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TriMet to build fewer bike lockers and more covered bike racks at new transit stops

Posted by on February 27th, 2014 at 7:59 am

(Photos courtesy TriMet.)

Portland’s regional transit agency is installing far fewer $50-a-year bike lockers than it used to and adding more short-term parking near stops as it rethinks the ways people in cities tend to combine bikes and public transit.

Though the City of Portland’s parking code requires eight “long-term” parking spaces at every new rail stop, the city is waiving that rule for many stations on the future Orange Line. Instead, TriMet is building several much larger and more space-efficient bike-and-ride storage areas, plus plenty of covered, open-air bike parking.

“We’re looking to increased covered bike parking in the future,” TriMet active transportation planner Jeff Owen said Wednesday. “It’s very low barrier to entry. You just show up and use it.”

In all, the Orange Line will include a total of 445 bike parking spaces at the line’s 10 new stations. (Stay tuned for some in-depth coverage of the numerous bike access improvements on the way with the new rail line through Southeast Portland.)

The traditional bike lockers, meanwhile, require a reservation process, and most are only available to one person at a time. At many stations, there’s a waiting list to get one, even though they regularly sit unused.

One of three bike shelters installed at bus stops
by the City of Forest Grove in 2012.

“Once someone has it, they tend to keep it for a long time because it’s a pretty good deal,” Owen said of the long-term lockers. “You’re making a couple people happy for a few years.”

Some other local cities, looking to boost transit ridership by increasing bike-to-transit connections, are thinking similarly. In 2012, Forest Grove installed three covered bike parking facilities at bus stops at a cost of $62,000. (Of that, $45,000 went to build the shelters themselves; the other $17,000 was from the racks, pads and installation.)

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BicycleDave
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BicycleDave

Duh. What a stupid idea bike lockers are. Reserve space where 3 or more bikes could be locked 24/7/365 for the exclusive use of 1 person and charge them a lower than market price for the privilege.

James
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James

That shelter looks so tall, how does it even keep your bike dry when its slightly breezy? $45K, less security, less weather resistant….I’ll stick to my bike locker.

dan
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dan

Why not have bike lockers that work more like airport luggage lockers? Make them fee-for-use, say a few bucks per day, and first come first served. Or, bump the cost, $50/year is obviously too low.

Spiffy
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Spiffy

I would never leave my bike at a transit stop… that’s just ripe for theft…

GlowGoy
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GlowGoy

There’s an employer near me here on the westside that offers TWO kinds of bike lockers to its workers: Reservable, exclusive-use lockers (like we’ve been talking about here) and Day-use lockers, available first-come, first-serve, and BYO lock. What makes them day-use is that any lockers left locked overnight are either double-locked or have the locks removed.

I’ve got skin in this game, because I live about 2/3 mile from the nearest stations on the new Orange line. That’s a longer walk than I’d like to always do, and often I will want to ride down to the station and leave my bike there so I don’t have to bring it on a crowded train. But no way am I going to leave my bike locked up all day at a staple rack, at least not on a regular basis.

Why won’t TriMet offer day-use lockers? Seems like the right solution to this problem. (And BTW the bike lockers downtown, the other logical place for me to lock ‘n’ ride, are a LOT more than $50/year. Which is why I haven’t rented one).

DIO
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DIO

Why can’t TriMet convert its existing bicycle lockers into Electronic Bike Lockers, as well as, add in more Electronic Bike Lockers?

http://www.trimet.org/howtoride/bikes/electroniclockers.htm

dweendaddy
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dweendaddy

I agree with DIO – have more bike lockers, but have them pay for themselves. I think 10c/hour is reasonable. It would cost about $1 if you were working a full day, and that peace of mind should be worth it. If they got 50c a day from those on average, it would be a lot more than they get now. Those typically cost $1-2k to install, so they would pay for themselves over 5-15 years, unlike the new $45,000 shelter.

Scott Mizée
Guest

Interested to see the new plans. The question about on-demand lockers is a good one. I know it has been thought about.

Jeff: Could you please speak to that a little bit?

dr2chase
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dr2chase

Perhaps emulate the MBTA’s “Pedal & Park”? It’s a fenced enclosure, with racks, with a camera and a register-before-use prox card access.

Costs more, but is more secure. A yearly fee on the prox card would help deter thefts. There have been thefts, and the videos reviewed, and the thieves caught.

E.g. http://flic.kr/p/h8SJs1 (There are now three of these, and it’s been mostly double-decked since then, plus there’s still 100+ unprotected spaces, at a station with over 10,000 entries per weekday. So something smaller might be appropriate for a smaller station. Note that this photo was taken 3 weeks after opening, and directly behind me taking this photo the unprotected parking is still full: http://flic.kr/p/h8SDDx . Build it, and they just might come.)

Scott Mizée
Guest

@dr2chase: The Alewife station is a great example. We actually already have 2-3 sites similar to MBTA’s ‘Pedal & Park” here. (disclaimer: I was one of the designers working on them in 2009) TriMet is calling these facilities “Bike & Ride.”

Here are some more recent pictures I took of the Boston area Alewife station secure parking areas this last fall. http://bit.ly/AlewifeSPA It is a highly, HIGHLY used facility and a new section (the one with now bikes in it) was about to open.

Note that they have now double stacked the bikes on one side. Also, that cardboard cutout of the police officer has reportedly reduced crime.

Jim
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Jim

This sounds like a common sense alternative.

WendP
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WendP

Never mind that not all bikes fit inside the storage lockers. I waited six months to get a TriMet locker just to find out my bike (a Townie) wouldn’t fit in any direction or orientation. I will give TriMet props for refunding me in a timely manner. Honestly, though, I’d rather have my bike fit.