Friday, August 12, 2011

WMATA counts bikes and racks at Metro stations

WMATA recently conducted a bike and rack count at all Metro stations. The Vienna station racks were full (blue color in far left circle), with overflow bikes (orange color)  parked to any fixed object. Let's  hope this leads to more U racks at the Vienna station.

According to WMATA, they "counted bikes and racks at rail stations over a six-week window of peak usage from May 1 to June 15 for a “bike parking census.”  Each station was counted on a sunny, warm day typically between 9:30am and 3:00pm. We wanted to learn about the general availability of and demand for bike parking in station areas. For these counts, we specifically excluded bike lockers and the Union Station Bikestation, and focused just on racks. We wanted to know how easy it would be for a new bike-to-rail customer to easily find bike parking near a station.  We counted each U-Rack as space for 2 bikes, and used our best judgment for wave, grid, post-and-ring, and other racks.

Overall Findings
  • 84 of our 86  stations have bicycle racks (all but Arlington Cemetery and Stadium-Armory)
  • Bike-to-rail access seems to be up significantly over the last 5 years
  • There is space to park 3,540 bicycles near Metrorail stations, and we saw 2,196 parked bicycles total
  • Supply is not always matched to demand at a station-by-station level. Some stations are at or above capacity today, and additional bike-to-rail customers would be unable to find legitimate bicycle parking.  Other stations have plenty of underused space. Racks at some stations are not aligned with demand – they have unused capacity on one side of the station, but overflowing racks on the other side.
  • Stations where total bikes parked exceeded 100% of rack capacity: 12
  • Even though a station may show some “empty spaces,” the racks may still be crowded enough that an average bicyclist would call the rack “full” in all practicality.
  • Stations where we observed at least 3 bikes tied to things other than racks: 26

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