Monday, March 21, 2011

Metro wants more people to bike to their stations

Bikes at Dunn Loring Metro Station
Today's Metro section in the Post has a good article on bicycle commuting to Metro stations: Metro to woo bike-to-rail commuters:
But Metro's long-range planners, desperate to avoid having to build 30,000 to 40,000 expensive parking spaces at stations to meet the projected surge in ridership over the next 20 years, have launched an initiative to quintuple the number of cyclists.

"It's very much strategic for us to put a really big focus on bicycle parking," said Kristin Haldeman, Metro's manager of access planning. Parking spaces cost on average $25,000 each, compared with $1,000 per space for a secured bike cage. "It's an extremely expensive proposition for us" to expand car parking, she said.
We're teaching a bike commuting seminar at noon today and the first topic we discuss is reasons why people go by bike: to save time and money, and to get exercise:
"I was telling my patients they had to exercise a half-hour a day," said Buchholz, 36, a physician who rides from his home in Falls Church to the East Falls Church Station.

The father of two decided a year ago that biking to Metro was the easiest way to fit a workout into his hectic day.

Harley Frazis, 53, hops on a hybrid mountain/touring bike at his Bethesda condominium each morning to shave five minutes off his commute to the Medical Center Station. Frazis, a research economist at the Bureau of Labor, is a die-hard bike commuter who said the only thing that deters him is ice on the path.

"If there’s intermittent rain, I'll sweat it out," he said.

Strapping on her helmet for a seven-minute ride from the station to her home in Mount Pleasant, Catherine Harrington said she bikes because there is no other convenient mode of transportation to reach the Red Line, which she takes to her job at the Women's Learning Partnership in Bethesda.

"It's a 25-minute walk," she said, so she bikes in order to sleep 15 minutes later in the morning.
I usually add another reason; to have fund. Most people don't want to save the world, they just want to use an efficient form of transportation, and they want better bike facilities to make their trips safer and easier:
All three voiced a strong interest in seeing more bike lanes and paths to make commuting safer.

Washington is "really lacking with the bike lanes," especially compared with New York, Harrington said.

To address those challenges and lure more cyclists, Metro plans to invest more than $11 million in projects to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to its rail stations through 2017.

Of that, $3 million would go toward replacing rapidly deteriorating bicycle racks and lockers. Metro plans to spend $8 million on expanding bicycle parking and improving connections to stations from communities.
If you do ride to Metro, be sure to have a secure lock. Bike theft is a problem at the stations and having a good U-lock or other good quality lock is essential. Be sure to secure both wheels and the saddle as well, so two locks may be necessary.

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