Bike Parking As Valuable As Car Parking

January 18, 2012 | Homeowners

If you want to purchase a parking space in a downtown condo right now, you’ll find that it’s about the same price that an entire house cost, on average, in the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) in the 1950s.

That tells us a couple of things: 1) The fact that a paved piece of concrete that you cannot do anything with but park on costs $45,000! and; 2) You’re probably kicking yourself for not purchasing, or having your parents not purchase, many, many houses for about $45,000 back then to resell now for $460,000 (the average price today in the TREB).

But what about bikes? With this winter’s mild weather with hardly any snow to speak of, cycling was a very viable year-long transportation method for the past 12 months or so.

It is completely feasible to simply have a bike and walk anywhere needed in the downtown core and not have to worry about having a car or a parking space at all. If needed, there are so many car-sharing programs available that in the event of a car needed, there are short and long-term options available.

Yet do all downtown condos have a safe place to store bikes? The core is unfortunately known for having a rampant bike theft problem, so it’s really not an option to leave bikes out in the open 24/7. On top of that, most condos don’t want residents taking their bikes up the elevators to their suites for fear that they may damage the hallways or elevators.

It’s only recently that The Residences of College Park Phase 1 (763 Bay) installed safe, protected and camera-monitored bike racks in the building (at long last). Despite this community only being 5 years old, there were never bike racks built into the design, so residents had no where to park their bike. Plenty of car parking spaces, but nowhere for a bike. It illogically seems like more suburban-style thinking than urban design.

Right now though, a resident can rent a bike rack space for $60/year, which is good and reasonable, especially when you look at the average price tag for renting a parking space in College Park at $1,400/year. Just another reason to pick up that bike and make good use of it!

I’m really hoping that safe, underground bike racks become as normal in condos as car parking spaces are right now. It’s what this city needs to keep congestion and pollution out of the way and moving forward.