Gallery 23 Aug

Photos of the bicycle storage at the Eastern Market Metro Station (Washington, DC)

In station planning meetings, one surprising item that comes up (and can get fairly contentious in discussions) among planners, rail operations staff, safety and security professionals, urban designers and bicycle planners is how to best accommodate long-term bike storage.

Charlotte code has requirements based on land use for long and short-term bicycle storage, but it does not explicitly dictate what that storage solution must look like. Bicycle lockers can be, let’s face it, down-right ugly; after all, they’re box containers that hold bikes. They don’t have to be this ugly, but most of the time that is the design that is most cost-effective and easiest to site in station areas.

Generally speaking, planners want to meet the intent of the code, provide something that is useful and not an eye sore, ensure that the storage solution will be budget-friendly, site the storage in a location that will not impede operations, but ultimately find a solution that will meet the needs of the bicycle user.  Urban designers want to ensure that the storage is visually pleasing and ‘not just an ugly box.’ Rail operations staff want to see that the storage is sited and located outside of the flow of operations. Safety and security professionals are concerned with just that, the safety and security of the users, passengers and general public (i.e. they don’t want to see bike lockers used for non-bicycle storage).

While utilitarianism, design, safety and cost are all equally important goals, the real questions should be: how does the bicycle user view these competing goals; what does the user want; and ultimately what does the user need?

What do you think? Do these photos represent a good solution?

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