Approximately 6 months before we opened Contigo the City of Austin installed a bike lane on Anchor Lane, the street that we call home. While this is a fantastic opportunity for the network of bikeable routes in our city, it presented one of the greatest challenges that a restaurant faces... parking.
We were fortunate to have a paved lot with over 60 parking spaces. However, with a restaurant that seats over 130 people we knew we would be in need of additional parking. For the first 2 years of operation our patrons would simply spill into the streets, park in the bike lane, and walk to the restaurant. While we tried to discourage this activity, it inevitably happened on a routine basis.
Time passed, we continuously brainstormed ways to add parking, and people continued to park in the bike lanes.
Well, over the summer, during one of these aforementioned brainstorming sessions, I had an AHA moment.
"Why don't we just call the city to see if they would consider making that a parking lane and a bike lane?"
I did. They said no.
So I asked the logical follow up question.
"What if we paid for it?"
Long pause from the (extremely nice and helpful) city employee, Chad... "Well, we haven't ever really done that before, but I guess I can ask."
It is my pleasure to announce that beginning next week Anchor Lane will have a BIKING AND PARKING LANE!
Bikers can now safely ride down Anchor Lane without any of our guests getting in the way of their safety or well being. I could not be more proud to live in a city in which the government was open to the idea of working with a local business to accomplish the safety/convenience goals of it's citizens, while helping meet the needs of the business itself.
Official celebration details/ribbon cutting to follow soon.
(Phase 1 of new bike lane construction - New striped to be added next week)