The Seattle Times notes that bike commutes are on the rise, which is good news, but it leads me to a question I ask a lot: why aren’t there more bike lockers at big bus stops and train stations? Here in Sweden, there are hundreds of bike lockers and bike racks at all the train stations. It seems like bike parking is a good way to inrease the area that people can use link stations and the big bus stops.

6 Replies to “Bike Commutes Up, but where are the lockers?”

  1. Having more lockers makes sense to me! I currently “lease” a locker owned by Metro at the old Kent “James St” Park and Ride, but there’s only 4 lockers there. And Kent Station only has six or so (from Sound Transit). It’s odd, especially since the James St Park and Ride is right on the Interurban Trail.

    I don’t know what the usage for the lockers, but I would think that they would all be full, seeing as how both parking lots and the garage are usually pretty full, to.

    And if Metro has lockers available, you can get them through the Bike Alliance for $50. Once time deposit.

  2. i’m sure metro is working on adding more lockers. they need a 12 month pre-planning phase, an 18-month trial-and-procurement phase, 16 community meetings, a 1% of the funding to go to an art project, 8 months to get the necessary permits to put the bike lockers in, and 2 days to actually install the things. since things sometimes run late, i’d say expect to see them sometime in july of 2013.

  3. Andrew’s snarky (and inaccurate) comment aside, there are more than a few reasons we aren’t seeing more lockers –

    1) Sound Transit has never been realistic in assessing the need for lockers at their facilities – or any other racks, for that matter. From the earliest days of ST, staff has taken a “least amount we can get away with” approach to the needs of bicyclists.

    2) Much of Metro’s efforts recently has been to double the capacity of the locker facility at Montlake Station. Looks like a utility substation, really, but the capacity was needed, and provided.

    3) Locker management is a pain – abuse of the lockers can be chronic (storage container, homeless housing, etc), and they have more than once been defeated by thieves with chainsaws and crowbars. Ya gotta admire initiative….

    4) There is more interest being shown by Metro in alternative means of dealing with the back side of a bike/bus commute, including their current interest in Bike Share programs (Paris, Barcelona, Washington DC, London) that would allow a rider to not have to bring the bike on the bus.

    5) Yes, we’d like more lockers (remember, it’s a small non-profit managing the program already), but Metro (and Pierce Transit)puts ST to shame when it comes to accomodating bicyclists. If I were looking for energy to get more lockers, yes, contact Metro, but also work with local Transportation Management organizations – they can be very effective advocates for new facilities.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Phil! I transfer at Montlake daily, and saw the new bike racks go in. It’d have been nice to get a paved connection for those walking southbound, though – the gravel is murder on nice shoes.

      Sound Transit is getting better on bikes. The racks on Link and straps on Sounder are a great step, as well as the commitment to a walk-on cyclist policy for Link. They also implemented 3-bike racks before Metro did. They have room for improvement at their facilities, for sure, though.

    1. Covered racks would be great as well as racks near freeway stops. Not every ramp stop is located near a transit center. I once emailed Metro about this and never even got a reply.

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