Bike Lockers

I’m a big fan of bike lockers (aka boxes). They’re secure, they hide your bike from view, and they protect your bike (and other belongings) from the elements. Usually they’re grouped together in busy public areas, so they’re unlikely to get broken into. And since a potential thief can’t see inside the box, there’s no way to know what type of bike is in there, or even if there’s a bike in the locker at all.

I feel a little guilty because I just obtained a second bike locker, so now I have one on both ends of the train portion of my multi-modal commute. I wouldn’t have been so greedy, but according to the City, there are approximately 10 bike lockers in the area near my work that are sitting unused. It’s hard to believe this resource is not being taken advantage of.

If bike storage is an issue for you, you might consider checking with your local transportation department to see if they have a bike locker program. I get the feeling that these programs may not be well publicized (they certainly aren’t in my city), and I suspect that many people aren’t even aware they exist.

24 Responses to “Bike Lockers”

  • Aaron says:

    I wish malls and shopping centers would get some of these instead of the “scratch my fork, please!” racks they have stuck in the corner hiding in the shadows. Most of them won’t even fit my bike anyway with my front rack. They could take FOUR parking spots from the “only full at Christmas season” parking lot at my local mall and fill them with 15 or 20 bike lockers. Same goes for the supermarkets, etc. The only reason my wife and I don’t go more places by bike is because there’s nowhere safe and secure to put it.

  • John says:

    I’m spoiled.

    I’ve got a dedicated bike room where I work. Room for about 70 bikes. It’s card-key accessed (doubly so: one to the garage and one to the bike room). It’s in what was the bullet proof gun range of the former Federal Reserve building in Portland: http://twitpic.com/hq1lr

    Because of our location downtown, I walk everywhere from work. Then when it’s time to go home, I park my bike in a locked garage.

    Needless to say, I don’t worry about the security of my bike that much.

  • Aaron says:

    I’m so envious of people in your situation, John. Luckily I have a safe place to keep my bike at work, but my work isn’t within walking distance to anything so I’m stranded until I leave. Other than work though there aren’t a lot of places I can go on my bike and leave it unattended.

    I live in icy, hilly, Burlington VT. Its almost as if nature just doesn’t want you to ride a bike here.

  • Sami says:

    Does it cost you to use these lockers?

  • Mark says:

    I rent a bike locker in DC (NY Ave. Metro stop) for multi-modal commute, too. My overall commute is just under 20 miles one way, and I usually ride the whole distance in nice weather, but during the cold months, I find it much more pleasant to ride on the metro half way and then have only a 10 mile ride on to work. The beauty of the bike locker is that I can leave a bike in it for literally months at a time without ever moving it or worrying about it. I feel a bit guilty about not using the locker during the nicer months, but at $70/year to rent, I couldn’t pass it up.

  • Donald says:

    A warning on the type of locker you show in the picture. We have these at our office and a fellow yesterday could not get into his to remove his bike. He could get the latch key turned but the lever would not operate the mechanism. He had to climb in through an adjacent locker and it turned out his bike was not into the locker far enough and his front wheel wedged the latch closed. It was probably a wild fluke but something you should be aware of.

    Otherwise these are great. Mine is in a secure parking garage so it is ultra secure.

    Donald
    Sacramento, California

  • Alan says:

    @Sami

    “Does it cost you to use these lockers?”

    One is free, the other costs $5 per month.

    Alan

  • Dweendaddy says:

    I longed for one of those at the N Berkeley BART station when I lived nearby. They have several dozen, but the waiting list was several YEARS long. In that kind of situation they need to do build more or charge more… or, more realistically, both.
    While I think bike parking should be subsidized to encourage biking, it is ok to charge for some good services!

  • Mike Shoup says:

    I actually love bike lockers. Unfortunately, the transit district in Denver actually has too much demand for them. I’ve been on a waiting list for one right next to a bus stop I use regularly for work for about seven months now. I’m hoping some day I’ll get that bike locker!

  • Jae says:

    The commuter train station I ride my bike to has three-pronged clamp racks that are very frustrating to use and are in terrible shape. It was impossible for me to not scratch my bike in the process of locking/unlocking the bike from the rack.

    I noticed the lockers at the station and visited village website for information about renting one. I was placed in the waiting list to get a bike locker (20 available at this station). I was finally able to get one after 3 months of waiting. The lease has to be renewed each year with $25 deposit. I haven’t been able to use it yet though since I’m not brave enough to endure freezing temperatures here in Chicago area.

  • Greg says:

    @Dweendaddy:
    ———
    “I longed for one of those at the N Berkeley BART station when I lived nearby. They have several dozen, but the waiting list was several YEARS long. In that kind of situation they need to do build more or charge more… or, more realistically, both.”
    ———

    Not sure if you’ve used the N Berkeley BART recently, but now they have debit-card accessible BikeLink lockers that are first come first serve. They’re 3 cents and hour and never fill up (I use daily). Alternatively, you can go to Downtown Berkeley that has free attended bike parking. They never turn away anyone. If you’re farther north, closer to El Cerrito Plaza BART, they have TONS of bikelink lockers.

    http://www.bikelink.org/

  • Peter says:

    The building where I work in Victoria, BC has 2 secure bike areas in the underground parkade accessed by key card. They hold about 200 bicycles. There is also an area with bike racks for those who don’t have key cards. I’ve noticed similar bike lockers to the ones in the picture at our park and ride bus stops. There don’t appear to be any downtown but that may change since the parking meters are being removed and replaced by one electronic ticket dispenser per block. Unfortunately all those parking meters also served as bike racks.

  • Tali says:

    I think it is worth pointing out that these lockers do have downsides. They are expensive relative to other cycle parking styles, since most public installations require registration (and may charge a deposit and/or fee) they’re somewhat inflexible, they hide bicycles away from the public which does miss an opportunity to promote cycling to the destination in question. They have a role to play, but not when it comes to visitors cycle parking. In the latter case, a set of good quality stands in a public place is adequate, IMO. That is the setup at my local train station and where I work, and I don’t worry about leaving it locked up all day.

  • Alan says:

    @Donald

    Thanks for the heads up regarding the latch issue!

    Alan

  • John Kelso says:

    One of our many unexpected pleasures when biking in the Netherlands was the discovery of indoor “fietsenstalling”, or bike garages. You could park your bikes in these, with racks that could accommodate your bike’s front and rear racks, and your bike would be safe and cozy while you were otherwise occupied. Google for fietsenstalling and you’ll find pages like this: http://www.smallingerland.nl/eCache/52986/Fietsenstalling

  • John says:

    I, too, am envious of those who have access to secure bike parking at or near their place of work. One question, Alan: is that your LHT in the picture? If so, it looks like you’ve removed your Pass and Stow front rack. Does your bike not fit in the locker with the front rack? (I ask because I have one on order).

  • Alan says:

    @John

    “Does your bike not fit in the locker with the front rack? (I ask because I have one on order).”

    No worries, it fits fine with the P&S rack installed. That’s an older photo I pulled out of the archives…

    Alan

  • Doug R. says:

    I wonder if our Sacramento light rail stations have them? I do not use the train much. It would be a prudent thing to put in at all stations. Alan, does Ed arrange these things for the city? Dougman

  • Alan says:

    @Doug R

    Here are the locker locations:

    http://www.cityofsacramento.org/transportation/parking/bike-locker.html

    I’d guess that Ed had something to do with their purchase and installation. The day-to-day management is taken care of by the Revenue Division at City Hall. In the outlying areas they fall under the jurisdiction of each city. So, for example, the bike lockers at the Amtrak station in Roseville are managed by the City of Roseville Alternative Transportation Department.

    Alan

  • Doug R. says:

    Great Thank you Alan ! : )

  • bongobike says:

    Alan,
    I see your average-size Surly barely fits. A tall bike, like my 66cm Koga-Miyata, would be impossible to store in that locker. I hope they make taller lockers!

  • Leo says:

    Sacramento’s Light Rail does have lockers in many station. Call 321-BUSS and they can get you the leasing info. However you might want to check out the condition of the locker at the station that you are thinking of using. There are lots of not-so-polite people out there that would do damage to the lockers, or use it as a bathroom.

  • John says:

    I want to build a bike locker out of wood. Anyone have suggestions on this? It would be for a carport area in a duplex to store one adult and one child’s bike. They aren’t high end bikes and it is in a moderately safe area so maximum security is not an issue.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Who are the suppliers/manufacturers of the best bike lockers?

 
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