TriMet is a few months away from what its lead bike planner called a “pretty major” year-long review of the ways its transit system interacts with bikes.
“This effort will really help us in future years to make sure that we’re prioritizing the right projects at the right locations,” Active Transportation Planner Jeff Owen said in an interview Tuesday.
A $108,000 state grant awarded in August and $19,000 from TriMet will let the regional transit agency hire a consultant to gather best practices from around the world and make recommendations to TriMet about bike parking, how best to carry bikes on trains and buses, how to build transit lines with bike access in mind and other issues.
“We can’t think of everything ourselves, and outside ideas are really beneficial and powerful,” Owen said. “A lot of it might be things that we’re aware of, of course, but they could really bring some new ideas and creative thinking into it.”
For example, Owen said some transit systems are experimenting with ways to let people waiting for a bus know if its front rack has room for bikes. Or the study might suggest ways for TriMet to reduce the space bikes take up on its system. The consultant will also use a stakeholder advisory group, open houses and possibly an online effort to gather feedback from bike users about their own issues with TriMet.
The process starts in July 2015 and will wrap up in June 2016. The grant comes from the state’s transportation and growth management program, a partnership between the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Department of Land Conservation and Development.
Owen said he’s working with ODOT to write the consultants’ assignment and is open to ideas about what it could consider.
“We’re still finalizing the scope,” he said.