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.
“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.)