the worst place to put them.

Best Practice says they should be view-able from the street like an apartments' front entrance door --- and especially not in a narrow service alley shared with loading docks and a parking garage ramp connected to the street grid via a rear roadway intended mainly for solid waste and delivery trucks.  

As an example of this (and other*) best practice - translated into a retail/office box development context, I sketched a better placed StudioCentre Bike Room on their most recently submitted ground elevation drawings (June 2015).

Full Size:

As an example, I moved the Bike Room in Building 03 (southwest corner of Eastern and new lower Caroline) such that it now it has:
  • Two sets of double wide doors right beside the main entrance to the buildings' Foyer (perhaps grocery store style sensor-opening sliding doors?);
  • Two doorways to the Foyer, one that leads directly to the elevator banks, and one that leads to the stairs (totally integrated);
  • Propose a glass street-front wall, and a glass divider wall between the Bike Room and the Foyer (this keeps 'eyes' on the Bike Room and advertises the developer's sustainable transportation amenity - which helps to create buy-in by tenants and employees);
  • Propose a washroom in each Bike Room - which should include a shower and lockers (might consider a cost effective, unisex facility: common counter and sinks; locking, single toilet rooms; locking shower room; a wall of half-high lockers).

* (and other best practice about bike parking) - separate motor vehicle spaces and bike spaces wherever possible; locate bike parking as close to the main entrance as possible; create a safe, accessible, well lit, calm egress to the amenity; create a warm, bright, visible, welcoming bike parking space - via:

City of Toronto May 2008 | "Guidelines for the Design and Management of Bicycle Parking Facilities" - ideas sprinkled through-out the report, specifically see Part 2.4.4 - Indoor Bicycle Parking (Bike Room) - p. 10 |


Image source: 629 Eastern Developer Changes (presentation at a June 25, 2015 public meeting at Revivals' newly renovated digital arts studio space off lower Winnifred) |



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