Bike Parking Improvements for Summer 2023

Proposed locations of new hitch racks and temporary seasonal parking spaces.

Join City Staff and Members of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee to learn about the improvements to Bike Parking in Downtown Bath.

When: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 @ 4pm
Location: Bath City Hall Auditorium

What: We will provide an overview of the process for identifying the City’s bike parking needs and the benefits of improved parking downtown. We will take a short walking tour of the bike parking locations and address any concerns or questions raised by residents and business owners.

The updated bike parking is based on a multi-year process of testing and evaluating several different bike rack types and locations, incorporating ADA requirements, and responding to an increased demand from residents and visitors who are increasingly expecting reliable and secure places to lock their bikes when visiting Downtown Bath.

Benefits of Improved Bicycle Parking

Inadequate bike parking facilities is one of the leading reasons that people decide not to ride their bikes to a given location. Improved bicycle parking will encourage residents and visitors to bike Downtown, instead of driving cars, which will help support Bath in the following way:

  • Help Bath meet its climate goals and keep our air clean
  • Free up vehicle parking for others who need it
  • Improve community health
  • Strengthen Bath’s image as a bike-friendly community

What’s the Plan?

The improvements being made will add 18 new year road bike parking spaces, and up to 38 seasonal parking spaces for bikes.

9 New Permanent Hitch Racks

The City will be installing 9 permanent hitch racks, in convenient locations throughout Front St and Centre St. These racks can accommodate multiple styles of bikes and sturdy enough to handle eBikes and touring bikes with weight on them (eBike usage is on the increase in Bath). Each rack can hold two bicycles.

The racks are positioned to avoid impeding pedestrian walkways and adhering to ADA compliance. The racks are located in specific locations where bikes have historically been parked up against trees, lamps, and other non-official parking areas.

For approximate location of these new permanent racks, look for this image on the map above.

2 New Seasonal Parking Areas

Popup Bike Parking in 2019 @ Front and Centre.

Building on the success of a well received pilot project done in 2019, the City will be adding additional seasonal bike parking capacity with two bike parking popups: one in the north end of Front Street, and the other on the South End of Front Street.

While replacing a vehicle parking spot during the warmer months, each of these seasonal parking areas will allow for up to 10 people, and are indicated on the map with the following icon:

Letter of Support from Main Street Bath

Bath has always been a diverse traveling community. Whether walking the trails at Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, exploring the Riverwalk, crossing the street with thousands of others on your way into Bath Iron Works or stopping in at Reny’s for almost everything you’d ever need. There are lots of moving pieces to our daily lives in Bath. One increase in traveling we’ve seen is with bicycle use in downtown areas both from residents and tourists. Bike tours are constantly heading across the Sagadahoc bridge through the summer months and our locals have found it much easier to get their errands done on two wheels instead of four. To keep these habits sustainable as well as continue to support things that keep our community green, Main Street Bath is in support of the Bike & Pedestrian Committee’s plans to create more space for bicycle parking within our historic downtown. After several tours of other Main Street Communities across the nation, a healthy downtown is one that has plenty of bike access, and we are grateful for the continued work of the Bike & Pedestrian Committee that is in line with Main Street Bath’s mission to promote and preserve our historic downtown.

Amanda McDanial, Director of Main Street Bath