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Metro Looking For Ideas From Bikers, Walkers

The transit authority is looking for ideas on how it could do more to help people who either bike or walk to the rail stations.

It won't be doing one of the things often requested by cyclists: Allowing bikes on the trains during rush hours. No room, Metro says. But it has other options. There's plenty of room for improvement on bike storage at the stations, and that's another topic I often hear about from readers.

For pedestrians, Metro is interested in knowing about gaps in the sidewalks within a half mile of the stations, or other safety issues involving walking.

This is a good thing for Metro to be doing: Local governments are trying to focus commercial and residential development around the stations. We can't keep building parking garages, to the point where the stations are surrounded by concrete fortresses. The result is that more people are going to be walking or biking to the stations in years to come.

Right now, Metro says, these are the top 10 destination stations for cyclists in the morning rush hours: East Falls Church, Forest Glen, Medical Center, West Hyattsville, Dunn Loring, Braddock Road, Van Dorn Street, Rockville, Woodley Park, Bethesda.

For walkers, these are the top 10 in the morning rush: Mount Vernon Square, Waterfront, Court House, U Street, Woodley Park, Capitol South, Eastern Market, Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle, Van Ness.

The transit authority is inviting people to bring ideas for improvements to a workshop from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the lobby level meeting room at Metro Headquarters, 600 5th St. NW. There will be a presentation at 6:30 p.m.

By Robert Thomson  |  July 17, 2009; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Biking , Metro , Safety  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, cycling, pedestrian safety, top ten, walking  
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Comments

I don't currently own a bike, but I've been thinking about getting one. I'd probably buy a folding bike if I do so (and those ARE allowed on trains at all hours when they are folded). The big thing I've always noted at Metrorail stations for people who ride conventional bikes or recumbents (the latter are never allowed on trains, either) is that there needs to be more covered storage, whether in the form of bike lockers or bike racks in the parking garages where the bikes are shielded from the rain and such. Reason for this thought is that leaving a bike exposed to the elements affects the bike a lot more than it affects a car, simply because all the mechanical parts are exposed.

(Bike lockers are particularly important for people who ride recumbent trikes, which can be very difficult to connect to a conventional bike storage rack.)

Posted by: 1995hoo | July 17, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I live a short distance from the Rhode Island Metro Station and would like to see bicycle lockers located there or near there. I used to bike there but vandalism was a problem. The bikes were always moved or knocked over. Lights or bells were taken off and the quick release levers were opened as if someone wanted to take the tires. If the locks were not placed through the tire spokes then the tires would be stolen.Attempts were made to steal the bicycle seats if you have a nice padded seat like mine. I had to run a lock and chain through the seat so I would have something to sit on when getting off the subway to ride home. Bicycle lockers would go a long way to prevent theft and also keep the brakes from getting wet in inclimate weather or just the humidity. When the brakes get wet the stopping distance of bikes is affected and also parts get rusted and malfunction.

Posted by: peace4all2 | July 17, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I alternate between driving to Metro, biking to Metro and biking all the way to work. I would ride my bike much more often if I could safely store it at the Metro station. I am not comfortable leaving it at the station for it to possibly be vandalised or stolen. Please provide closed-in/safer storage for bicycles. After the train crash, I began riding my bicycle primarily to work (from West Hyattsville to Farragut North) because of the major delays which caused much too much frustration for me.

Posted by: shejoy | July 20, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

>

Uhh... any possibilty of some sort of electronic suggestion box for those of us who can't make it to the meeting?

Posted by: wile_e_coyote1 | July 24, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree with shejoy - more bike lockers would help. I'm currently on the waiting list for a locker at Forest Glen and Silver Spring. If I could get a locker, I could ride one bike to Glenmont, take the train to Forest Glen or Silver Spring and ride a second bike (stored in the locker) to Bethesda via the Capital Crecent Trail. As it is, I try to get to Glenmont before 7 a.m. (so I can take my bike on the train), but in the afternoon, since I can't board the train before 4 p.m., I have to go miles out of my way to avoid biking on Georgia Ave during rush hour.

Posted by: wile_e_coyote1 | July 24, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

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