The Cambrian

Cambria gets 3 new bike racks — and this couple wants to add more

ktanner@thetribunenews.com

There are three new bike racks in Cambria, provided by Peak Racks in San Luis Obispo and courtesy of a concerted drive launched by Cambria residents Mark and Susan Garman and others.

Now, they’re all on the hunt for locations and sponsors for additional racks onto which bicycles can be chain-locked.

Two of the new seafoam green racks are located in the Veterans Memorial Building parking lot and another is across from the new little Hidden Kitchen eatery in the back courtyard of The Nest Gallery, 2164 Center Street in Cambria’s East Village.

There’s already a sponsor for one rack at the vets hall lot, but sponsors are still needed for the other one there and the Hidden Kitchen rack. Other locations are being researched by the Garmans, North Coast Advisory Council and its Traffic Committee, Cambria Tourism Board and others.

For some time, the Garmans have been making the rounds and promoting the bike-rack idea as being both environmentally friendly and just plain good business.

The effort is designed to increase the number of safe places where a cyclist can secure a bike when he or she comes into town to eat, shop, visit or sightsee.

The issue is more than just the prospect of being stranded somewhere away from home without wheels — high-tech cycles can retail in the four-, five- or even six-figure range.

Mark Garman told the North Coast Advisory Council in August that, because there have been so few safe spots onto which a pricey cycle can be secured, a lot of cyclists bypass the town completely.

Improvised, ill-placed bike parking opportunities frequently are inconvenient, unsafe and can block pedestrian access. There are official tie-down spots at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce and the library, he said, but they’re not marked well enough for an out-of-towner to find them easily.

In October, the council selected the green color as being noticeable and appropriate for Cambria.

Mike Britton, transportation planning and operations supervisor for county Public Works, told the council that encroachment permits are needed if a rack is installed on public property, and siting decisions would also be affected by traffic-safety concerns and requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

After a busy few months, Mark Garman posted Cambria bike-rack updates on social media Dec. 15, and posed a sponsorship suggestion to individuals, businesses and organizations.

He wrote that each rack “will have a custom brass plaque” engraved with the sponsor’s message. “Let all of Cambria know you value encouraging and supporting biking in our community.”

Garman noted that, “a standard vehicle parking space can convert to parking for 10-12 bicycles and their generally affluent owners.”

Donations are tax deductible, he said. Sponsorships range from $475 for a two-bike rack to $995 for a rack that accommodates eight bicycles.

Cambria isn’t the only location in SLO County where Peak Racks have been installed. There are a couple of Peak Racks in Morro Bay, including “a really nice one on the blufftop south of Dorn’s restaurant, near where the staircase goes down toward the Embarcadero,” Rod Hoadley of Peak Racks said. There are a few in downtown Arroyo Grande and a bunch of them throughout downtown San Luis Obispo, especially along Higuera and Monterey streets, he said.

To learn more about Peak Racks, go to www.peakracks.com. For information on a similar program in San Luis Obispo, go to www.slocity.org/government/department-directory/public-works/programs-and-services/bicycling/racks-with-plaques.

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