Posts Tagged ‘bike’

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.

Metrobus Testing Bike Racks with Space For 3 Bikes

December 13th, 2012 5 comments

Every Metrobus has a bike rack on the front of the bus with room for two bikes. But if you ride the F12 or F13 bus routes around the Cheverly and Landover areas, you may have noticed a different kind of rack on one of our buses – with space for three bikes, not two.  Our Bus group is testing out this new style of rack on one bus operating on the F12 and F13 routes to see how it works. The instructions for using this test rack are the same as the standard racks.

Have you seen or tried this rack? Did you try the middle or back-most rack? What do you think?

Let us know in the comments below.

Metro is testing a new style of bicycle rack on buses with space for 3 bikes.All Metrobuses currently have racks for 2 bikes.

 

Bikes are allowed on Metrobus at all times, even during peak times. Unsure about how they work? See instructions for how to use the standard racks.

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New Bike Racks at Brookland-CUA and Shady Grove

November 14th, 2012 No comments

Metro’s Parking Office recently completed new bike rack installations at Shady Grove and Brookland-CUA stations, with parking for over 80 additional bicycles. This work was completed as part of our Pedestrian and Bicycle Capital Improvement Program.

The new racks at Brookland are located on the west side of the station, just off the Metropolitan Branch Trail. At Shady Grove, the new bicycle racks are in two places on the west side: near the station entrance and bus loop, and near the Kiss & Ride loop where bicyclists had previously locked to handrails.

Next up? Pedestrian improvements at Glenmont station – stay tuned!

2012 Bicycle Parking Census at Metrorail Stations

August 2nd, 2012 8 comments

In May and June, Metro staff traveled the region counting parked bicycles at all Metrorail stations. These bike counts help measure our progress in attracting bike-to-rail customers, and are a key piece of data when we plan for bicycle facilities in the future as part of Metro’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Element of 2012-2017 Capital Improvement Program. Here are some results.

Similar to last year’s counts, the objective of the census was to measure the general availability of, and demand for, bike parking around Metrorail stations. Regardless of who owns the racks, we want to know how easy it would be for a passenger to find a place to park a bike near a station at peak times.  So, we counted during a six-week window on sunny, warm days from May 1 to June 15, between 9:30am and 3:00pm.

We excluded bike lockers, the Union Station Bikestation, and the College Park Bike & Ride (we counted the racks at that station shortly before that facility opened).  We counted each U-Rack as space for two bikes, and used our best judgment for other racks.

Download the count data for yourself (.xls)

Read more…

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Grand Opening: College Park Bike & Ride

May 14th, 2012 3 comments

Metro will hold the grand opening event to launch its first “Bike & Ride” tomorrow – Tuesday, May 15 at 10:00am at the College Park-U of MD Metrorail station.  You are invited to join us that morning, where you can hear a few words from some elected officials and Metro leaders, take a few photos, and tour the facility.

Ready to get started? Sign up now for a $20 BikeLink card, read the brochure, and you’re on your way to secure bike parking.

Already tried out the facility? This first Bike & Ride is a pilot project to try a new kind of bike parking, so let us know what you think!  With the facility, Metro hopes to attract more bike commuters to rail by offering customers convenient, flexible, and secure bike parking.  Metro’s Parking Office will operate the facility, with help from BikeLink.  Metro hopes to learn from the design and continue to expand commuters’ access options as part of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Element of the Capital Investment Program. So, let BikeLink and us know what you think of the facility!

Bike Rack Activity Update

April 2nd, 2012 3 comments

Metro has been busy in February and March installing and upgrading bike racks, preparing for the upcoming bicycle season. Metro’s Plant Maintenance crews installed over 70 new racks, with space for 140 additional bikes at Braddock Road, Glenmont, Morgan Boulevard, Rockville, East Falls Church, Takoma, and Dupont Circle. We continue this work under Metro’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Element of 2012-2017 Capital Improvement Program.

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New Bike Racks in January

February 13th, 2012 2 comments

Since our last update, Metro’s Plant Maintenance crews have installed new bike racks with additional space for over 140 bicycles at 7 more stations in January.  New racks have been installed under existing overhangs and other spaces at Capitol Heights, Stadium-Armory, Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood, Potomac Ave, Largo Town Center, Van Ness-UDC, and Glenmont as part of “Implementation Strategy 1″ in Metro’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Element of 2012-2017 Capital Improvement Program.

We’ve been taking pictures along the way! We took these right after installation, sometimes in the cold or rain, so there aren’t many bikes on them yet, but we hope to be all ready for the biking season to begin in the spring.  Glenmont pictures coming soon.

Stadium Armory Bike racks Jan 2012

Largo Town Center bike racks Jan 2012

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New Stairs at Rhode Island Ave., Including Stairchannel for Bikes

February 1st, 2012 2 comments

New staircase at Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood station, including bike stairchannel

Metro completed work retro-fitting a staircase at the Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood station last week, and the new stairs include channels to make it easier to bring a bicycle up to, or down from, the station.  Metro’s Parking Office included this work as part of the transit-oriented development that is nearing completion at the station, as well as Metro’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Element of 2012-2017 Capital Improvement Program.

The staircase reopens a pedestrian connection from the station to the south side of Rhode Island Avenue, and makes it easier for customers to bring a bicycle as well.  The stairs had closed late last fall for a retrofit.  Pedestrians can once again connect from the bus loop area to the surrounding neighborhood.  To bring your bike on the stairs, put both wheels into the channel along the side, tilt the bike inwards a little, and push/hold your bike so it rolls alongside as you walk.

New staircase at Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood

The stairchannel, sometimes called a runnel, is a new kind of facility for Metro that we hope can help accommodate bikes in difficult areas with steep grade changes.  We welcome your feedback to help guide potential future installations!  Have you seen or tried the stairs? What do you think of them?

 

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What Does the State of the Commute Survey Tell Us?

January 11th, 2012 1 comment

State of the Commute Survey Results

Last summer, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) posted the results from the 2010 State of the Commute (SOC) Survey. Metro planners are reviewing the results now in support of our Regional Transit System Plan, which is looking to better connect areas of concentrated growth, such as the regional activity centers, and increase core capacity through 2040. The survey is conducted every three years to help MWCOG’s Transportation Planning Board better understand commuting trends and evaluate the effectiveness of its Commuter Connections program, which provides information about and benefits for commuting by transit and carpooling instead of single-occupancy vehicles (SOV).

Read more…

New Bike Racks Rolling Out…

January 5th, 2012 10 comments

In December, Metro installed new bike racks for over 100 additional bicycles at Metro stations, and more are on the way.  We are trying to install racks where demand is high, space is available, and/or where we can fit bike parking under existing overhangs or shelters for weather protection. These actions represent initial steps under “Implementation Strategy 1″ in Metro’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Element of 2012-2017 Capital Improvement Program, and have been taken up by Metro’s Plant Maintenance team (PLNT). PLNT has energetically taken on the role of installing these bike racks, which are in addition to their normal duties of grass mowing, snow removal, cleaning and painting, etc.  Their work is a real support to the bicycle and pedestrian program!

So far we’ve installed at Benning Road, Silver Spring, Shaw-Howard U, West Hyattsville, and L’Enfant Plaza, and have scheduled more for January.  We’ve been taking photos along the way:

 

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