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Old 01-15-10, 12:47 PM   #1
Bubba Zanetti
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Seattle Metro will allow bikes

Just got an email from Cascade Bicycle Club:



Starting Feb. 6 bikes can be loaded on any Metro bus at any time
Changes also ahead for bike locker users

In response to increased demand for linking bike and bus trips, King County Metro Transit will allow bicyclists to load and unload bicycles at any regular bus stop in downtown Seattle’s Ride Free Area at any time of the day starting Saturday, Feb. 6.

This will be a one-year demonstration project. Over the past several years, Metro has eased its limits on bike loading. The restrictions during peak hours in the busy downtown core are the last in place. Once they are lifted on Feb. 6, Metro will do a one-year safety and operations evaluation to decide whether to make the changes permanent.

Cyclists may also continue to load and unload bicycles at any station of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel during all hours the tunnel is open.

To ensure the success of the new Ride Free Area policy, bicyclists are asked to please remember:

* Always alert the bus driver prior to loading or unloading a bike;
* Make sure the driver acknowledges you before stepping in front of a bus;
* Be aware of traffic around you when loading and unloading your bike; and
* Use caution in stepping up and down from high curbs.

More tips about safe bike loading can be found on Metro Online in the bike section.

Metro's bike racks are easy to use, and there is no additional fare for using them. By this spring, Metro's entire bus fleet will be upgraded with three-position bike racks. Approximately 70 percent of Metro buses have those racks now.

Also, Metro has received a federal grant to test an on-demand system for bike lockers. Metro currently has bike lockers at 28 different park-and-rides and other transit facilities for people who just need bikes for one leg of their trip. These lockers provide secure storage and protect bikes from inclement weather.

Under the current system, lockers are available to bike commuters with a one-time key deposit and the leases must be renewed annually. If cyclists do not use their lockers on a daily basis, there is no way for others to use them at times when the locker is empty. An on-demand system will allow anyone with an access card to use any available locker. It should be a more efficient way to manage bicycle parking, and provide greater flexibility for Metro customers.

Planning for on-demand bike parking will occur in 2010, and the new system will be tested at a number of locations in 2011.
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Old 01-16-10, 09:46 PM   #2
CB HI
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What was the purpose of the restrictions in the first place?

Since Honolulu has had unlimited use of bike racks on all buses for many years without problems, I am curious about the Seattle concern.
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Old 01-17-10, 11:56 AM   #3
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What was the purpose of the restrictions in the first place?

Since Honolulu has had unlimited use of bike racks on all buses for many years without problems, I am curious about the Seattle concern.
This is only my observation, but I think Seattle is working through some growing pains of having a new light rail train rolling into a bus tunnel and the added complications of a new ORCA payment system. The city may be adding as many incentives as they can afford to boost ridership. I still witness the roll of eyes (and glance at their watches) from fellow bus riders when they have to wait 5 extra seconds for cyclist to mount/dismount a bike off the front rack... change takes time.
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Old 01-17-10, 12:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
What was the purpose of the restrictions in the first place?

Since Honolulu has had unlimited use of bike racks on all buses for many years without problems, I am curious about the Seattle concern.
During peak traffic times you could only load/unload your bike at the edges of the downtown area. The downtown area isn't that large, so it is an easy bike ride from your office to an available area.

The idea is that if bikes are being loaded/unloaded in the middle of downtown it will slow the busses and cause larger traffic jams during peak times.
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Old 01-17-10, 03:48 PM   #5
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During peak traffic times you could only load/unload your bike at the edges of the downtown area. The downtown area isn't that large, so it is an easy bike ride from your office to an available area.

The idea is that if bikes are being loaded/unloaded in the middle of downtown it will slow the busses and cause larger traffic jams during peak times.
Sounds like the city/bus officials are out of touch, as the cyclist which would only be going a couple (few) blocks are unlikely to wait for a bus, take the time to load/unload the bike or pay for the bus ride. I bet the cyclist that will ride the bus are commuting quite a distance. So the claimed delay concern is baseless.
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Old 01-17-10, 05:17 PM   #6
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Sounds like the city/bus officials are out of touch, as the cyclist which would only be going a couple (few) blocks are unlikely to wait for a bus, take the time to load/unload the bike or pay for the bus ride. I bet the cyclist that will ride the bus are commuting quite a distance. So the claimed delay concern is baseless.
Between the hours of 6am & 7pm daily, there is a Ride Free Area (approx. 20 blocks x 10 blocks) in the downtown core, but the majority of the cyclists who are loading/unloading their bikes via the buses, are commuting in/out of the city to the suburbs and school and pay the bus fare. During this pilot program (1 year) we can load our bikes anywhere downtown. Yes, this should have been available years ago, but it is a positive step forward. Baby steps
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Old 01-18-10, 01:46 PM   #7
Bubba Zanetti
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I believe the new mayor(McGinn) is a cyclist. From what I've read, he rode his bicycle to all his campaign meetings. I'm curious to know if McGinn had a hand in this?
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