Bike parking for more than 40 bicycles at the 57th Street entrance to the 55th-56th-57th Street Metra station.
CDOT installed in March and April a combination of regular u-racks and double deck bike racks at six CTA and Metra stations around the city and will hold a press conference at the 95th Red Line station today at noon. The coolest part of the project, in my humble opinion, is that I got to analyze and recommend the stations that would receive new bike parking. The bike racks are installed at the following stations, all sheltered, from north to south:
- Howard Red Line – Rogers Park – Double deck
- Loyola Red Line – Rogers Park – Double deck
- Clybourn Metra – Bucktown – U-racks
- Western Orange Line – Brighton Park – Double deck
- 55th-56th-57th Street Metra – Hyde Park – U-racks
- 95th Red Line – Roseland/Longwood Manor – Double deck
Covered bike parking between the two Metra lines at the Clybourn station.
One of the projects I was responsible for during my three years at the Department of Transportation’s Bicycle Program was finding good locations to receive high-capacity bike parking. I didn’t make recommendations for which bike rack type or quantity would be installed at the stations. My recommendations included all of the above except the Clybourn Metra station, at which a bike parking project was already underway. These installations comprise what is essentially the second phase of a project that brought high-capacity bike parking to four CTA stations in 2008 (Damen Blue, Jefferson Park Blue, Midway Orange, and Sox/35th Red), bringing to ten the total number of stations with a good quantity of bike parking.
Double deck bike racks to hold 18 bicycles at the Western Orange Line station took the place of a single wave rack that could only hold 6-8 bicycles.
The other two stations I recommended in my analysis, Logan Square Blue Line and Ravenswood Metra, remain unconstructed. The Ravenswood Metra station is being replaced and I’m not aware of plans for more bike parking at the Logan Square Blue Line station except for what the Bike Walk Logan Square group proposed.
The double deck racks from Dero (in Minneapolis) are much like the Josta racks at the Millennium Park Bike Station. The key difference is that the Josta racks have a hydraulic assist and the Dero racks have a spring assist. The current double deck racks differ from phase 1 station installations in 2008 by having mechanical assistance; the previous model, from a different manufacturer, was very difficult to load a bike into and then lock to.
Photo of the Loyola Red Line station bike racks by Erik Swedlund.
I wrote about my methodology in analyzing stations, and posted additional details, on Steven Can Plan. For example, my recommendation for the Loyola station bike rack location was rightfully ignored: it’s inside when I wrote that it could be outside. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) provided CDOT a $375,000 ICE grant, or “Innovation, Coordination, and Enhancement”, a program to make investments that integrate modes across the RTA service boards (Pace, Metra, CTA).
Updated 9:38 to clarify my role in recommending stations as I didn’t make the final selections. Updated May 4, 2012, to add funding source.
Grid Chicago is a blog about sustainable transportation matters, projects and culture in Chicago and Illinois, by John Greenfield and Steven Vance since June 2011.
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