Saddle up, cyclists. Raleigh plans this spring to install its first on-street parking corral for bikes.
It will replace an automobile parking space on the south side of East Hargett Street, just west of South Wilmington Street, near the Raleigh Times bar and restaurant.
A corral is a big bike rack. This one will have room for 10 to 12 bicycles, said Eric Lamb, the city's transportation planning director. It's being donated by Saris Cycling Group, a Wisconsin bike-rack maker.
Raleigh has regular bike racks, enough to provide free parking for about 100 bicycles, installed on sidewalks around the downtown. Sometimes these bikes compete for space with pedestrians on busy sidewalks. A sidewalk rack nearby will be removed when the on-street corral is installed on Hargett, Lamb said.
“If it gets good use and we don’t have any problems with maintenance or damage, maybe we can expand this to other locations” downtown or along Hillsborough Street, Lamb said. When this parking space is taken out of circulation for cars, the city will add two new metered parking spaces in a little-used commercial loading zone nearby.
Lamb said he knew of only one other on-street bike corral in the state -- in Wilmington.