This Week’s Hot Trend, Large Bike Parking Facilities Near Rail

This week’s been a big one for bike parking in L.A. County with the opening of Bike Stop in Burbank and Bike Center later this morning in Santa Monica.  Meanwhile, the Culver City Bike Coalition is looking at plans for the Expo Line stop in Culver City and wondering “what about us?”  Streetsblog presents a quick tale of three public cycling centers:

Santa Monica, Bike Center:

The outside of Bike Center. Photo via The Source

We start with today’s opening of what might be the largest bike parking facility in all of the United States of America.  The mammoth $2 million full-service “Santa Monica Bike Center,” is a joint product of the People’s Republic and Metro.  Bike Center is actually two locations (Parking Structure 7 at 320 Broadway and Parking Structure 8 at 215 Colorado) in the center of downtown with a combined 5,300 square-feet of space and nearly 360 secure bicycle parking spaces.  To the best of my research, the next largest bike parking facility, Chicago’s McDonald’s Cycle Center, has “only” 300 spaces.

The Center will provide secure bike parking, retail, bike repair, bike rental, attended bike parking, and could serve as a center for other bicycle related activity in the same way Long Beach’s Bike Station hosts classes and is the starting point for bike stores. For more information, check out the Bike Center web site.

Anticipating the light rail that is on it’s way, Bike Center is also built close to the future terminus of Phase II of the Expo Line.  Metro staff talks about riders being able to bike to their closest Expo stop, take the bike with them on the train, and then having a safe and convenient place to park if their plans don’t include taking their bike with them when the line is completed.

A grand opening event is scheduled for later today and will be followed by an all-weekend open house featuring free bicycle parking, free bicycle rides and tours of the facility.  For more information on the events, click here.

Burbank, Bike Stop:

Bike Stop! Image via The Source, again.

Burbank’s Bike Stop doesn’t compete with the mammoth Bike Center in Santa Monica, but does provide a facility for 40 bicycles to park near Burbank’s Metrolink Station.  The Glendale News-Press outlines why the Stop is a leap forward:

The downtown Burbank Metrolink station is busy a hub for commuters from Antelope Valley and those working in Glendale and Los Angeles. The Bike Stop — partially funded by the California Department of Transportation — gives bicyclists a spot to park their bikes for free, instead of having to lug their equipment around from station to station.

Bike Stop doesn’t have a staffer on-hand all day, but does have a passcode protected security system and space for some bike classes that could be used to expand the parking if demand calls for it.

Culver City, …. :

Here’s something you probably won’t read in The Source.  The Culver City Bike Coalition (CCBC) is demanding to know what happened to their public cycling center?  While Phase II of the Expo Line is getting a Bike Center at its terminus.  The Phase I terminus is getting….nothing.

Which is a shame for two reasons.  First, Culver City has done an admirable job creating a “downtown connector” to provide an attractive way for cyclists to get to and from the station from Downtown Culver City and other points west.  Secondly, there was originally supposed to be a bike parking center that presumably would at least be similar in style to Burbank’s Bike Stop, but it was dropped from plans for the station.  CCBC blames the Expo Construction Authority for a lack of planning, foresight and funds in their weekly column in the Culver City News:

The Expo Authority has concluded that a partial solution to its notorious budget-overrun problems is to axe the Culver City bicycle facility. But why should cycling commuters and travelers take the hit for the Expo Authority’s issues? Especially when cycling is such an essential component of our transition to a less automobile-centric metropolis?

The CCBC plans to “make a little noise” in the coming weeks and months to try and get their Bike Station/Center/Stop.  If you want to help them make that noise, their piece in the Culver City News contains the contact information you need to get noisy.