D.C. Bike Shelter

Photo © NPR

I’ve talked before about the importance of secure bicycle parking and I’m glad to see they’re doing something about it in Washington D.C. Just outside the central train station, construction is under way on a state-of-the-art bike parking facility that will house 130+ bikes. The facility, designed and built by Washington’s KGP Design Studio, will open in October.

Read more and listen at NPR

7 Responses to “D.C. Bike Shelter”

  • Johnny says:

    I saw this baby under construction down in DC a few weeks ago. It’s REALLY in a nice spot for commuters, too. I was afraid it would be tucked away somewhere, but it looks pretty convenient. I wish Baltimore would do something awesome for our train station, but at least we got better bike racks last fall:)

  • dukiebiddle says:

    Johnny, I think the location for the new location is in the worst possible locaton for Washingtonian bicycle commuters, but I already yammered on and on about it on the NPR page. The stations need to be at the resendential feeder hubs to work, not at the economic destination hub.

  • Frits says:

    A good start, I presume, but why so few places? A facility like this attracts users, even if it’s in the wrong place as Dukiebiddle says, so if more places are needed in the very foreseeable future, the cost of adding such places will be far higher than when they were planned in right away. Bike use can’t be that marginal in Washington?

    It’s an unfair comparison, I know, but I live in a compound of 80 apartments, with an underground garage and separate bike lockups. One for 40 bikes, 40 for at least 2 bikes each. All are in full use and we are looking to set part of the garage apart for more bikes as people are parking them between cars. All of our residents save 10 are over 55.

  • Alan says:

    @Frits

    I understand your point but consider this: at my local train station we have exactly 4 bike lockers. In comparison, 130 parking spots sounds astronomical.

  • dukiebiddle says:

    Actually, after doing a little research on the D.C. project (did a little more reading and a little less flapping) I withdrew most of my reservations. For the most part, it seems like a pretty solid project that takes thoughtful consideration of the needs of many different types of cycling commuters. There are some flaws, such as the absence of showers, which I suspect really worried them to attach to a train station for only a $25 monthly fee. This is a whopper, and turns the project into a 150 space bike locker with a 4 million dollar price tag with awesome architectural detail. Also, sharing the same footprint as a pretty phenomenal subway system, it really isn’t going to coax any drivers away from their cars, and will serve more as an alternative to the subway system, which is fine as long as you accept that limitation. Basically, this is a perk for the bicycle commuter that doesn’t have a want/space/patience to keep an unattractive beater but still wants to get the exercise of a bicycle commute, because at the end of his daily ride, passing 10/15 subway stations, when he parks his nice bike in the secure bike locker/station, he’ll still jump on a train for the last few stops, as there is no one spot with lots of skyscrapers that would serve the needs of a large concentration of bicycle commuters in D.C.

  • Hercule says:

    For some reason, when I saw the title of this entry on my RSS feed I automatically conjoured up an image of a soup kitchen and dorm for homeless bikes that had fallen on hard times. I think I must be anthropomorphizing my bikes a bit too much…

    (FWIW my bikes live in a clean, dry garage and are fed on a regular diet of Finish Line Cross Country chain lube and lithium grease)

  • Frits B says:

    Food for thought: the Dutch railways have just announced plans to add 100,000 bike parking spaces to 150 railway stations over the next 4 years, that is in addition to the thousands they already have. Existing parking shelters will get new, wider bike racks and all guarded parkings will be open all day as long as there are passenger trains running (the 24 hrs economy had not found its way to the railways yet). Various stations will also get a bicycle repair shop.

 
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