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Old 07-31-2009, 05:55 PM
dg52 dg52 is offline
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Default Request ideas/input on setting up bike "corrals" for apartment buildings

Hello,

I'm hoping for any useful comments, suggestions, ideas, pictures, things to avoid, things you've seen work etc.

Here's the situation. I manage a few apartment properties around Portland. The owners want to make it easier for bicyclists. In one property (35 apartments with a big parking lot), they want to consider taking out one covered parking space (or more) and make it into a secured bike corral. That's as far as we've gotten.

We don't think the city style corrals are adequate - a lot of bikes sitting there overnight - while locked up - could be attractive mark for thieves.

Perhaps we take the space and put some kind of fence around it with a gate and a lock? That means we have to distribute the key to a lot of people and, while we really do trust the renters (upstanding community of peope), it leaves a lot of keys out there. We assume if we fence it in, we'd have to make it a "see-through" fence rather than some opaque fence (to avoid someone getting trapped in there by someone else who perhaps doesn't belong there) - even though it's a good neighborhood, we still have to be aware of risks. What if the corral proves too small and we have to fence in another parking space? That would be a good problem to have but that may make the fence idea a bad one.

Or maybe we just buy individual "lockers" (the kind they have at some Tri-Met stops or around town) so that each person has their own secured bike storage. The nice thing is that this could expand as needed - taking out one car space at a time to put these in. Any experience with these lockers? Any gripes? I'd hate to spend thousands of dollars only to find that we bought lockers that are impractical.

In all of this - we have NO IDEA of cost and we don't really know where to begin to explore resources available locally. So I searched for "portland bike forum" and that led me here.

Your thoughts, recommendations, referrals would be greatly appreciated (especially of local resources).

Thank you,

Bill
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2009, 12:20 AM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Default I'd suggest talking to TriMet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dg52 View Post
Hello,

I'm hoping for any useful comments, suggestions, ideas, pictures, things to avoid, things you've seen work etc.

Here's the situation. I manage a few apartment properties around Portland. The owners want to make it easier for bicyclists.
Hello Bill,

TriMet has plans on building a bike parking structure at the Beaverton Transit Center, supposed to be pretty cool design.

You might want to talk to them about ideas on your project.

As for my own ideas, I'd ask for more details...

What Kind of apartments are these? ie. what kind of economic group are we talking about here? The more upscale you have, the nicer your tenants will expect (although I feel that every cyclist deserves the best. Well, maybe 2nd to the ADA crowd).

Singles? One to two bikes each.

Families? ditto, but more people, so more spaces per unit.

Where are we talking about? I'd guess the closer to downtown, I'd guess you'll find a need for more spaces.

I wouldn't count on each unit having a bike unless you're focusing on the university crowd.

Now on to your questions

Quote:
In one property (35 apartments with a big parking lot), they want to consider taking out one covered parking space (or more) and make it into a secured bike corral. That's as far as we've gotten.
A single parking space doesn't hold that many bikes... how many bikes do you think will need to be accomidated?

Quote:
We don't think the city style corrals are adequate - a lot of bikes sitting there overnight - while locked up - could be attractive mark for thieves.
Agreed, they may be fine for a few hours, but at night... no way!

Quote:
Perhaps we take the space and put some kind of fence around it with a gate and a lock?
A fence, gate and lock? lets move to my desired features

The individual apartment is probably best.

If that's not an option:
  • An internal (read "room temp") covered area (not down inside of a basement parking garage).
  • Well lit (Motion Sensing?)
  • Easy to clean (and cleaned often)
  • cleaning/maintenance station
  • shelves for setting things down while the bike is being secured (groceries?).
  • Day/Night Camera that records the faces of the people entering/exiting in the event a thief does get in, you'll get something better than the hat that they were wearing
  • Infrared Card keys that allow access (yes, they make them).
  • A floor that will not get destroyed by water, cleats, road grime etc.
  • Easy access from the bike lane to the sidewalk to the door leading up to it
  • Self closing, Wide door
  • No dodging vegitation (low tree branches)...

How's that for a start?

Thanks for thinking about this! Keep us Posted (Pics?)!
K'Tesh
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Last edited by K'Tesh; 08-01-2009 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:18 PM
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jgadamski jgadamski is offline
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Default

First of all I would ask your tenents what they prefer. Depending on location and feelings of safety, it could be a toss up whether they would use a corral or not,depending on how safe they feel leaving their bikes in a corral at all, or would prefer to bring them inside. That said, a well designed and usable corral would be an attractive feature for many prospective tenents

Budget surely sets design,but highly visible and secure would be the first order. A roofed cage with a secure door would be the most desireable design,IMHO, but there are usually reasons NOT to go with that design. ( aethstetics, cost, no suitable location ). But it has to so visible and safe feeling, all users feel relatively safe regardless of the hour. A dark corridor to a room in the basement isn't going to feel very safe for many.
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Old 08-01-2009, 02:17 PM
bikerinNE bikerinNE is offline
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I actually lived in an apartment complex at one time that had a bike parking area, but never used it.

I view my bike as an extension of me, when not used my bike sits in my living room next to the couch watching TV. I don't like to leave my bike outside in the weather in an uncontrolled environment, when not used. I always bring my bike inside the house (or apartment) with me. That way i know where it's at all times.

Last edited by bikerinNE; 08-01-2009 at 02:19 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2009, 08:32 PM
p8ntballbiker p8ntballbiker is offline
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I came up with an idea for my own apartment community that I work at, but because of the sheer size, for us it was impractical. Do you have garages available for resident use? If so, you commandeer one and create a space that way. I found that the company "Peachtree" sells racks that can hold 10-11 bikes. You can bolt them around the inside perimeter of the garage and can easily accomodate 20+ bikes. Allied security can install a key card access system that will have each residents info attached to it. This way you can monitor who is going in and out. It's covered, secure and only accessible to those who have a keycard provided by you. Like I said I would be doing this at my property, but with 400+ units and well over 100 regular bike riders, it just isnt feasible for us to do.
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