As part of its plan to install approximately 1,000 bicycle spaces downtown, Columbia, Missouri is replacing an automobile parking spot with a “bike corral”, but keeping the parking meter, hoping that cyclists will chip in a few coins to help offset the income from the “lost” parking space.
The bike corral marks the first time the city has replaced car parking with bike parking. No fines will be handed out if the meter expires, but contributions to the meter will influence future decisions on providing bicycle parking downtown.
“It’s a vote for bike parking is what I would call it,” Ted Curtis, senior planner for Columbia’s Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program said. “We don’t know if people will donate. We’re just asking.”
Fred Schmidt, 49, was on hand while city workers attempted to secure the corral into the ground on Thursday afternoon. Although his bike wasn’t locked to the corral yet, Schmidt still obeyed the sign hanging on the meter that reads, “Donate your change for more bicycle parking in the future!”
“I was very proud to put in the first quarter. It was a historic occasion,” Schmidt said. “My quarter is a small payment for what the city is doing for me.”
Read more: New downtown bike corrals ask for voluntary meter payments from the Columbia Missourian.