New Parking at Santa Monica College: Not Just for Bikes

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A bike facility so nice it has bike-themed art. One of 3 sculptures I saw.

Riding on Pearl Street a few weeks ago, I noticed preparations for a new bicycle parking lot.   This past Saturday, before Santa Monica College students returned for the spring, I had a chance to check out the new bicycle parking.  I was surprised to see not only bike parking, but other parking and amenities for those who travel to Santa Monica College without a car.

Our Santa Monica weekly column is supported by Bike Center in Santa Monica.

Unlike the college’s large automobile parking structures, which are accessed via Pico Boulevard, the new bicycle parking is right off of Pearl St., one of Santa Monica’s primary east-west bike lane south of the 10 Freeway.

I estimated around 200 new U-racks with good spacing between each.  These new racks will accommodate around 400 additional bicycles.  With 32,626 students enrolled last semester, Santa Monica college needs as much parking as it can fit on campus. By fitting space for 400 bicycle commuters and 20 skateboard commuters on land that could accommodate roughly 15 parked cars, the choice for the type of parking  should be obvious.

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New bicycle parking at Santa Monica College
 I was surprised to see that parking not only for bikes, but also for skateboards:
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A place to park & lock skateboards. I had not seen this before.
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The aisles are wide and the spaces aren't cramped - meaning that even when nearly full the parking will be comfortable.

After looking at some of the existing bicycle parking, I think those students who value locking their bikes to two points of contact will relish the new racks.

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It's difficult to property secure a bicycle to this type of rack.
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I'm sure the mobility this bicycle provides is valuable to someone, let's just hope the bike itself is not too valuable to someone with cable cutters.
In addition, Santa Monica College has provided two repair stands with tools and a pump.
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Need to repair your bike? SMC has you covered with tools and pumps.
Is this new bicycle and skateboard parking and repair facility enough to commit cycling culture at SMC?  I don’t think so, and SMC doesn’t think so either, which is why the new facility is just one part of a multifaceted plan.  Glancing at the first few pages of the Spring 2013 Schedule of Classes hints at SMC’s commitment to cycling.  Will biking become as large a part of SMC culture as it is at UC Davis?   If so, this will be a huge victory for retrofitting a campus and surrounding community to support cycling.   Much of the City of Davis’s growth in the 1960s and beyond purposefully accommodated cycling.
  • Looks amazing

  • It is great for SMC to finally realize that people really do like alternative forms of transportation. With Expo coming, hopefully that will shift a change in thinking as to how students get to campus.

  • Vipersm2000

    Stupide think of the rain

  • Guest

    This is lame. Whoever decided to design the rack like this should have talked to a skateboarder about it. All you need to do is take off one of the trucks (4 screws) and the board slides right out. Mine and many of my friends were stolen like that. 

  • Fghjkkh

    Yeah, four screws is all it takes… Just like all you need for a bike lock is a pair of hedge trimmers…

  • MarkB

    A more secure system would have you insert one end of the board into a rack cavity, then clamp it mid-deck. Only one truck would be accessible.

  • MarkB

    A screwdriver fits in your pocket. You can look like you “belong” while you’re undoing a set of screws. It’s harder to be anonymous looking while you’re manipulating bolt cutters.

  • David

    I’m so glad you guys like it & proud I was the project engineer for this project :D

  • Kent

    Good job David!  It is an impressive commitment.  And the planned cycle track on 17th St connecting to future Expo trains should be an attractive option to parking fees.  Good suggestions for improving the skateboard rack; I hope the manufacturer is listening.  It’s taken us a while to get bike racks right too, as Juan points out.  We’re new to this stuff so there will often be trial and error.  The good thing is that we’re trying and hopefully improving over time.