Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bike Parking At The Proposed new '7-11' On Nassau Street

Former West Coast Video Site, which may become a 7-11 convenience store.

Last night, Princeton's Site Plan Review Advisory Board (SPRAB) discussed a proposal to convert a disused video store at 259 Nassau Street into a 7-11 convenience store. The Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee has discussed seeking representation on SPRAB, to try to ensure that site plans include suitable accommodations for walkers and cyclists. Unlike other communities, Princeton currently lacks specific ordinances for developments to make accommodations for simple things like bike parking. In the medium-term, that is something that we hope to address. In the meantime, you can see below a letter sent to to encourage SPRAB board members to consider cyclists' needs.

Members of SPRAB,

My name is Sam Bunting and I am a citizen member of the Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, and also the Traffic and Transportation Committee. I understand that you will be discussing an application for a site plan at 259 Nassau Street at your meeting on Feb 11. I will not be able to attend your meeting because of a work commitment, however, I wanted to request that you carefully consider the question of bicycle parking at the proposed 7-11 convenience store. 

Princeton zoning does not include bike parking minimums, and many businesses have insufficient and sub-optimal bicycle parking. The result is that bicycle use is disincentivized, and that bikes end up locked to trees, benches and parking meters in a disorderly and often insecure manner. Princeton has a commitment as articulated in the Circulation Element of the Community Masterplan to 'entice people out of their cars'. Making suitable accommodations for bike parking is a simple way to help achieve this.

I request that SPRAB recommends that there are no fewer than ten, and preferably 20 bike parking spaces provided to support the requested use at 259 Nassau Street. Racks should be of the so-called 'staple' variety, and should be placed as close to the main entrance as possible. SPRAB members may prefer to consult bicycle parking ordinances from the City of Cambridge, MA, which are detailed and based on significant planning logic, with specific set minimums depending on different land uses. A link can be found here:

I thank the committee members for their consideration.

Sam Bunting

Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee

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