A couple of months ago, Metro held a workshop to discuss methods for improving access to Metro stations.
About 60 participants from local, state and federal government agencies, Metro, and bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups will discuss safety and access to bus stops and stations; community and government partnerships to benefit pedestrians and bicyclists;communication tools and strategies; ways to predict the number of pedestrians and bicyclists using transit; and partnerships between the transit agency and local governments for funding access improvements.
Metro officials have been undertaking a comprehensive review of bike racks and lockers to develop a plan to improve the amenities for bicyclists.
That sounds great, and I suspect Dan T. is somewhat responsible for it. The press release ended with this line.
Bikes are not permitted in the rail system during certain holidays or special events due to large crowds.
So here's the thing, and I've said it before, not every train is crowded at 9:00 am or on the 4th of July. The rule already exists that you can't take a bike on a crowded train, so why the rush hour restriction? It's based on faulty logic. I hope that's one thing they discuss. I also hope they discuss ways to safely make room for bikes on metro - especially in light of the new configuration studies. Holding your bike, while normally OK, is less safe than storing your bike - and a hassle.
Officials hope the changes will lessen crowding by encouraging more riders to move down the aisle and provide smoother passage for riders in wheelchairs and those with luggage, strollers or bicycles.
I'd like to see some form of bicycle hooks added to some of the test cars. They use them on the Portland light rail and in NJ (pictured).
I don't care for the old Metro clamping bike racks and prefer the inverted U. I thought everyone felt the way that I do, much as with my high school crush, I've found out I'm wrong.
Update the bike racks. Good idea! Replace them with half the number of simple u-shaped bars that make it much harder to effectively look one's bike. Huh? I ride my bike to the north entrance of Silver Spring station where a few weeks ago they took away all the clamp-style racks (which were fully functional and used to capacity every day), and replaced them with half the number of simple U-shaped bars bolted into the ground. Meaning, you've now got half the places to lock your bike and you need to use two locks to effectively secure the bike. I asked the station manager what was going on and he just mumbled some general phone number to call.
I feel like you can lock two bikes to an inverted U. Does anyone have trouble with this? And I've always thought that the ability to lock the bike in two places was the advantage. Will anyone else miss the clamp? Now, I have heard that the racks are merely bolted to the ground, and that seems like incorrect installation (does anyone know if they're properly anchored) but that's another issue.
Of course Citizens Against Government Waste thinks we shouldn't be spending money on bike parking at Metro at all.
Pedestrian and bike improvements for Metro stations simply do not take precedence over genuine priorities
The thing is you can play that game all day. Should we really spend money to (fill in seemingly mundane government function) when people are dying from (fill in disease) or when kids go hungry or teachers are so woefully underpaid, etc...Pedestrian and bike improvements are genuine priorities. They relate to safety, health, the environment, quality of life, energy policy etc...Those are among my priorities. If they want to argue that WMATA shouldn't get funding priority and should have to pay for upgrades with "passenger fares, local governments and competitively awarded federal grants" they may have a point, though I would argue that the present method for awarding federal transit grants is incredibly flawed and that WMATA has special status because of its role in moving federal employees; but to argue that bike and ped improvements aren't important enough for government to bother with - that's myopic.