Posts Tagged ‘bike’

Solving the Region’s Congestion Woes – One Step at a Time (Part 2 of 3)

March 24th, 2014 2 comments

Improving pedestrian connectivity takes cars off the road at a formidable clip – rivaling the power of all of the region’s planned roadway additions and “last mile” transit connections.  Cheaply and quickly. 

This post is part two of a three-part series.

The data is finally in, and we now know that walkable station areas result in fewer motorized trips, fewer miles driven, fewer cars owned, and fewer hours spent traveling. And when we improve the pedestrian and bicycle access and connectivity to Metrorail station areas, ridership goes up, putting a major dent in congestion by taking trips off the roadways. Earlier, we discussed what it means to build walkable station areas and research shows the tremendous benefits to the region of making this a priority.

First, our data confirms that when walking access to transit is improved, transit ridership goes up – way up. In the 2040 Regional Transit System Plan (RTSP), we stress tested TPB’s transportation model to improve walkability to the transit network and saw huge increases in transit linked trips.  These trips go up by about 10% region-wide and we get an increase in transit mode share for all regional trips by 0.5%.  That’s over and above the roughly one percent increase in mode share we anticipate occurring as a result of building the entirety of the CLRP, an impact about half that of constructing all of that transit.

Source: Regional Transit System Plan

Source: Regional Transit System Plan

Read more…

On-Street Bike Parking in Buenos Aires

December 16th, 2013 2 comments
On-Street Bike Parking in Buenos Aires

On-Street Bike Parking in Buenos Aires.  Photo by the author.

I spotted this cool on-street bike rack in the trendy Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. It says “One car = ten bikes”.  It’s a very cool, visual way of providing bicycle parking in a neighborhood with narrow sidewalks and heavy pedestrian activity that also educates the driving public on the efficiency of travel by bicycle and the need for on-street bike infrastructure.

Metro’s planners recognize that bike parking is a really efficient use of space and a cost-effective way for us to provide alternatives for how our riders get to our stations.  Read more about Metro’s bike parking efforts on PlanItMetro.

Editor’s note: we have been made aware that this bike rack design is very similar to or perhaps based on a bike rack design by a company called Cyclehoop.  Congrats to Cyclehoop for such an innovative and educational design.

Pedestrian Paths and Bike Stairchannel Complete at Glenmont

November 15th, 2013 9 comments

As we continue to improve pedestrian and bicycle access to Metrorail,  Metro has recently completed several  improvements on the east side of Glenmont station.

Walking and bicycling are key access strategies for Metrorail, as Metro seeks to grow ridership in sustainable and cost-effective ways. As our studies have shown, accommodating new riders at our current access modal shares would be quite costly to the region.  At Glenmont station, around 12% of riders in the morning arrive on foot or by bike, but there may be growth potential. Nearly 80 customers per day live within 1 mile of the station but currently park.  Over 550 customers, or a third of all parking customers, live within 3 miles of the station but currently park.

To make Glenmont station more attractive and safe for pedestrians and bicycles, Metro’s Parking Office has constructed new paved pathways connecting the station to the intersection of Layhill Road and Glenallan Avenue, replacing a dirt path. Metro has completed this work as part of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Capital Improvement Program.

Glenmont NE Path 3Glenmont NE Path 2

Read more…

moveDC Public Workshop Announcement – Comment on DC’s long-range transporation plan!

October 18th, 2013 No comments

moveDCThe District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is hosting its third and final round of public workshops in October to discuss moveDC, DDOT’s initiative to develop a strategic, multimodal long range transportation plan for the District.  The public is encouraged to attend a workshop to review the draft plan and help prioritize the transportation options. The October workshops will enable you to:

  • Share your ideas and observations on future plans for transportation;
  • Learn how three approaches to a future DC transportation system perform;
  • Review the results of our survey research;
  • Provide input into the draft transportation plan; and
  • Learn more about the moveDC local bus study.

Online Survey

Throughout October, you are also invited to participate in a survey to comment on and critique three approaches that have the potential to transform the way people travel in the District.

Public Meeting Dates and Locations

Monday, October 21

7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Union Station

625 First St NE

Tuesday, October 22

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., with a formal presentation 7 p.m.

Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library

3935 Benning Road, NE

Saturday, October 26

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

DCUSA Retail Center, 2nd Floor, between Target and Best Buy

3100 14th St. NW

Wednesday, October 30

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., with a formal presentation 7 p.m.

Petworth Neighborhood Library

4200 Kansas Ave., NW

Web Meetings

Visit www.wemoveDC.org for more details and to sign up.

October 24, noon – 1:00 p.m.

October 28, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 

2013 Bicycle Parking Census at Metrorail Stations

September 9th, 2013 6 comments

Bicycles parked at racks at Metrorail stations inched up again this year, and Union Station is now Metro’s number-one station for bicycle access.

Union Station is now the busiest Metrorail station for bicycle access.

Union Station is now the busiest Metrorail station for bicycle access.

Using bike rack counts – one of two ways we gauge bike-to-rail access – bikes parked at Metrorail stations increased by 1% in the last year.  The number of bike racks increased 20% over the same time period. (The second measurement of bike access from theMetrorail Passenger Survey was published last week here).

Some highlights:

  • Overall bikes parked is up slightly above 2012.  However, we observed each station only once or twice, so it is difficult to discern long-term trends from short-term variation so far.
  • Union Station is now the single biggest station for bicycle access, not including bikes parked  inside the BikeStation there. We counted 130 bikes at that station, well beyond the capacity at racks.
  • Bike parking capacity is up 20% since 2012, including the College Park Bike & Ride. Metro now has space for over 5,000 bicycles at stations. We (and our partners) continue to add bike parking capacity to stay on track to reach our goal of 7,000 bicyclists by 2020.
  • Bike use increased at several major stations such as East Falls Church, Vienna, Greenbelt, and NoMa, but decreased at other stations such as King Street, Braddock Road, and Franconia-Springfield.
  • Bicycle numbers remained about even at several perennial heavy-hitters like Medical Center, Takoma, Grosvenor, and Columbia Heights.
2011 2012 2013 2011-12 Change 2012-13 Change
Parked Bicycles 2,196 2,271 2,285 3% 1%
Bike Rack Capacity 3,544 4,239 5,136 20% 21%

Read more…

Categories: Planning Studies Tags: ,

Bicycle Access to Metrorail On the Rise

August 26th, 2013 2 comments

The number of Metrorail customers riding their bike to the train station increased by 50% over the last 5 years, as Metro makes progress towards its 2020 goal to attract more bicyclists.

More cyclists are accessing Metrorail by bike than ever before.  According to results from the 2012 Metrorail Passenger Survey, the number of riders bicycling to Metrorail in the morning rush hour increased from around 1,550 to over 2,380 per day between 2007 and 2012. Bike access to Metrorail now accounts for 1% of entries each morning, which moves us closer to our Board-adopted goal of over 2% (over 7,000 bicycles!) by 2020.

Bike Access to Rail 2012

In this survey, riders who access rail by bicycle in the morning peak could be taking Capital Bikeshare to the station, riding and parking their own bike at the station, or bringing a folding bike on-board.  The Passenger Survey is one way we measure bicycle access. We see a similar pattern in our annual count of bike racks at stations each spring (currently nearing completion for 2013, stay tuned).

The growth in bike access has happened at the same time as bicycling is increasing generally in the region, and as Metro has added more bike racks at stations to accommodate and encourage bicycling, including a secure Bike & Ride parking prototype facility at College Park station.

Categories: In The News Tags: , , ,

Huntington Station Auto Access “Hotspots”

July 25th, 2013 2 comments
Heat map showing parking access within 1 mile and 3 miles at Huntington station, which may indicate good opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle improvements  (click for full map)

Heat map showing parking access within 1 mile and 3 miles at Huntington station, which may indicate good opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle improvements (click for full map)

We continue to explore barriers to pedestrian and bicycle access to Metrorail stations with a look at Huntington station. Previous posts in this series explored Forest Glen and Southern Avenue stations.  All stations profiled share similar characteristics in that they have a high percentage of short-distance (less than three miles) parking access, and low bicycle use.  By looking at street layout, customer distribution and gathering your comments we are working to better understand barriers facing pedestrians and bicyclists and improve safety.

The map on the right (full version) shows auto access “hotspots” for Huntington station. Huntington is located in Alexandria Virginia less than a mile south of interstate 495, the Capital Beltway.

The station serves as a park and ride option for commuters from south of the DC metropolitan area as it is the last station on the southern end of the Yellow Line and is easily accessible from the interstate. Still, roughly half of the 3,600 daily parking customers originate from the many residential areas within three miles of the station.

Short distance parking customers almost exclusively originate from south and west of the station. The Potomac River, Capital Beltway, and proximity to Eisenhower Ave, Kings Street, and Braddock Road stations also along the Yellow Line seem to influence this. Read more…

Southern Ave Station Auto Access “Hotspots”

May 13th, 2013 8 comments
Heat map showing short-distance parking access at Forest Glen station, which will be incorporated into the next rail to bike planning effort (click for full map)

Heat map showing parking access within 1 mile and 3 miles at Southern Ave. station, which may indicate good opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle improvements  (click for full map)

Last December we looked at the Forest Glen station and asked you for insights on why people coming from so close (less than three miles) would drive to the station. In the upcoming weeks we are taking a look at five additional stations that also have a high percent of short-distance parking access and low bicycle use: Southern Ave, Glenmont, Largo Town Center, and Grosvenor-Strathmore. For each, we will explore the station’s local conditions and we ask you to share your insights about what can be done to improve walking and biking access to these stations.

The map on the right (full version) shows auto access “hotspots” around Southern Ave station. The Southern Ave station is located just southeast of the boundary between the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County.

Many residential neighborhoods are located within the three-mile radius of the station, and a large concentration of parking users residing within one mile of the station.

However, many possible barriers could inhibit non-motorized travel to Metro:

  • Southern Ave SE is a fast-moving, four-lane road that is uninviting to pedestrians, despite traffic signals, sidewalks and streetlights.
    • WalkScore.com gives the Southern Ave Metrorail station a walk score of 52 out of a possible 100.
  • The station has no direct connectivity to the surrounding residential neighborhoods.  All access to the station must occur via Southern Ave SE.  As such, many neighbors of the station must travel long and circuitous routes to access Metrorail.  See the image below.
  • The station nestled into a corner of Oxon Run Park, further limiting station access routes for nearby residents.

Read more…

Bike to Metro, and Metro to Work, on Bike-to-Work-Day May 17

May 8th, 2013 2 comments
Bike_to_Metro_and_Metro_to_Work_forweb

Join Metro at pitstops at Cheverly and West Hyattsville Metrorail stations on Bike to Work Day, May 17. Register now for your free T-shirt!

Bike to Work Day is coming soon – and biking to Metro counts too, especially for your free T-Shirt!  If riding all the way to work sounds a little daunting, have no fear. Nearly every Metrorail station has bike racks where you can lock up your bike, and continue your commute by rail.  And every Metrobus has a bike rack on the front with space for your bike, too.

So bike to Metro on Friday May 17 and pick up free stuff, too! There will be over 70 pitstops that morning, including many right near Metro stations.

This year, join Metro for Bike to Work Day pitstops at West Hyattsville and Cheverly stations for:

  • Giveaways and maps
  • Safety and transit tips
  • Bus bike rack demonstration, with a bus on hand

Register now at biketoworkmetrodc.org, and enter pitstop West Hyattsville or Cheverly Metro stations.

West Hyattsville station is directly accessible to the Anacostia Northwest Branch trail and the Sligo Creek trail. Cheverly station has good bike access to the neighborhood of Cheverly to the north, and signs will guide bicyclists from Cheverly Ave. and Columbia Park Rd. We’ll have plenty of bike parking on hand for the day!

More about Bikes and Metro:

Categories: In The News Tags:

Chart of the Week: “Hotspots” for Pedestrian and Bike Access to Rail Stations

December 17th, 2012 10 comments

Heat map showing short-distance parking access at Forest Glen station, which indicates good opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle access (click for full map)

In our effort to improve safety, access and sustainability, Metro is expanding our understanding of bike and pedestrian barriers faced in commuting to our Metrorail stations. Over the past several years, we have focused our bike and pedestrian project planning and implementation efforts on improvements we can make to our station areas such as, installing bike racks or constructing pedestrian improvements. Now, we’d like to expand the envelope and develop a list of access needs beyond our own boundaries and work with our jurisdictional partners to make needed improvements.

One way we are doing this is by gaining a better understanding of where auto commuters come from when they drive to our stations, and zeroing in on areas where we see a good deal of auto access to determine if there are barriers to walking or biking to the station.

The map at right (full version) shows auto-to-station “hot spots” around the Forest Glen station, to pick one example, locations from which clusters of customers drive and park at Metro. According to the 2007 Metrorail Passenger Survey data, many customers drive from within a 1-3 mile radius; some are even closer. So why are so many people from this area driving? In our 2010 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, we teased out some of the more broad-based reasons why people drive rather than walk or bike – now we’d like to explore each station’s local conditions and see what can be done to improve walk and bike access.

The Forest Glen station is located north of the Capital Beltway and west of Georgia Avenue. More commuters to Forest Glen are from north of the Beltway and east of Georgia Avenue. There is pedestrian overpass over the Capital Beltway which helps facilitate foot traffic:  Is crossing Georgia Ave then a barrier?  There are four Metro rail stations located within a 2-mile radius of Forest Glen which draw away commuters farther from the station. This could help to explain the highly localized nature of the parking shed.

There are many factors not considered here such as demographics, bus usage, and average driving trends. Further research into parking and commuting trends is in the works.

If you commute from this area, can you comment about what you experience on your commute? Do you drive?  If so, what factors influence you to drive instead of walk or bike? Would you like to walk or bike, but the infrastructure isn’t there or the traffic is too daunting? Or do you see something else from this data? We want to hear from you and appreciate any feedback you have that can make our system more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.