Archive for the ‘Bike Station’ Category

Silver Spring bike station gets planning money

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Cross posted at GreaterGreaterWashington

WashCycle alerts us to a TBD article about the Silver Spring Park development project, recently approved with the requirement that the developer commit money to the Silver Spring bike station. From the article:

To make up for the remaining public space requirement, developers will give $152,728 to Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning to pay for a bike station at Gene Lynch Urban Park, which is adjacent to the Silver Spring Transit Center.

The bike station will be in the future Gene Lynch Urban Park
at Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue
Source: plan (pdf) presented to the Planning Board on Oct. 28, 2010

The $153K funding commitment to the bike station will surely not be the only funds needed to complete the station. The M-NCPPC staff recommendation is for these funds to be used for development of “architectural schematic design drawings”. But this commitment is an important step forward.

D.C. Bike Station opens

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Mayor Fenty speaking before the ribbon cutting

Mayor Fenty speaking before the ribbon cutting.

Washcycle has a full description of the ribbon cutting ceremony, and much more. Washcycle also calls attention to the pre-opening controversy on the $4M cost of this station, reported by NBC 4.

Silver Spring has a great location for a bike station at the future “Jughandle Park”, next to the new multi-modal transit center now under construction. But convincing Montgomery County to program funds to design and build a bike station will be especially challenging during these difficult budget years. We can make a compelling case that the bike station is badly needed, and can be most economically built at the same time the Jughandle Park is created. But a $4M price tag will create sticker shock, even in good budget times.

Bike station

The bike station was carefully designed to be aesthetically pleasing alongside the historic Union Station.

The D.C. Bike Station cost was driven up by the challenging location. The bike station had to give a pleasing look that did not detract from the historic Union Station very close by. I think the designers did a great job of creating a very unique structure with the right look. But that unique look came with a much higher price tag to design and build than a more traditional structure would have.

Bike station interior

The two level bike storage racks can not extend to the ends, where the ceiling is low. There are only inverted “U” racks at the end.

Another cost that comes with such a unique design is lost bike storage space. The D.C. Bike Station has a low ceiling and tapered ends to fit in the space without detracting from Union Station. The bike station is on a little over 1600 sq. ft., and can store 130 bikes. Bikes cannot be stored on two levels near the end because of the tapered shape.

M-NCPPC Planning Staff have suggested that a Silver Spring bike station of 1500 sq. ft. would fit into the Jughandle Park location. The Discovery Headquarters building dominates the location, so the bike station must look good near the Discovery Building. A bike station of a rectangular design and with a high ceiling for multiple levels of bike parking can look like it belongs here. A simpler, taller bike station design here can have a much lower cost and a much higher storage capacity than was possible for the D.C. Bike Station.

The D.C. Bike Station has an absolutely fantastic design – perfect for the difficult location. But when we talk to Mont. Co. planners about finding funds to build a Silver Spring bike station, we must be clear that we are not asking for a copy of the D.C. bike station. We can have an attractive bike station with higher bike storage and retail capacity for much less than $4M.

A Silver Spring bike station?

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

The D.C. bike station at Union Station is opening today. I’ll say more on that this p.m., after the opening ceremony. The bike station opening is already prompting Washcycle to ask what happened to the bike station in Silver Spring.

bikes at the Silver Spring Metro
Bikes at the S.S. Metro station

A bike station was initially proposed to be an integral part of the new Silver Spring Transit Center that is now under construction. But Montgomery County DOT withdrew its early support and the new transit center design has no bike station. The new transit center design, as I last saw presented in 2007, does not increase bike racks and bike lockers over the number that were available in the old station. The Silver Spring station was the most heavily used transit station in the State of Maryland before the new expansion began. Use is expected to nearly double overall by 2020. Three new regional trails are being built to meet in the transit center. More bike parking is already badly needed here.

The vision for a Silver Spring bike station is still alive, in spite of Mont. Co. DOT’s unfortunate decision to withdraw its support for a location inside the new transit center. The south east corner of Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue was used as a jughandle for buses to turn into the old transit center, and is still being used as a bus stop during construction of the new transit center. The jughandle will be closed when the new transit center opens. In July, 2007 the Mont. Co. Planning Board agreed to trade a small park at the south end of the old transit center for the jughandle site. This agreement gives the Mont. Co. Department of Parks control of the jughandle area for a new park, dubbed “Jughandle Park”. M-NCPPC planning staff have recommended that an area at the rear of this proposed new park (at the side nearest the Discovery Building) be reserved for a future 1500 sq. ft. bike station.

The jughandle at Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue will be closed. A bike station is proposed to be built at the rear of a future “Jughandle Park”.

We now have a great location on publicly owned land that has been recommended by the Planning Board for a bike station. But no funding has been committed for construction. The bike station design and construction must be included in the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Budget as a new Department of Parks project. The bike station will not happen unless the Department of Parks can be convinced that the bike station is needed and is appropriate as part of a new “Jughandle” urban park.