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Evidence points to shift in TriMet bike policy

Posted by on August 8th, 2007 at 9:35 am

[Post updated at 11:33am]

There is mounting evidence that TriMet is considering a shift in their bike policy that may include a rush-hour prohibition of bikes on trains and an increased emphasis on bike parking at stations to encourage cyclists to park-and-ride.

Currently, bicycles are allowed on MAX trains during all hours with some restrictions. For instance, only two-wheeled bicycles are allowed, bikes must be “reasonably clean”, and bikes are not allowed on train cars that are full (read full rules in this PDF).

bikes on max-2

(File photo)

But commenters on yesterday’s post about TriMet’s Bikes on MAX survey have pointed out reasons to believe TriMet might be on the verge of a new policy: prohibiting bikes on trains during weekday rush-hour (which TriMet defines as 6-9am and 2-7pm).

In tandem with this policy change would be an increased emphasis on improved bike parking at stations (to encourage park-and-ride and discourage taking bikes on trains).

Here’s the evidence:

The last of the 11 questions on TriMet’s Bikes on MAX Survey (download PDF here) that is currently being handed out to cyclists includes this question,

    11. How would you make this trip if you could not take your bike on MAX during weekday rush hours (6-9am & 2-7pm)?

That question concerned business owner Susan Otcenas. After reading it she commented that,

“It is VERY OBVIOUS that TriMet is looking for an excuse to BAN bikes from Trimet during “rush hour”.”

Otcenas owns a business in Hillsboro and she says a rush-hour bike ban would have a major impact on her business:

“If bikes were banned during these hours … I’m feeling pretty confident that I would immediately lose several members of my staff who commute from the east side of Portland out to Hillsboro every day. There would be no way to modify a person’s work schedule to make a bike-max-bike commute workable with 8 hours a day of no-bikes-on-MAX and still have it make business sense for me as an employer. We, like most businesses, need staff during traditional business hours.”

Commenter SteveG doesn’t think a rush-hour bike prohibition would be so bad. He recently commented that,

“As much as I hate to say so out loud (I’m a lifelong bike commuter), limiting access to bikes during rush hour makes sense.”

Another commenter pointed out that the design of the new MAX train cars increased seating capacity but did not increase bike capacity. She was disappointed in this and sent a letter to TriMet that read:

“After… checking out the specs for the new Max trains… I am dismayed to see that the number of bike spots per car is remaining the same (4 per car).

…perhaps the officials who chose these new trains are not aware of the grossly inadequate bike facilities on the current Max trains.

Is TriMet planning on adding more bike spots to the new trains? Is it possible to alter the design? I would love to hear back from someone on this issue and would be happy to call or write to the appropriate person.”

TriMet’s bike policy liaison Eric Hesse replied to her letter,

“I assure you TriMet is well aware that, as biking grows in popularity in Portland, demand for space on MAX is growing as a result. It is TriMet’s view that the only successful long-term strategy for addressing this growing demand is to expand bike parking facilities at or near MAX platforms, as a number of design constraints make providing sufficient capacity for bikes on board MAX vehicles extremely difficult, especially during peak periods.”

This exchange makes it clear that TriMet is not going to add capacity to trains and instead will shift to encouraging park-and-ride through improved bike parking at stations.

Is TriMet leaning toward a rush-hour bike ban?

Their official rules already state that bicycles are not allowed on full train cars and that they have the right to require bicycles to leave a train car “when overcrowded”. I don’t know how often they enact those rules, but they seem pretty subjective whereas an outright ban during certain hours would leave nothing to interpretation.

I’ve asked TriMet if they have any thoughts on this and I hope to hear back from them soon.

For more reactions to the survey and to potential changes in TriMet’s bike policy, read the comments to my previous post and stay tuned for more coverage.


UPDATE: I asked TriMet to comment about concerns that they are doing the survey in part as a precursor to announcing a rush-hour bike ban. Here is what their bike policy liaison Eric Hesse said in reponse:

“We are conducting these on-board and online surveys to get better information about who is making bike-MAX connections and/or bringing bikes onboard, in what numbers, for what purposes, and in what locations.”

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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RyNO
Guest
RyNO

It only makes sense.
Same deal on the BART.
Minibikes and folders only during rush hour.
Hearts to bikers, –R–

Ivy T
Guest
Ivy T

There is obviously a problem with bikes and crowding on MAX, no question, and I want to thank TriMet for addressing this. At rush hour, it\’s just about overcrowding in general. There\’s too many commuters, nowhere near enough frequent MAX service.

And I agree also that more secure bike parking at TriMet stations is necessary. The tiny, inadequate bikerack at Hollywood TC is **always** full, usually with people going to 24 hour fitness, leaving me no choice but to bring my bike with me on MAX.

However, I\’m not sure banning bikes during rush hour is the solution to this. Sure, it works if you are biking from your home to your MAX station in Beaverton, locking your bike up there, taking MAX to Pioneer Courthouse Square, and then walking the three blocks to your workplace.

But what about those of us that need to bike once we get OFF MAX again to complete our journeys? I use MAX often to get out from downtown to 122nd Avenue, but then need to bike another mile and a half from the MAX station to reach my destination.

Is TriMet going to buy me another bike to have locked up and waiting at the other end of my trip?

(Answer: no).

Also, I know this is silly and I\’m not serious here, but what sort of precdent does this set? Are mothers with strollers(which are huge contraptions these days and which also take up *insane* amounts of space on MAX) going to be required to lock their strollers at one end, and have another waiting at the other?

What I\’m trying to say is, why single out bikes for taking up space? Bikers are people, and just like everybody else, need to get to and from places in their lives.

Come on TriMet, you can do better! Share the MAX (and give us more bike parking at your stations! The costs of staple racks are but a mere drop in the ocean of your vast budget!)

Jessica Roberts
Guest
Jessica Roberts

Staple racks? Like hell I\’m going to lock my bike up out in the open every day for 8 hours. That\’s just asking for it to be stolen.

Mind you, I\’m lucky that I don\’t have to do a bike+MAX commute right now, but if I did, I\’d be pissed. I\’ve always lived in Portland, and I worked at 3 different Beaverton businesses over the years. I never lived right on the MAX line, and none of my workplaces were on the MAX line either — there was always a significant (3+ mile) commute on the far end as well.

We simply don\’t have the density or transit service in this region that will make a bike ban on TriMet work.

I predict that we\’ll see huge numbers of bike commuters start to drive if TriMet bans bikes on MAX. I\’m really dismayed to hear about this.

Chris
Guest
Chris

RyNO,
Why does it only make sense? (Just asking).
I understand that bikes do have the potential to be a problem during crowded hours if other transit riders don\’t make it easy to load and unload your bike.
However, one issue MAX opponents use as reasoning against MAX is that it is only useful for people going to downtown (or other locals served by MAX stops). (I don\’t see it this way, but transit opponents use this argument as ammunition.)
Allowing bikes on MAX opens up possibilities for commuters who have a final destination a distance from the closest MAX stop. Additionally, I believe allowing bikes on MAX gives new bicycle commuters a chance to increase their milage over time, encouraging them to ease into a full by-bicycle commute.

I like the option, but honestly have never used it myself…

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

As a taxpayer I gotta say that this sounds like a bait and switch when we look at the \”multi-modal\” model that was sold to us years ago. I am less than eager to go to bat for MAX and public transport if this is how they treat one of their most vocal constituacies.

I say that we need to deal with this like we dealt with Potter cutting us out of the budget a few months ago. We gotta start hitting the phones and sending out those emails.

A constituancy that has a say, participates in a give and take, not just a give.

This bike parking is NOT a solution. It cuts someone who does a bike-MAX-bike commute off at the knees.

Todd B
Guest
Todd B

Perhaps the bike community can work with Trimet to hold off on such a great shift in bike access policy until real options are implimented (bikestations at transit hubs, bikelink or biceberg locker at superstop/ light rail stations, program of offering annual pass holders a discounted folding bike, etc.) This new policy would be more restrictive than the old permit based system due to the rush hour ban.

Trimet staff met with Andrea White of Bikestation last month to discuss the long term options for enhancing bike parking at the suburban ends of their transit lines and at transit hubs.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

PS – I have to agree with Ivy. There is an obvious over-crowding problem, a very serious one. I don\’t think getting bikes off the MAX is really going to solve anything. We\’ll go through this whole deal, and the cars will still be really crowded. No real benefit, and bike-MAX-bike people are screwed.

We need more cars at rush hour.

Donna
Guest
Donna

I use MAX for a bike-MAX-bike commute. If they do this, I\’ll be needing to find other employment, as I do not have a car. Not every business in the Portland metro area can be within a reasonable walking distance of the MAX.

Incidentally, I have a bike-MAX-bike commute because of the absolutely abyssmal bus service in Washington County? Is Tri-Met going to be making huge improvements to that for soon-to-be former bike commuters? I won\’t hold my breath…

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

There\’s also the compensation effect for cyclists who can adjust their schedules around a rush-hour ban. At exactly 9AM (assuming a morning ban ends at 9AM), the trains will be jammed with bikes, leading to more complaints.

Guaranteed.

When I was commuting from east side to Hillsboro, I would often get on the trains downtown around 8:30 to 9 and there was never a problem with space. Outbound morning trains are rarely full so it would be nice to see a sensible policy that emphasized reasonable hours and flexibility in direction (inbound vs. outbound, etc.)….

Spencer
Guest
Spencer

Sounds like the sky is falling.

Let think of some good viable ways of coming to a solution for this. More trains and more space is not a cost effective answer. The system currently does not pay for itself as it is, and to further dilute the ridership per train is not the answer. Let turn the focus from complaint to problem solving. Here is my contribution:

Idea 1. How about better parking (bike trees or managed bike storage) at the station. Then have the bike rental kioks in the down town core along the Max corridor radiating out. Allow for a free rental with a transfer.

Idea 2. Ask Trimet to install the three bike racks instead of two, as has been done in Seattle

Idea 3. Trimet could run a rebate program for foldable bikes. For example, they could knock off $100 off of an annual pass to help defray the cost of a new bike. This is like PGE helping to pay home owners to install more efficient appiances.

These all have to be cheaper and more viable than more multimillion dollar trains and the additional staff to maintain and run them.

BURR
Guest
BURR

TriMet resisted adding more bike parking at stations for years and years. Now they think it is the \’solution\’ to overcrowding on trains?!?!?

I\’m sorry, but this is not a LAB Platinum City policy.

Craig
Guest
Craig

With this type of logic(banning bikes at rush hour to increase space on trains), what is Trimet\’s plan in 5-10 years assuming rider-ship increases? they can only pack so many people into a train…?? If they ban bikes at rush hour they are essentially passing the buck to figure out the solution at a later time…nice leadership.

Steve
Guest
Steve

I gotta agree with tonyat (#5). Within the last month my wife and I have sold one of our vehicles because she has also become a bike commuter…problem now is that she relies on MAX to get her to Washington Park, where she works, and with a ban on bikes during rush hours, will take an extra ~20mins of riding up Kinston road in the dark or the shoulder of Highway 26, neither of which I am comfortable with !!
Doesn\’t a subsidized entity have any accountability to the taxpayers who subsidize it?
What about TriMet reimplementing the Bike permits in an effort to limit \”casual\” users and raise funds for better bike facilities.

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

I just want to remind everyone that TriMet has not yet decided to ban bikes during rush-hour.

I\’ve just presented some evidence that might point to that conclusion… however let\’s wait to hear what they have to say about it officially.

hopefully I hear from them soon.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

guess we\’ll have to use folding bikes like the rest of the world

Brad
Guest
Brad

I \”mix-mode\” depending on weather, seasons, and my schedule at work. If Tri-Met bans bikes during rush hours and forces me into a 90 minute each way commute, then I go back to using the car again.

I try to ride the whole thing both ways from Hillsboro but early darkness and heavy rain in winter or early meetings sometimes necessitates using MAX and the bike together. Being a family man, if given a choice between 90 minutes each way of walking and transfers vs. 45 minutes in a warm car – I will choose the gas hog because it affords more time with my child.

Watch out! The first time some metrosexual gets his expensive pants stained by brushing against a folding bike, those will be outlawed too. Thanks Tri-Met! I try to do the right thing and you slap me down for it. Quite honestly, paying bike riders are more attractive for business than the homeless crazies, foul mouthed teens, and meth addled tweakers that routinely ride the rails for free yet I see no crackdowns there.

Riders – lobby Oregon\’s delegation in Congress hard on this! If Tri-Met thinks they will be cut-off from the federal funding teet, they will come around pretty quickly.

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

I don\’t know who of you would remember this, but years ago, there were no bikes allowed on the Max.
That lasted a while, then it went to bikes could only be on certain direction trains during certain times of the day.(in regards to rush hour).

I can see Tri Met easily justifying this, and worse, can see them doing it again.

At 3.5 million a train car, they have to sell more tickets.

I have never loved Tri Met, and this is another missed beat in our relationship.

mtmann
Guest
mtmann

I hate to be saying this, and, please, if you have valid arguments why this is wrong I\’d like to read them, but maybe Trimet should charge for bikes as well as riders. They\’re out to make a buck and part of the issue is bikes prevent paying riders from boarding during peak times. Maybe this doesn\’t address the problem at all (too damn crowded on the train), but if Trimet had a poliicy that said you could not be asked to leave if you had a (purchased) bike pass/ticket, you\’d be covered. Maybe TriMet could only require it during said peak times, and the rest of the time you could bring your bike on for free? I\’m just thinking here. Of course, the best solution is for TriMet to increase bike capacity on the cars and/or run more during rush hour (if that\’s possible – they already seem to get stacked downtown).

Brian
Guest
Brian

Consider the fact that the number of people who commute by bike everyday in portland is 3.5% (source: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1181786143276160.xml&coll=7). Now consider the number of people who bike+max+bike. I don\’t have a number on that, but it is a mere fraction of total bike commuters. Why would Tri-Met spend million upon millions of dollars for a fraction of a percent of the population whose lives will become more difficult? They won\’t. Those are cold hard facts and while I\’d love to live in a utopian society where everybody\’s concerns are addressed, it isn\’t going to happen.

Realistically, the argument is for a tiny portion of commuting population. Anybody who has been on Max at Rush Hour knows you can\’t wedge a bike on the train without shoe horn, much less inciting a riot, so this \”shift in-policy\” really isn\’t much of a shift, but admission that bikes don\’t belong on MAX during rush hour.

Matt Picio
Guest

Sounds like Tri-Met should be launching a bike rental program like Paris.

Seriously – extensive, secure bike parking at all MAX stops and major transit centers, coupled with a bike rental machine of some sort. Utilize a monthly pass system, make it cheap enough.

I can\’t see Tri-Met going for it, but why not toss out ideas? Ideas don\’t cost anything unless implemented.

Mr. Viddy
Guest

Bloody hell, I knew it. We\’ll be booted off MAX permanently if this BS keeps up.

VR
Guest
VR

The \”peak hour bike pass\” option sounds perfect to me.

Maybe $5 to $10 a month for a pass that allows you to bring a bike on MAX during peak periods.

That can reduce bike numbers, profide some funds for other bike services (like better storage), and still give those who need it the most the option.

All other times could be free…

I remember when I had to get a bike permit to take bikes on TriMet and then they were only allowed at the back of the car, and not in peak directions peak hours. So they tried letting bikes on all the time, but seems like it might not be a perfect approach.

Some restriction would be OK to me as long as they provided options.

Duncan
Guest
Duncan

I think that multi-nodal is the answer, and that bike trees do not require banning bikes during rush hour; better and more bike racks, a surcharge for rush hour bikes and more trains during rush hour are all answers.

what about external bike racks on the trains? I dont know if its plausable but worth looking into.

I think making MAX useful to the greates number of people is the answer, making it hard for any one group of commuters isnt.

Paolo
Guest
Paolo

I guess I will just go back to drive to work….
I got the survey yesterday and saw the trick questions…
TriMet sure does not make it fun to commute by bike, today the MAX driver closed the doors while I was looking for a better door to enter the train.
The bus drivers and many car drivers are not very respectfull to bike commuters, making my commute not safe and not fun.
Too bad.

conquistador
Guest
conquistador

How about bike-commuter express buses, equipped to carry many bikes inside but only between major transit stations. More bikers would use the buses because they\’d be faster than standard stop-every-block buses, and thus fewer bikes on the MAX.

Todd
Guest
Todd

I\’ll make a deal Trimet, let us use the light rail at all hours from Goosehollow to Sunset TC. Or I\’ll just completely ignore your rules.

patrick
Guest
patrick

Could they add a car at the end of the train that would be free from seats. Just over head rails with lots of hooks. It could be for all users with strollers, shopping carts, bikes, luggage etc.

Question: Are they going to start banning users carring luggage to the airport during peak times?

I\’ve seen people taking up multiple seats with their pile of luggage as they head to or from the airport.

How is this any different than bikes?

Ivy T
Guest
Ivy T

And what about people travelling back from Ikea on the MAX with their hoardes of huge flatpack furniture boxes?

I guess TriMet should just ban Ikea customers while they\’re at it too. (Joke. Sort of).

peejay
Guest
peejay

In the spirit of compromise, I\’d gladly pay for a monthly or annual bike pass. It means that in addition to me being a paying customer, now my bike is a paid piece of freight, giving me legitimacy equal to all other riders. This pass should also be required of anybody bringing anything larger than a carry-on bag on the train.

sugata
Guest
sugata

SHUTTLE BUS TO HILLSBORO

Run a bus for bike-commuters on HW26. It would offload cyclists at all the major exits on HW26. The reason it would work with cyclists is that they could then ride the 2-3 miles south/north to work from there. It will be easy to modify this bus to have extra bikes.

One of the shorter buses that Trimet has can be modified to include bike racks in the back.

Alternately, one could design a bus that would allow bikes inside the bus. If you remove the seats in the front, and have a bike rack/hooks like on the MAX, you can have 15-20 bikes on a bus- in addition to the two on the front. The riders could sit in the back of the bus.

Jan
Guest
Jan

If they absolutely must have a rush hour ban, they should be willing to install a considerable number of bike storage lockers, at each station, and provide them at reduced cost. DC bike lockers cost $70. a year, which I think is too much. That way bike-max-bike commuters could have a locker and a bike at each end of the commute.

Ayala
Guest
Ayala

I\’d be happy to pay for a bike pass as well, as long as the cost was reasonable. Maybe $20, like the recently passed monthly bike commuter benefit? At any rate, they should only be required during rush hours and during certain events (events at the Rose Quarter, PGE Park, etc) – that way John Q. Recreational Cyclist would be able to take his bike on the MAX to ride the Springwater Trail on Saturday afternoon without having to pay for a pass.

However, I will fight hard against any attempt at an all-out ban on bikes on TriMet during rush hours. I sincerely hope TriMet is willing to work with Portland\’s cycling community via advisory committees, town hall meetings and so forth to work on these issues instead of making an ironclad decision and siccing fare inspectors and drivers on us.

Mr. Viddy
Guest

In the center section where the seating faces inwards, remove a section of seats, put up bikes hooks and hand straps. People can stand when no bikes and if the hooks are set up properly, plenty of room.

You know what, Tri-Met is getting out of hand and if they don\’t shape up we are going to be stuck with a crappy public transit system.

dave
Guest
dave

Sorry Viddy, if the bikes aren\’t near the doors you\’ll never get in and out of the train without really p*ssing off the other passengers at peak times.

It is a conundrum, bikes and other cargo do take up a lot of space on the trains.

I think they should just remove the seating all together. Think about the passenger density you could achieve?

What about removing the seating from the elevated section at one end of the train? Good access to the doors.

Peter W
Guest

The problem is that there are too many people on the MAX during rush hour. The obvious solution is to ban people from using the MAX during rush hour…

Seriously though, most places I go in WashCo are outside an easily walkable radius from the MAX stations, so bike+max+bike is the only way the system can work. Also even if I could afford an extra bike, I often take the train to multiple different stations during the week (work in Amberglen, friends in Orenco, business in Hillsboro or Beaverton, school in Portland), and I can\’t afford to have a spare bike at each station.

Resident
Guest
Resident

A huge part of the crowding issue is that 70% of the people (non cyclists) who stand on the train, stand in the area by the bike hooks while other areas of the train remain comletely void of people standing. The hours they are considering imposing on the ban are rediculous as well. Previous posters have mentioned the inbound/ outbound issues. Common courtesy is what we need. I hate being on a crowded train with my bike and commute on it from gresham to beaverton daily. The most common place I board the max is through the tunnel on the days I\’m feeling lazy or its poring down rain. This is rarely an issue with space ever!

Mr. Viddy
Guest

I am not trying to seem self-centered as a cyclist but the bottom line is Tri-Met needs to find a solution that will allow all of us to bring our bikes onboard the trains at any hour. Whether it is increasing frequency of trains or modifying the interiors.

I live, breathe and preach using public transportation to everyone and I don\’t want to be left standing in the rain.

BURR
Guest
BURR

@Residnet#36: I couldn\’t agree more. trains that are considered \’crowded\’ in PDX would be considered \’almost empty\’ in Tokyo, NYC or London. Step further into the car, folks, there\’s room for everybody!

Tasha
Guest
Tasha

Soon, we\’ll need to resort to \”train pushers\” like they have in Japan, to shove all the people into the center of the train so more people can fit on. I like the idea of \”shuttles\” at the end of the stations. Buses don\’t cut it, as they run too infrequently. It takes me a lot longer on soley public transport bus/max/walk, then to Max/bike it.

peejay
Guest
peejay

In Japan, you see people line up double file exactly where they know the train\’s doors will stop, and allow people to exit the train in the middle, then stram in from both sides. They do this all by themselves, very efficiently and without fuss. But then again, they have to provide special \”women only\” cars during rush hour for those who don\’t want to have their bottoms pinched!

My point is, I don\’t know what my point is, but they get a lot of people on a train there, probably double the density of the Max on all but Thirsty Thursday baseball games. If we packed \’em in like that here, we\’d have a car left over just for bikes!

joeb
Guest
joeb

I always come into these conversations late so I\’m probably repeating…

If I had to force myself and my bike on an overcrowded train every day, I would look for alternatives. I would voluntarily leave my bike on a biketree or bike locker at a transit station. I would also consider a bike at both ends if overnight bike parking were allowed. I would consider using a bike share pool at one end if that was available. I am VERY attached to my bike and want it with me everywhere, but I couldn’t deal with shuffling it around a crowded train every day. It would be an adjustment not having my very own favorite bike with me at both ends, but it wouldn’t be much more of an adjustment than it was to take up bike commuting in the first place. Max is more a convenience than a necessity for me so if it is crowded, I keep riding. Actually, I hardly ever try anymore and just keep riding. It’s ten miles, but I’m not tackling the West Hills or traversing four cities.

My point is that if these alternatives were available, maybe enough people would opt for them that it would relieve some of the problem and avoid a ban.

A ban would suck hard. Once the Red line gets past Gateway heading toward Gresham, your prospects of getting on MAX with your bike during rush hour improve. It would be extremely annoying if a ban stated No Bikes Anywhere at Any Time Between 6-9AM and 3-7PM and an over zealous operator kicked you off a train with ample space. Anyway, like Todd B #6 said, please provide and strongly promote alternatives before enacting a ban. Jonathan #14 said, Trimet has not decided on a ban. I hope it can be avoided.

I hope the online survey will provide space to post this when it comes out.

devon
Guest
devon

i had a day off today and decided to bike along the springwater corridor out to powell butte with a friend. just past se 122nd i got a flat tire. i couldn\’t fix it with the tools on me so i walk to the nearest bus stop and took the bus north to burnside and got on the max to head back into the city, where i live. this was at 5:00 p.m. i\’m glad that i didn\’t have to walk home or yield to slower forms of public transportation because i was traveling with a bike. especially because it was an instance when the max wasn\’t overly crowded during rush hour times and my bike was at no inconvenience to anyone but myself.

BURR
Guest
BURR

what if they make every third or fourth train during rush hour a bike only train? It would come approximately every 30 to 50 minutes, which would be a minor inconvenience, but if you planned accordingly do you think that would work?

dfalck
Guest
dfalck

How about charging twice the fare for people who are extremely overweight? Or charge more for the baby strollers? Or if someone has a bunch of luggage, charge them for it? Charge by the square foot occupied!
I ride my bike in from Willow Creek to Portland at 5:15 am every morning. There are more and more bikes on the train every day. I gave up on riding the train home at night because of the crowding. So, I learned to ride over the Zoo hill every night. The way it\’s going, I will be riding all the way in (15.5 miles) in the morning too.
Dan

Seth Alford
Guest
Seth Alford

BURR #11 writes:

I\’m sorry, but this is not a LAB Platinum City policy.

Agreed. (For those of you who don\’t know, League of American Bicyclists is the organization that does or does not give Portland a Platinum rating.)
I\’m not sure how closely LAB monitors bikeportland.org. Suggestion: write to them and let them know that you don\’t think Portland is ready for Platinum, until this issue is resolved. Andy D. Clarke, andy@bikeleague.org, is LAB Executive Director.
While you are writing, also mention other things that you think keep Portland from having a Platinum rating, such as Portland police targetting fixed gear bicyclists, Senator Burdick\’s quashing a bill that would fix that problem, the police ticketing bicyclists rolling stop signs in Ladds Addition while ignoring a hit and run on the I-205 bike path, etc. If you are a LAB member, mention that in your email. If not, consider joining.

a.O
Guest
a.O

@ #45:

Seth, it\’s good to see people thinking in terms of the big picture. We sorely need a public policy that will encourage bicycling if we\’re going to address our transportation problems and other major problems facing us. Yet it seems as though each time we take a step forward, our so-called leaders push us back. Sure, we get a lot of talk about bicycles, but we never seem to arrive at a coherent policy that encourages safe cycling. Instead, the authorities bumble along with inconsistent signals, citing fake safety concerns or some other nonsense.

Meanwhile, the bike revolution is being lead from the bottom up, by people like you. Maybe that\’s the way it should be, but at some point we\’re going to need the help of our institutions to get past the obstacles that are currently keeping people off bikes. When are people like TriMet, Senator Burdick, the Mayor, etc, etc, going to get a clue? Society has to change and bikes are a key part of that, so if you can\’t lead then at least get the hell out of our way.

Brad
Guest
Brad

Dan brings up a good point. I am also seeing more bike commuters on MAX (Good IMHO) but when gasoline goes above $3.00/gallon or the forecast calls for 90+ degrees, lots of people who don\’t ride the train frequently get on board. I imagine these \”sometimes\” commuters are the ones that complain to Tri-Met about crowding, dirty bikes, etc.

The only real problem cyclists I have seen on MAX are usually teens. I see a lot of kids with gunked up full suspension MTBs getting on at Goose Hollow during the evening rush hour and using it like a ski lift for repeated downhill runs through Washington Park. All the way to the Zoo the riders get treated to four or five guys blocking the aisles, not using the hooks, and serenading everyone with a constant barrage of F-bombs and other teen boy tough talk. The problem is that most folks on the train can\’t differentiate between these tools and regular people just trying to get home.

Todd
Guest
Todd

In addition to the LAB platinum considerations, we should also recognize the inherent contradiction in discussing an eastside bike path (parallel to 84)and limiting bike access to MAX.

An eastside bike path as it has been discussed would dramatically increase multi-mode commuting. But the path itself becomes somewhat less viable if it isn\’t part of an integrated transportation plan.

For that matter, one could make a similar point about any additional expansion of area bike ways, i.e. as stand-alone options are additional bike paths and bike boulevards financially worthwhile?

I hope that as this evaluation progresses, Tri-Met seeks input from a broad range of area players before making any decisions.

toddistic
Guest
toddistic

It\’d be nice if Trimet would give us a bit more info. I really doubt they\’ll be banning bikes on the trains because all those people biking overflow onto their bus system (both ways).

One cyclist taking up two spots on the train and biking both to and from the MAX. That\’s a total of two spots.

or

One former-cyclist taking one spot on a bus to MAX, one spot on MAX, one spot on a bus from MAX. That\’s a total of three spots.

Therefore, biking actually saves space for Trimet.

bicycledave
Guest

I think the best solution would be world class bike parking at nearly all MAX stops as well as world class bike rental at all (or nearly all) MAX stops.

Ride your bike from home to the station. Your MAX fare would give you a free bike rental to get to your final destination.

No need to ban bikes on trains because for most the deal would be too good to pass up. Bikes could still be banned from full trains.