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Shortly after my post on the Rainier Station bike cages, Sound Transit got back to me on my question. ST spokesman Geoff Patrick said Beacon Hill is the first facility scheduled to have bike cages. The cages could “come online as soon as next year, but it is too early to confirm the timing, ” and will follow “a reconfiguration of the bike parking there.” Almost simultaneously, the Tukwila Sounder station will incorporate cages when its renovation finishes in late 2014.

More importantly,

Going forward they are going to be our primary strategy for promoting bicyclist access to the system and will be located at most new facilities that are in the pipeline, including not just East Link but the other ST2 extensions.

Patrick added that there are some exceptions:

University of Washington Station, where there is no room for a cage and we’re maxing out the space available for bicycle parking with racks under the bike/ped bridge; and at Capitol Hill Station, where a cage is planned to be added later, either during TOD construction or afterwards.

Where space is at a premium I imagine conventional racks are more efficient, but the bike cage trend is a welcome one.

30 Replies to “Bike Cages Coming As Soon as 2014”

  1. Good to hear more bicycle access is coming, but its unfortunate that the station that intersects with the busiest bicycle corridor in the state may have the least support for bicycle parking.

    1. Seems like cages are incredibly space wasting. While I would want the additional security and protection, can’t they just put a standard bike rack under a roof awning (like a carport) and set up a webcam to discourage thieves?

      1. I think you answered your own question: security. Webcams discourage thieves, they don’t eliminate them. It is pretty easy to hide your face (especially in the winter) and then steal the bike. It would probably be safe during the day, but be a tempting target at night.

      2. I’m still not getting it.

        Ultimately both are secured by a metal lock.

        Why is cutting a bike chain easier than cutting a cage (or using a crowbar to open it).

        Or not a bike rack with two clamps one for each tire.

      3. Not as cheap as a cardboard cutout:

        Police officer cut-out causes decline in bike thefts

        BOSTON (WHDH) — A poster board of a real life MBTA officer has been stopping crime at the Alewife T station.

        “At first glimpse, you want to say how silly it is that a cut-out of a cop would have an impact on crime,” said Deputy Chief, Robert Lenehan.

        The poster board replica went on duty one month ago. The MBTA said bike thefts are down 67% because of it.

    2. I’m going to have to call bullshit on the claim that the UW station has no room for a bike cage. A bike cage doesn’t take up that much space, and there is tons of open space around the stadium, especially if you include the other side of the new ped bridge, west of Montlake. Or when you consider that the area immediately adjacent to the station (which is currently part of the construction site) is going to revert back to parking lot when the construction is finished. At the cost of a measly 6 or so parking spaces that will only get used 8 times a year for football games, we could have our bike cage.

      I do realize the people who use those spaces 8 times a year may be important bigwigs who donated lots of money to rebuild the stadium, but is it really the end of world if they have to walk an extra few feet to their car a little further back in the lot?

      1. The REAL bigwigs park INSIDE the stadium now (there are 200 spaces there)! The others can eat cake. I have to walk much further than that. ;-)

        I can’t believe that some sort of agreement can’t be reached, particularly as a decent percentage of the users will likely be students/staff/faculty. I believe that lot is used on other than game days; I’m not sure if it’s overflow from the Triangle Garage for the medical center or what, nor do I know what percentage of the spaces are used. With 5 years of construction taking up quite a few of the former spaces, it may be a good time to ask. Once the spaces are back it will be much more difficult.

        That being said, it’s unfortunate that Sound Transit did not plan ahead for that sort of space requirement for bicycle storage (in whatever form) when negotiating the use of the land.

  2. It’s a shame the UW likely wouldn’t give up any of it’s parking lot adjacent to the UW Station for a cycle cage. Maybe time to try and convince them? They could make money from it too.

    Also, did Geoff say anything about adding cages to existing stations? Beacon Hill and Mt Baker seem like good candidates.

    1. I agree about the Husky Stadium site. There is so much extra land around there. Not just parking lots, but little roads that lead nowhere as well as plenty of lawn. For example, put a cycle cage close to the climbing rock. You wouldn’t even have to knock out any trees if you did it right. Just put it on the lawn, towards the west end of that space. From what I can tell, you could plop a cage in there that is 80′ by 30′ without disturbing any one of those trees. Basically put it here:
      That might not be ideal (I’m not sure where the entrances are or where exactly the trains will load and unload) but it is a lot better than nothing. It’s pretty stupid to have nothing since the Burke Gilman is right there. People will want to store their bikes there overnight. Imagine if you commute from Northgate to Fremont. You could ride the train then hop on your bike and be to work in no time (with little danger and little sweat). Of course you could ride the train with your bike, but we really don’t want to encourage that sort of thing (since bikes take up a lot of space).

      1. I had much the same reaction. The UW station is not just to serve the campus. Like every other part of Link, it is a trunk line that connects with all the east-west routes that get people from one place to another, be it Northgate, downtown, Bellevue, the airport or anywhere in between. It’s ridiculous that Sound Transit doesn’t have “room” for a bike cage when an adjacent public entity has acres of land that essentially go unused except seven times a year adjacent to the station.

      2. To be fair to the UW, the parking lot is used by the hospital, as well as for football. But there are plenty of areas available (as I pointed out) without taking any of the precious parking spots. Furthermore, if you did take a few parking spots, it would be just that, a few. Bikes are way more compact than cars, so you can fit way more into the same spot. They could just start small and see how it goes. My guess is that pretty soon, they could see why folks really wanted the lockers.

      3. It’s just that the University thinks football parking is more important than a subway station or bicycle cages, and since it’s a state institution it can ignore Sound Transit, which is just a multi-county (regional) entity.

      4. That and the fact that the UW knows that the users of any bike parking at the station will be commuters who have no affiliation with the university whatsoever. No UW student is going to keep a bike at the station, when they can simply store their bike on campus instead. Other than PR, the university really has no interest in accommodating anything at all, no matter how slight the inconvenience is to them. And as a public institution, ST can’t say no to them.

    2. It seems like the ideal place for a bike cage at UW Station would be atop the triangle garage. There would be a level path to the Burke-Gilman trail via the lid over Pacific Place, and Link would be accessible via the bridge over Montlake Blvd. and elevator.

      1. Good point. I like that idea a lot. It is fairly convenient, and gets lots of bikers off their bike on what is likely to be a fairly congested area (which is good for everyone).

      2. Actually, thinking about it some more, the bike cage actually could be useful to UW students going to class. They could do the bulk of their commute on the light rail, use a bike to cover the last half-mile or so through campus to class. Of course, this idea only works if one can feel reasonably safe leaving a bike at the station overnight, night after night. With a bike cage, this idea becomes feasible with a cheap bike. With open racks, even a cheap bike would likely no last a year this way without being stolen. So, the UW actually would benefit from the cage.

        Also, during football games, the cage would get lots of use from local residents going to the game, even if they aren’t actually riding the light rail.

  3. As long as they maintain plenty of free fast conventional bike parking for those of us not so worried about theft.

  4. FWIW, bike parking underneath the pedestrian bridge should be fine. It’s covered but in a fairly visible area where theft shouldn’t be such an issue. I actually don’t think Husky Stadium is the most important place for bike parking near UW. The most important place will be on the Montlake lid, whenever (or if ever) that gets built, assuming the service patterns there will look a lot like those at I-5/45th today.

    1. Between 2016 and 2021, biking to the UW station will be the fastest transit option, by far, to get downtown from almost anywhere in Northeast Seattle, especially during hours when buses like the 64 and 76 aren’t running. Even after 2021, a ride to Roosevelt Station would still have hills and cars to contend with, while a ride to the UW station would be flat trail all the way. So it’s use is still not going away.

  5. Seems like a waste. Serious bicyclists bike all the way in to work, then bring their bike into their office, or lock the bike up outside. But I also know a large percentage of bicyclists are posers. They put on all the bike gear as if they are racing in the Tour de France, then only ride their bike a block or two to the bus stop or train station, then let transit take them the rest of the way into work, because they want people at work to think they are hardcore or saving the earth. I do not want to subsidize bike posers! There should be some kind of vetting process to separate the posers from those who truly need to use the bike cages.

    1. You’re exactly right. We should apply the same to all eastside Park and Rides. No one should drive their Tesla to a park and ride; they need to show it off by driving all the way downtown. We should hire enforcement officers to monitor this along with your bike proposal. After all, we know exactly where all the cyclists come from and what their motives are in a multi-modal commute. That NSA data isn’t just for national security.

    2. Actually for my commute I bike through downtown, weaving across as many lanes as I can just to mess up traffic and piss off drivers, then I attach my bike to the front of a bus heading out to Redmond just to take up space — I don’t even work in Redmond!

      Also my bike, from a suitable distance, looks like a brakeless, fixed-gear track bike but it’s actually got hub gearing and brakes that I control wirelessly with switches attached to my middle fingers — so if you see a guy riding with no hands flipping you the double-bird while erratically swerving from lane to lane downtown, sorry, it’s kind of hard to shift and brake at the same time with my setup.

  6. Given that the bikeshare system is expected to become online before the UW station opens, will we at least be able to have a bikeshare station at the rail station? Or will Sound Transit give us B.S. that there isn’t room for that either?

    The lack of a cage is a big disappointment. I was hoping to use it for airport trips, carrying my luggage in a trailer. But if I have to leave my bike and trailer on an open rack for 3-4 nights in a row, it’s not worth it – when push comes to shove, a couple of taxi rides is far cheaper than getting a bike stolen!

  7. Secure Parking Areas (SPAs) for bicycles are essential equipment to facilitate transportation options in a city that isn’t annexing more room for roadways. I personally don’t like the thought of putting my bike in a cage. A bikeSPA sounds great. Sign me up.

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