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Commuters, help me out. What do you think about bike lockers?

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Commuters, help me out. What do you think about bike lockers?

Old 08-06-16, 06:30 AM
  #1  
tsl
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Commuters, help me out. What do you think about bike lockers?

I need your help in learning about other bike commuters thoughts on bike lockers.

As many of you know, I recently moved to the City's Parking Bureau from the Public Library. My department is in charge of all the ramp garages in the city.

The city's bike locker program has been ignored for six to seven YEARS. We have over 50 bike lockers scattered around at the garages and,
  • Nobody knows if any are used.
  • Nobody knows when the last time was that anyone was billed.
  • Nobody knows if any keys previously issued are still out there.
  • Nobody knows what happened to the waiting list.
  • Given that all the garages have post-and-ring racks you can use for free, (and that are used, I use one myself) nobody knows if there's any interest in renting a bike locker.
It's become my job to get it straightened out and to revive the program for next year. So here's an informal poll to help head me in the right direction:


Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.


If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)


What type of locker would you prefer?
  • One where you bring you own lock—padlock and U-lock compatible—but you can't leave your lock overnight?
  • One where you buy an online rechargeable access card and it charges you 5˘ (yes, only a nickel) an hour to park? (40˘ to 50˘ a day.) And you can use that card in other cities too. And you can also reserve a locker online before leaving for work?
  • One with its own key lock, and you pay $30 for six months April 1 to October 31, or $50 for a whole year April 1 to March 31 (your choice) plus a key deposit for either period?

Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,
  • to commute instead of your own bike, or
  • for running errands at lunchtime instead of your own bike which you would leave in the locker.

Any other thoughts or comments?


Thanks!
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Old 08-06-16, 07:07 AM
  #2  
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  • Do you presently use a bike locker? - nope
  • If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? - I'd love to use one (if I didn't have a secure parking garage at work). 2 or 3 blocks I guess. On second thought, if it wasn't within a block I'd probably work something else out.
  • One where you bring you own lock, access card and it charges you, one with its own key lock, and you pay - I wouldn't care
  • If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one - no.

Last edited by wphamilton; 08-06-16 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 08-06-16, 08:17 AM
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[*]Do you presently use a bike locker? - no[*]If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? - Yes, if it were 100% secure. Prefer 24/7 security but "12/5" would be OK.[*]One where you bring you own lock, access card and it charges you, one with its own key lock, and you pay - All options are OK if I can reserve by the month (at a minimum). Daily reservations would be a pain.[*]If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one - no.
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Old 08-06-16, 09:16 AM
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Do you presently use a bike locker?
No

If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work?
Yes, if I didn't already have such great bike parking inside my own building.


What type of locker would you prefer?
1. I'd prefer to have my own locker with a key at my primary place of work. That way I know the parking is always there when I need it.

2. The online rechargeable card option also sounds pretty good, especially for times when I am riding to an alternate location and need to leave the bike for several hours.


Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one?
1, If I am using a locker that I essentially rent, and no one else has access to it, then no.
2. If it is the keycard option, where my spot might be gone when I get back, then I'd probably use the bike share.


Any other thoughts or comments?
I'm grateful you are doing this. I'd love to have bike lockers in some of the parking garages around town.

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- aka Kendra on BJ
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Old 08-06-16, 11:03 AM
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Do I use a bike locker:
Yes! I use it if my bike is out all day. On the weekends and during the week if I wake up early enough to bike to the closer train station or go on the weekend. (The lockers fill up early and I don't like leaving my bike out for more that 4 hours over there. Could be paranoia). It is a small price for piece of mind.

We have the bikelink bike lockers with rechargeable cards at our train stations and some public garages. We used to have the individual rentals but waiting lists were for years and obviously some key holders stopped using their lockers.

I like the recharge card but hate that it doesn't work with our transit card so I need two different cards to remember to keep charging.

Pricing in our area ranges from 5-10 cents an hour depending on location and time of day. You can leave your bike from 3-10 days depending on locale. We also have "bike stations" near some train stations that act as a shop/service/bike valet. It is paid for by a government clean air and traffic authority. The parking is free for the open hours. And if you leave your bike overnight it is $5. They can do tuneup and simpler maintenance while your bike is parked. This is a great service too.
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Old 08-06-16, 11:11 AM
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Oh more details. There is no reservation system for either option I mentioned. My nearest train station has roughly 80-90 lockers. Other stations have more or less. My station is one of the most popular for biking. There are also about 300 spots for bikes on regular racks. The bike station, with the valet has space for about 300 bikes and fills up by 930a or so. On the weekend I never have an issue with bike locker availability. I am willing to walk 3 or so blocks for additional security. It depends on the location.

I don't like the reservation system for people renting the locker for months. Ours was a mess and wasn't well organized.

Here is a link to the lockers we use and the bike station program.
https://www.bikelink.org/
https://bikehub.com/bartbikestation/
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Old 08-06-16, 11:38 AM
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Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.

No. Less than $1/day

If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)

If I had no option to have the bike closer to work then yes. Reasonable walk would be less than five minute walk, but maybe closer to two minutes.


What type of locker would you prefer?
[LIST]
[B][*] One where you bring you own lock—padlock and U-lock compatible—but you can't leave your lock overnight?

Don't want to fiddle with electronic stuff, or someone else's lock.

Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,

Probably not.
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Old 08-06-16, 12:05 PM
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Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.
No, I am lucky enough to be able to bring my bike into my office. We moved about 1.5 years ago and I was a bit anxious about where to park. I think I would have liked the availability of a locker if things hadn't worked out well.

If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)

Yes, see above

What type of locker would you prefer?
  • One where you bring you own lock—padlock and U-lock compatible—but you can't leave your lock overnight?
  • One where you buy an online rechargeable access card and it charges you 5˘ (yes, only a nickel) an hour to park? (40˘ to 50˘ a day.) And you can use that card in other cities too. And you can also reserve a locker online before leaving for work?
  • One with its own key lock, and you pay $30 for six months April 1 to October 31, or $50 for a whole year April 1 to March 31 (your choice) plus a key deposit for either period?
Probably the first, but are you saying that locks will be cut of and contents removed if past a certain time?

Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,
  • to commute instead of your own bike, or
No

  • for running errands at lunchtime instead of your own bike which you would leave in the locker.
No
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Old 08-06-16, 12:19 PM
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Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.
I signed up for one with an organization called Bike Link out of Oakland- they seem to run the ones in Seattle. But I never use it. They claim "pennies per hour" it's a smart card system. Seems nice- I just don't need it.

If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.) Yes.


What type of locker would you prefer?

[*] One where you buy an online rechargeable access card and it charges you 5˘ (yes, only a nickel) an hour to park? (40˘ to 50˘ a day.) And you can use that card in other cities too. And you can also reserve a locker online before leaving for work? - This makes the most sense to me



Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,
  • to commute instead of your own bike, or
  • for running errands at lunchtime instead of your own bike which you would leave in the locker.
    Neither- I have too many bikes to borrow someone else.

Any other thoughts or comments?
Check out Bike Link.

Good Luck- should keep you busy for a while.


Thanks![/QUOTE]
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Old 08-06-16, 04:29 PM
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I'm not sure where the nearest bike locker is????

I don't think I'd ever use one on a regular basis. In general, I'd find a way to just have my bike with me in a secure location.

There are a couple of places where it might be handy to have secure bike parking. I'd love to be able to ride my bike to the train station. Put it in a locker for 2 or 3 days, and come back and have the bike just like I left it.

I talked to the train station to see if I could leave the bike in their attended baggage area, and they wouldn't do it. Their option was to pay $5 to take it on the train with me (I've gotten away with no surcharge on a folder). That, of course, also has the advantage of getting the bike to the destination.

The recommendation was NOT TO LEAVE IT CHAINED OUTSIDE OF THE STATION.

Anyway, consider lockers in major park & ride locations.

As a bike commuter, I'm uninterested in a bike share. But, perhaps there would be some car commuters who would use one. Or perhaps have them positioned in dense neighborhood areas. They seem to be a viable business model in some areas.
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Old 08-06-16, 04:41 PM
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I bring my bike inside with me but I would use a locker at a buck a day and I think the city should pay out of car parking meter and ticket money. I would need a reservation system or some guarantee that a locker would be available. I leave early enough now so that I can leisurely change a flat and get to work in plenty of time. If I had to leave even earlier so I would have time to find another locker in another garage further away, I think I would diquise my bike as a beater and weigh myself down with locks. The problem would be, How do you prevent some one from reserving a month or week at a time Only hoping that they would use it? A waiting list and unused lockers needs to be prevented somehow.
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Old 08-06-16, 05:05 PM
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Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.

Not currently.

If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)

Within 1/4 mile is fine.

What type of locker would you prefer?
  • One where you bring you own lock—padlock and U-lock compatible—but you can't leave your lock overnight?
  • One where you buy an online rechargeable access card and it charges you 5˘ (yes, only a nickel) an hour to park? (40˘ to 50˘ a day.) And you can use that card in other cities too. And you can also reserve a locker online before leaving for work?
  • One with its own key lock, and you pay $30 for six months April 1 to October 31, or $50 for a whole year April 1 to March 31 (your choice) plus a key deposit for either period?
I'd prefer option 2, with the quick-access card and online account. It sounds convenient. Also, I'd be concerned that bike thieves might target conventional locks and just cut them.

Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,
  • to commute instead of your own bike, or
  • for running errands at lunchtime instead of your own bike which you would leave in the locker.
I'd just use my own bike.

Any other thoughts or comments?

I currently commute using an inexpensive hybrid and I'm fine locking it up on the street. I do have a really nice bike on order. If I had access to a bike locker that I trusted to be secure I might use my nice bike for commuting.
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Old 08-06-16, 11:36 PM
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Do you presently use a bike locker?

No, I don't. There are many around the area but none anywhere I'd be using it.

If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)

In a parking garage? I'm not sure what's the point is of a bike locker once you put it under a roof. The coverage seems like it's the only reason to use one... keep your bike out of rain and snow. My impression is that the lock attachments and the pry-able door make it less secure and the concealment makes it more attractive than a nice fat U-lock on a loop rack set in concrete.

What type of locker would you prefer?
  • One where you bring you own lock—padlock and U-lock compatible—but you can't leave your lock overnight?
  • One where you buy an online rechargeable access card and it charges you 5˘ (yes, only a nickel) an hour to park? (40˘ to 50˘ a day.) And you can use that card in other cities too. And you can also reserve a locker online before leaving for work?
  • One with its own key lock, and you pay $30 for six months April 1 to October 31, or $50 for a whole year April 1 to March 31 (your choice) plus a key deposit for either period?
I'd prefer the first option but I don't see how you could protect yourself from abuse. Is someone going to cut the locks off every night? Option B seems limiting, option C is apparently what you have now and it isn't working for you.

Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,
  • to commute instead of your own bike, or
  • for running errands at lunchtime instead of your own bike which you would leave in the locker.
Yes and yes. Bike share looks great to me. I've only ever used it once but it worked great once I figured out the system. If I had it, I probably wouldn't have a bike for commuting, but I live in the 'burbs

Any other thoughts or comments?

In my town, which is unincorporated county governed, we get problems that are pushed out of the nearby incorporated cities. So we have a pretty substantial homeless population. They've been known to use the bike lockers for other purposes... as well as camping in the greenways, but that's probably another story.
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Old 08-07-16, 08:22 AM
  #14  
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Do you presently use a bike locker? No. I am fortunate to be able to park my bike inside at work. I keep my bikes in a shed at home, but I know that's not what you meant.

If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? Not in my current situation, but my wife works in downtown Colorado Springs, and if I worked there and couldn't bring my bike in, I definitely would. In fact, a block from her office at least one of the city ramps has cage style lockers. They are near the outer perimeter where a strong wind during a rain or snow storm would cause them to get wet.

What type of locker would you prefer? I don't know, but every once in a while I leave my bike at work overnight, either due to severe weather or spontaneous plans with my wife or friends, or unfortunately family/medical emergencies.

Bonus question: Yes, If it meant possibly losing the space. I do run lunchtime errands on my bike a coule/three times a month.

Any other thoughts or comments? I have wondered in the past if a towable bike locker would be practical. Based on your "Books on Bikes" trailer, you'd be the guy to do it.
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Old 08-07-16, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
I need your help in learning about other bike commuters thoughts on bike lockers.

As many of you know, I recently moved to the City's Parking Bureau from the Public Library. My department is in charge of all the ramp garages in the city.

The city's bike locker program has been ignored for six to seven YEARS. We have over 50 bike lockers scattered around at the garages and,
  • Nobody knows if any are used.
  • Nobody knows when the last time was that anyone was billed.
  • Nobody knows if any keys previously issued are still out there.
  • Nobody knows what happened to the waiting list.
  • Given that all the garages have post-and-ring racks you can use for free, (and that are used, I use one myself) nobody knows if there's any interest in renting a bike locker.
It's become my job to get it straightened out and to revive the program for next year. So here's an informal poll to help head me in the right direction:


Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.


If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)


What type of locker would you prefer?
  • One where you bring you own lock—padlock and U-lock compatible—but you can't leave your lock overnight?
  • One where you buy an online rechargeable access card and it charges you 5˘ (yes, only a nickel) an hour to park? (40˘ to 50˘ a day.) And you can use that card in other cities too. And you can also reserve a locker online before leaving for work?
  • One with its own key lock, and you pay $30 for six months April 1 to October 31, or $50 for a whole year April 1 to March 31 (your choice) plus a key deposit for either period?
Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,
  • to commute instead of your own bike, or
  • for running errands at lunchtime instead of your own bike which you would leave in the locker.
Any other thoughts or comments?


Thanks!


If it was within one block I would rent it out at $50 per annum, but only if I was allowed to leave my lock.
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Old 08-07-16, 04:28 PM
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no prob.

1.) I've never seen a bike locker.
2.) I don't know if I would use one or not, probably not.
3.) If by some random chance my workplace did install them, one where I bring my own lock.

bonus: probably not

Last edited by mr geeker; 08-10-16 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 08-07-16, 04:36 PM
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I've seen bike lockers. They are found outside all the community/recreation centres in town. The few times I've peeked I've never seen a bike locked inside. The bikes are all locked outside on the bike racks, or to some post.
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Old 08-07-16, 06:25 PM
  #18  
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Thanks everyone for your replies so far. I'm learning a lot. I'm sure the bosses will too when I send the link.

Some responses:

Jade: Yeah, bikelink.org is one outfit I'm looking at. Too early to tell if it's worth sending up the line.

Moe: Bike locker as homeless shelter or self-storage shed is a problem. During my inspections of two garages last week I found one full of wooden stakes. Either a surveyor or someone's got a vampire problem.

Nobody's said anything about cutting off locks at night. I don't think we've had that issue to date. The idea is that you can't just claim it as yours in perpetuity. Or move you stuff (or yourself) in. Other people have to be able to use it when you're not there.

CliffordK: Train stations and park & ride are outside my department's purview. Park & ride is the transit authority and all those lots are in the suburbs anyway. I met on Friday with the general-purpose bike advocacy guy in the city, and he's with the program so maybe lockers at Amtrak and the long-haul bus terminal could be in the future. As for long-term storage, by ordinance, the City is not permitted to offer long-term storage of anything. (Which has me wondering about the vampire stakes.)

classtime: Preventing waiting lists and unused lockers is the goal here. That's exactly how we got to this problem.

mcours: I too get the impression that lots of cyclists don't know what they are. In one garage, eight empty lockers surrounded by bikes locked in post-and-rings.

Jack: Good to see you here. Stick around.

BobbyG: The problem with towing a garage around with you is, of course, the trailer itself. Then they'll tow off your garage with the bike inside! Neat visual though.

Darth: As usual, you have have a good handle on the problem.

Keep 'em coming gang!

Last edited by tsl; 08-07-16 at 06:34 PM. Reason: typoze
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Old 08-07-16, 08:17 PM
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Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.
No.


If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)
Yes (reasonable is <=15 minutes walk)

What type of locker would you prefer?
  • One with its own key lock, and you pay $30 for six months April 1 to October 31, or $50 for a whole year April 1 to March 31 (your choice) plus a key deposit for either period?
Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,
  • to commute instead of your own bike: No
  • for running errands at lunchtime instead of your own bike which you would leave in the locker: No
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Old 08-08-16, 11:23 AM
  #20  
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my $.02

Do you presently use a bike locker? I do not use a bike locker but I worked to get two installed where I work. I do not pay anything to use them. I have access to a secure lab to store my bike in.


What type of locker would you prefer?
Ours are provide your own padlock and you can not leave your lock or your bike in the locker. You might be able to put a u lock on it but I think a padlock works better. I would prefer not to pay but I do not work with a ton of bike commuters. I could see how having assurance of a locker would be important if the demand is high.


I have never used a bike share bike. I borrowed a rental bike at the beach this weekend and I would have to say that I really enjoyed riding my bike on Sunday.


A bike share would be neat if you could ride to lunch and grab bike back instead of using my commuting bike.
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Old 08-08-16, 12:24 PM
  #21  
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I use the BikeLink lockers at the transit station sometimes - but you never know if they're all going to be used so you have to bring regular locks anyway because you might have to use a regular rack. Also the LCD screens are almost impossible to read in bright sunlight so that's a problem - and yeah, people store junk in there... what's up with that? I'd use BikeLink at shopping or libraries or other places if they were reliably available.

I don't have a big security problem at my office - we have good bike locking furniture inside a semi-secure garage so that's good enough, although bike theft isn't zero... it's low enough that I wouldn't pay extra for a locker. I do get to leave my locks there overnight - convenient but there are a bunch of abandoned locks there as well - there should be a lock storage rack separate from the bike furniture and abandoned locks can get cut off. If I worked someplace that did have a security problem, I'd be happy to rent a locker by the month just to make sure I'd always have it.

I've used bike share in San Francisco a couple times - interesting and fun but there are usually just better ways of getting around.
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Old 08-08-16, 12:29 PM
  #22  
CliffordK
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An alternative to bike lockers might be cages. Or encourage businesses to install cages.

So, say encourage the local hospital to install a security monitored cage (hopefully in a covered garage) for its employees. Then users would be required to register for a personal code, or perhaps cardlock which would track who enters with video surveillance of the bikes (for watching bike accessories, for example).

Ok, a bit out of the purview of your public locker system though.

One could, however, do key-card access cages with security cameras on a broader basis in city owned parking structures, and exclude those applicants with shoplifting (or similar) convictions.
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Old 08-08-16, 01:07 PM
  #23  
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I wish they had them at the grocery store or the mall.
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Old 08-08-16, 03:26 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay. No, but I used one in college and it was fantastic. If I didn't have the ability to bring my bike right into my office I'd love to have the use of a locker. In fact, the ONLY way I'd ride to work if I couldn't park in my office would be with the use of a locker -- routinely locking my bike out in the open is a "no go" for me.


If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? Yes, but it really comes down to where the actual locker is located. If it's in a dark corner way out of any line of sight then no, I probably wouldn't be interested. Walking distance would depend on the neighborhood I'd have to walk through. I'd like a locker with a lot of visibility and a walk through a reasonably safe area.


What type of locker would you prefer? I'd want my own locker with my own (issued) key. I'd be very happy to pay a reasonable amount for an annual (or monthly) rental agreement. I'd also want someone to monitor whether or not the lockers are actually being used and weed out the deadbeats sitting on empty lockers. This was a problem I experienced first hand. A fair key deposit would be expected too.

Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one? No. I'm too particular about my bikes and I'd just as soon ride my own than some public shared beater bike.



Any other thoughts or comments? Bike lockers are a fantastic way to encourage more bicycle commuting. If people knew they could safely store their bike at their destination I'm convinced more people would be inclined to participate.


Thanks! You're welcome. Somewhere in your neck of the woods is a person DYING for your help. The fact that the current system fell into such despair is a testament to how little regard our society has for cyclists. If your work can help the system reach anywhere near full potential, you will have done a tremendous service indeed.

No pressure. It's just that so many riders are counting on you.

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Old 08-08-16, 03:29 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
An alternative to bike lockers might be cages. Or encourage businesses to install cages.

So, say encourage the local hospital to install a security monitored cage (hopefully in a covered garage) for its employees. Then users would be required to register for a personal code, or perhaps cardlock which would track who enters with video surveillance of the bikes (for watching bike accessories, for example).

Ok, a bit out of the purview of your public locker system though.

One could, however, do key-card access cages with security cameras on a broader basis in city owned parking structures, and exclude those applicants with shoplifting (or similar) convictions.
You hit on the problem with cages; thievery among fellow cyclists. By the time you park and then strip down your bike of any/all accessories the convenience is just about gone.


-Kedosto
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