No free parking at OHSU

Posted by on July 26th, 2007 at 12:35 pm

Parking full at OHSU

No free spaces near the tram.
(File photo)

Yesterday I had a meeting at the new OHSU Wellness Center (near the tram) and I was amazed at the number of bikes parked around the building.

They overflowed the available racks and were locked up to light posts, benches, anything that was metal. In the general area around the tram, I estimated well over 150 bikes.

Parking full at OHSU

(File photo)

When I first reported about the bike facilities in this area back in December, I wondered if planners had underestimated the number of cyclists that would park and ride now that the tram lifts them effortlessly up the hill.

I tracked down a graduate student who said she thinks there was a huge pent-up demand from employees, physicians, and students who always wanted to bike to OHSU but chose not to because of the hill. She added that the secure, fenced-in bike parking facility in the underground parking garage is also full to capacity.

This is a great problem to have and I don’t fault the planners at all. There are a lot of racks, but there’s a need for many more.

I noticed all the bikes had a flyer attached to them by someone from the OHSU Bike Commuters Group. Perhaps they’re already aware of this problem and they’re looking for support to do some lobbying.

Parking full at OHSU

(File photo)
Parking full at OHSU

(File photo)

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SteveG
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SteveG

TriMet should take note, too. If they put really good bike parking facilities at MAX stations, instead of those lame bike lockers, I bet they\’d attract a lot of bicyclists to the MAX, too. And if there were good bike parking, fewer MAX riders would feel the need to bring their bikes ONTO the trains.

Yo TriMet! Check this out: http://www.biketree.com. Put a few of these at every MAX station!

Brian E
Guest
Brian E

Wow, that bike tree is the best new thing I\’ve seen in a while.

Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

The bottom of the aerial tram would be one of my favorite spots for a bikestation type parking facility (www.bikestation.org) or a decentralized automated facility as they use in Spain in redevelopment districts like the former Olympics zone (www.biceberg.es).

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Resending with working links:

The bottom of the aerial tram would be one of my favorite spots for a bikestation type parking facility ( http://www.bikestation.org ) or a decentralized automated facility as they use in Spain in redevelopment districts like the former Olympics zone ( http://www.biceberg.es ).

freddy
Guest
freddy

Honestly, they didn\’t think there would be significant demand for bike parking down there? What planet do they live on?

VR
Guest
VR

Lets not be too harsh now, they did put a good amount of bike parking.

If you have not seen it yourself, it is worth a look. There are just bikes everywhere.

I don\’t think I would have imagined that many bikes would be there – and I would have probably been more bike focused than many…

Seriously, they tried – but there are just bikes all over the place.

I think they will add bike parking as fast as they can, but this is really a seasonal issue. I doubt that there will be that many bikes all over the place down there when the weather is not as nice as it is.

And by the way, it is really nice today – we should all be out riding. Darn work…

Spencer
Guest
Spencer

I agree with some of the earlier comments. It is great to have your own bike box, but the storage per space utilization is poor. The bike trees seem like a great idea for the amount of space taken up.

I notice the free temporary bike boxes Tri-met put in on the yellow line are often recepticales for the homeless to store their belongings. You can not count on a box being avaialbe, so why even try. Maybe these could be replaced with bike trees. The net effect would be for people not having to take their bikes on the train for the ride into town.

Finally, I don\’t think the parking is a fair weather as you would think. The big change is the gym and its showers that permits people to get cleaned up and dress professionally. My wife works on the hill and this has always been a hurdle. Now that you can come in wet adn get easily cleaned up, year round ridership should increase.

Logan 5
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Logan 5

Last time I was there a month of so ago, I locked my bike to the back of a bench near the tram as there was absolutely no available space. I got a warning flyer taped to my ride from the management and so did everybody else in an unorthodox spot. I have a hard time believing that they don\’t think there is enough demand. There\’s definitely not enough demand for the car lot right next to I-5 as it\’s 3/4 empty all the time but they built that anyway.

freddy
Guest
freddy

I was down there for the tram opening and I couldn\’t find ANY bike parking. They told us there was some down in a parking garage but a) it was hard to find (and no signs) and b) it was full. Other than that, there was almost no on-street bike parking, and (as mentioned before) signs taped to the benches not to park bikes to them.

Maybe they\’ve installed more racks since then, but it still feels like an afterthought to me. For the number of bikes they have there, you should have been planning early, because you can\’t just put a few staple racks into the sidewalk and hope to fit them all. You need to have been thinking about a building and/or a significant amount of flat outdoor space.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Logan, if what you\’re saying about the lot is true, then how about taking a section of that parking lot and putting a bunch of staple racks in there. That should be pretty easy and fairly cheap.

I haven\’t been down there so I\’m not sure where the lot is in relation to the bike parking.

Ayala
Guest
Ayala

SteveG: the MAX is usually overflowing beyond capacity with bikes during both rush hours. It is not uncommon for me to have to wait 3-5 trains during the evening rush hour to be able to get my bike on. Unless TriMet plans to increase the number of bikes able to be hung on a MAX, or be allowed on the train (because technically bikes aren\’t supposed to block aisles or seats or doors, which means that a fare inspector or TriMet security being a dick can kick you off if your bike isn\’t hung up, essentially), I doubt they\’re going to increase the amount of bike parking/storage at MAX stations. I\’ve repeatedly contacted TriMet about increasing bike capacity on MAX, and repeatedly gotten ignored or blown off.

Cecily
Guest
Cecily

Please give us STAPLE RACKS!! They work wonderfully and are so easy to use. The bike parking at the top of the Tram is this long, funky bar thing that\’s like a foot wide. Nuts! Staple Racks, Staple Racks!

Logan 5
Guest
Logan 5

I think it would be a simple affair, even if temporary. It\’s quite a walk to the tram but they already have a free shuttle for people.

Although dated from before the lot (and the new OHSU building) was finished, this is the area where the lot is. It\’s basically where Cirque du Soleil (sp?) used to set up.

Dillon
Guest
Dillon

Finally, I don\’t think the parking is a fair weather as you would think. The big change is the gym and its showers that permits people to get cleaned up and dress professionally. My wife works on the hill and this has always been a hurdle. Now that you can come in wet and get easily cleaned up, year round ridership should increase.

In response to this comment, there has always been showers and lockers to use at the fitness center on the hill. $17 a month gets you showers, towels, and a locker.

BURR
Guest
BURR

it doesn\’t look to me like any of that bike parking is covered, that\’s a real minus when it comes to leaving your bike all day during the rainy season.

greg Haun
Guest
greg Haun

A simple spiral ramp from the Ross island bridge sidewalk down to Macadam could make the parking situation even worse. (:

Martha S.
Guest
Martha S.

You know, I used to giggle at my car driving friends when they would complain about parking, as I could always find something to lock my bike to, but these days finding bike parking is becoming a real issue in a lot of places. On the one hand this makes me happy, as it means that people are riding more and more. On the other hand it can be a bit frustrating.

Also, that bike tree thing is GLORIOUS. Sounds like a pretty expensive solution, but awesome none the less. Maybe they could be more affordable if some banner advertisements were put along the bottom of the canopy. Don\’t get me wrong, I don\’t like advertisements in general, but if it would help to fund installments like those I could certainly live with it.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

the MAX is usually overflowing beyond capacity with bikes during both rush hours…I\’ve repeatedly contacted TriMet about increasing bike capacity on MAX, and repeatedly gotten ignored or blown off.,/em>

It seems tome that the obvious solution, especially as Portland ramps up efforts to increase bike ridership, is to have a car on every rush hour train devoted solely to bikes. Nobody allowed on board the bike car unless they have a bike.

Trimet is a public agency, with a publicly elected board, so in theory at least, they can\’t blow off demands for more bike space if that\’s what the public wants. It may take hard lobbying work, but elected officials always have a finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing, so it can be done…

Logan 5
Guest
Logan 5

The main problem with adding a bike-only train is that it would make the train longer then a city block which then means it would block intersections. They would probably have to run an additional train which just may be in order anyway.

Jessica Roberts
Guest
Jessica Roberts

They can\’t run more trains until/unless they build another bridge over the Willamette (or figure out how to fit MAX trains onto an existing bridge).

The Steel Bridge is the current bottleneck, and they can\’t run more trains unless that\’s changed. In other words, they are MAXed out. (Sorry, but I had to.)

OTOH if they do build the long-discussed \”Caruthers Crossing,\” I have a vision of it being a world-class bike/ped/transit (but no cars) bridge. Who\’s with me?

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

if they do build the long-discussed \”Caruthers Crossing,\” I have a vision of it being a world-class bike/ped/transit (but no cars) bridge. Who\’s with me?

Me.

The car (at least as we know it, and as the dominant form of transportation) is history. It just doesn\’t know it yet.

Logan 5
Guest
Logan 5

Oops, I meant adding a bike only car to an existing train in my first sentence.

Why is the Steel Bridge a bottleneck? Is there some distance rule for a single track?

Jessica Roberts
Guest
Jessica Roberts

\”Why is the Steel Bridge a bottleneck? Is there some distance rule for a single track?\”

Logan, I don\’t have the time to research out all the details right now, so may I just pass you on to a few links that discuss it?

http://portlandtransport.com/archives/2006/03/aorta_goes_on_r.html
http://bikeportland.org/2007/06/27/trimet-gets-254-million-for-new-willamette-river-bridge/

I also remember a recent Oregonian story on the topic but can\’t find it. Anyone?

peder horner
Guest

Riding UP the hill every day is the best part of my commute!

By the way, here\’s a little \”secret.\”

You can ride the tram \”down\” for free. One only has to pay (and get a pass) for the trip \”up.\” In other words, you have to pay for the kinetic energy, but using potential energy is free. Ek=1/2mv2 baby.

Peter Bray
Guest

This is off-topic, but check this out from today\’s NY Times:

Mayor Delanoë’s latest front in the anti-car war is the bicycle. Last week, more than 10,000 stolid, gray-painted bicycles (no Tour de France speedsters) became available for rent at 750 self-service locations across Paris. The cost is modest, less than $1.50 for a one-day pass, about $7.50 for a week and about $43.50 for a year — and the bikes can be dropped off at any docking station. The number of bikes is supposed to double by the end of the year. Already in their first week, the bikes are all over central Paris, many carrying commuters — and, yes, some New Yorkers. (An outdoor advertising company paid for everything in return for exclusive use of city-owned billboards.)

Neat!

jeremy
Guest
jeremy

whoa…I really have to disagree with all that I\’m reading here as I think at least one \”fact\” is not factual whatsoever…

the underground parking at the CHH building is NOT full whatsoever…the first floor secure bike parking area (P1) is sometimes busy but the second floor racks on P2 are NEVER FULL….ever.

it costs employees 15$ (one time charge) to get key card access to those secure areas…well worth the $$ in my opinion.

its underground, its covered and its accessible…

Lesa
Guest

I work for a nonprofit that is just two buildings down from the OHSU CHH. I pop over to the Daily Cafe in the center on a regular basis, and I love to walk by and look at all the different bikes on my way.(Sometimes I ogle so much I worry that people will think I\’m casing the racks looking for one to swipe!) Each bike is as unique as the person who rides it! It always reminds me how different we all are, but how we also share so many things in common. Plus, seeing so many bikes lined up together makes my new bike-commuter heart just swell thinking about all those other folks who rode their bikes in to work too!

bicycledave
Guest

Great! So if I need to go to a doctor\’s appointment and want to park my bike legally all I have to do is:

1. Apply for a job at OHSU.
2. Get Hired.
3. Buy a $15 card key.
4. Find the second floor racks on P2.

Don\’t get me wrong it\’s great that they have secure parking for employees. I\’m all for that, but public bike parking needs to be as simple, easy and plentiful as car parking.

jeremy
Guest
jeremy

bicycledave-

the majority of people parking at teh bottom of the tram ARE employees…

the vast majority of sick/surgical/or disabled patients typically don\’t ride their bike to see their doctor…but maybe you\’re the rare exception.

Jessica Roberts
Guest
Jessica Roberts

Well, what about all the people who will be coming to the neighborhood for the cafes and shops that will be opening? It\’s not just about the tram, it\’s a need for the whole district.

bicycledave
Guest

For a routine appointment I would ride, but you\’re right jeremy if I were sick I would probably drive or get a ride.

jeremy
Guest
jeremy

Jessica-
I do not think OHSU is taking responsibility to park every single bicycle that will be coming down to the waterfront area once construction stops..
I would think the other residence building and commercial lots will be providing their own bicycle parking in due time…just a wild guess. But since completion of that area will not be realized for another 5-10 years most likely, I\’m sure the idea is on the back burner…

this article is about bike parking for students, employees, and faculty at the university…

Harry
Guest
Harry

There is no shortage of space for the bikes of OHSU employees in the Center for Health & Healing garage where there are three secured bike cages. There is one on level P1 and two on level P2. Only the P1 cage is fully used. The other two are either sparsely occupied or empty most of the time.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

POOR MANs \’SMART PARK\’ 4 BIKES
How about working out with Snitzer (sp) steel to donate and cut out the side(s) of decomissioned shipping containers left over from the oneway China trade? Then add staple racks/ or 2 tier racks to their \’floor\’ areas? This would keep the bikes a bit drier and keep the sidewalks/ tram area from being cluttered with bikes.

These parking containers then could be placed at the underutilized parking lots near by. (And relocated as permanent bike parking is installed and a need is found elsewhere.) Art, ads or glass could be added to each parking container to spice them up and fund their installation.

Single Level Parking:
~$3,000 for 40 foot container with 9 staples (~18 bikes, or $170/stall)

Two Level Parking:
~$22,000 for 40 foot container with Josta Doppelganger racks staples (~40 bikes, or $550/stall)

Or the Doppelganger rack could be installed in the parkign lot without covering for about $500 per space. (This type of rack is only useful if you are limited in space…it is the more expensive option vs. staple.)

http://www.josta.de/ (look up doppelganger rack on left)

laura
Guest
laura

But the sad thing is that OHSU has a huge group of committed bike commuters that ride up the hill, where there is even less parking,,,,our department has no lie about 6 bikes lined up per shift(we work 12hr shifts) in our locker room,,,,please, please,ohsu think of us alternative commuters and please add some more secured bike parking on the hill!!!!! We would like some type of covered parking as we ride all year long rain or shine.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Peder (#24): Are you sure the ride down is free?

From the tram\’s website:

\”All riders must have a round-trip Fare Ticket when riding the Tram.\”

http://www.portlandtram.org/fares.cfm

peder horner
Guest

yep. i\’ve never seen any one \”carded\” on the way down. at the very worst, if they do \”card\” you, then just ride back down on your bike.

issa
Guest
issa

In Spain, two automated bike parking companies are populating towns with their intelligent systems. With membership and a microchip card, users can underground spots with Biceberg (within 20 seconds for storage and retrieval) or one of 24 spots in any given Bigloo pod (in less than 4 seconds).

Web page automated bicycle parking http://www.bigloo.info , and http://www.biceberg.com

issa
Guest
issa

bigloo and biceberg .I think it’s a great idea. Cheap bike parking, resistant (if not invulnerable) to theft, would solve one of the biggest problems that face people who want to use their bikes for errands. You can’t take it in the store with you, you can’t just lean it against the wall outside because someone will take it, and — let’s face it — no bike lock made today is really, truly adequate. Even if your ultimate locking strategy (which likely takes ten minutes to implement) protects the frame and wheels, you’re still vulnerable to losing your seat, seat post, computer, lights, or anything else you’ve mounted to it.

If such secure bike parking areas were available throughout urban areas, bike transportation would suddenly become a lot more attractive to a lot more people. I’m all for it.