OC Transpo provides better bike parking

Users of the main transitway stations will have noticed that some bike parking racks have been shoved aside from their usual locations. Then concrete pads have been poured. Only at Baseline Station did I notice a sign identifying what is going on: new bike racks. Kudos to OC for providing better bike parking.

In the pic below notice the new shelter, the moderately strong bike racks, and in the distance, the numerous bikes attached to the shoved-aside racks that are no longer bolted to the ground (and the background, the free employee parking lot attached our municipal office building).

And here is a pic of the shelter in use, on Thursday. Recall that it absolutely poured rained most of the day. And that not only were there 12 lucky bikes in the shelter, but a dozen in the older racks:

A new (smaller) concrete pad has also been poured at Bayview Station; presumably a new rack  or shelter is en route for there too.

Observation 1: there were way more bikes than the shelter can accommodate. Will the old racks, currently not bolted down to the pavement, be left there (hopefully bolted down), or does OC Transpo feel this is enough parking space?

Observation 2: for the new OLRT transitway stations, the planning team imported a consultant from the US of A to advise them on how many bike parking spaces are required at each station. As reported in earlier posts, I thought these numbers low for the current ridership, let alone the future. If these shelters represent the planned capacity, then it is good (provided someone notices…) to find out before the LRT stations are built that their bike parking estimates are too low.

Observation 3: Will someone from OC or the City note how cyclists get to the parking posts? At Baseline, it is possible to cycle up to the station from the west or south; but from the east cyclists are supposed to (but will they actually do so in practice??) walk their bikes along a few hundred feet of sidewalk first. Much better to accomodate what people want to do than to imagine they will perform to the engineer’s fantasy.

8 thoughts on “OC Transpo provides better bike parking

  1. Those types of bike racks are best accessed from both sides, but here, they can only be accessed from one. You can’t get the maximum number of bikes that can fit into them without two-sided access, since you have to jostle for room with the handlebars of the bike beside you. I wonder if the ‘bikes per rack’ that OC Transpo expects for those racks is based on two-sided access, which is why there is already overflow (although, imagine the overflow in the summer, when the weather is better!).

  2. How many bikes can you park in the space reserved for 3 or 4 cars? Too bad they couldn’t have freed up more space. 12 spots seems really low and at the peak season this will not be anywhere near to being enough.

  3. Eric, your first photo (empty shelter) leads to questions: Why was the shelter not placed right in the corner? While the College Avenue Bridge was being built, new power lines were run from the pole in the municipal parking lot to Algonquin College. (Notice the darker new asphalt at the construction pylons.) I expect that the overhead wires could be removed, including the utility pole beside the new bike shelter. Had the existing new shelter been placed closer to the edge of the pad, then a second shelter could have been easily added once the pole was removed.

    Then there is the question of the fence which restricts movement between the platform and the abutting Multi-use Pathway. Why is that fence even there? If it can’t be totally removed, could there be a local opening from the path to the racks?

    The question of shelter capacity is a good one. On October 12, 2011, before the shelter was erected, I just happened to count the number of bikes at Baseline and Fallowfield. It was not raining that day, but it was overcast. There were 19 bikes at Baseline and 13 at Fallowfield; so there were about 50% more bikes parked at Baseline. I assume that this was not an unusual count and the same kind of numbers could have been attained at different times – probably even higher numbers on a warm summer day. So my question would have to be: Why did Fallowfield get two new bike shelters but Baseline only one?

    While I applaud the addition of sheltered bike facilities, like you, I have a lot of questions about the planning and implementation.

  4. Richard: there is access to the path behind the fence from approx. where I took the picture. I presume the fence protects peds from falling down the slope behind the platform, and also adds security to the platform area by controlling the directions of access.
    There is tons of room to install more, similar shelters elsewhere at Baseline Station, which is a bleak and huge expanse of concrete with scattered patron shelters. For starters, install one at each end of each platform. Maybe these will come … but they wont if people dont tell OC Transpo that they want them.

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