Sign of the Times

DC is definitely giving bikers some serious respect. I’d never seen signs like these before. It was pointing to bike parking in the DC USA’s lot in Columbia Heights.

16 Comment

  • Wow, only took them two years+ to install real bicycle parking that still doesn’t comply with DC law that mandates bicycle parking spaces equal 5% of the number of car parking spaces. In DCUSA’s case that would be 50 spaces, and this rack will fit perhaps a dozen bikes max. The racks out front on 14th street don’t even count because they were installed by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association after they discovered that DCUSA was trying to claim a fence crammed in the back of their loading dock was a ‘bike rack’. I just don’t get it – there are literally acres of unused car parking spaces in their parking lot, yet DCUSA refuses to allow bicycles or motorcycles to park in it. Typical idiotic suburban developer mindset, and the whole situation is only slightly more of a kick in the teeth because our tax money went to build the lot for them.

    • I think it’s mostly because bicyclists could not be entrusted with safe and proper use of the ramps into and out of the garage space (going the wrong way, attempting to pass cars that were waiting to enter the garage, not wearing a helmet in the parking garage, etc.). The gates will also not open properly with the tires of a bicycle. Lastly, it was too easy for bicycles to squeeze past the gates, therefore straining the already lacking revenue stream.

      It would even be better to allow bicyclists to park on the inside of one vacant retail space on the ground level. The parking garage is not properly set up for them unless.

      • That’s a monumentally stupid argument. Simple fix–require riders to dismount and walk bikes down the ramp. This has worked at every building I’ve worked in downtown with an underground parking garage and a bike rack with absolutely no problems. But way to bring the “bikers can’t have it because they can’t be trusted to act like adults” argument into play. You’re a well and able troll, sir.

        • It only inflames you because you know it’s true. If it weren’t, then I suppose the District would have allowed bicycles access to the garage all along, don’t you? Our own mayor loves to ride his bicycle, after all. Peace be with you, E-Rich. See you at the happy hour tonight.

          • No. It inflames me because I know it’s not true. I’ve witnessed that it’s not true. And the argument that if something were able to be done better, DC would have done it better runs counter to just about every experience everyone on this site has ever recalled about DC government.

    • By the look of the empty bicycle rack, I would say bicyclists (of which I am one) are not eager to park in that lot.

  • They should charge less for the bicycles to park there than they charge for cars and trucks. Half, perhaps?

    • I wouldn’t have a problem with them charging for parking if it was secured/safe – this area is not. PoP; where is this rack located? Is it in the loading dock/delivery area past the ramp down to the garage? If it is, then the reason those cones are there and the curb is freshly painted yellow is because delivery semi-trucks routinely drive over it to back in/pull out of the loading bays. Not sure I’d want to park my bike in a secluded loading dock with the risk of my bike getting run over by a semi, and I’m sure as hell not paying for the pleasure. If I do have to pay to park my bike the rate should be proportionate to the amount of space my bike takes up compared to a car, minus whatever expense the massive exhaust ventilation system that’s required to suck out all the car emissions

  • Park it in the locker room at the WSC gym so you KNOW it will get stolen…

  • I just went by to look at the racks and talked with the acting manager of the parking garage. This rack is in the loading dock area, along with another rack across the dock entrance, for a total of about 24 bikes. These racks also act as parking for motorcycles a scooters since those are prohibited from the garage. Additionally, there is no access to DCUSA from the loading dock, so after you park your bike back here you have to walk around the block to the entrance on 14th St. The final nice aspect I noticed is that from the second set of racks, the only exit from the loading dock area is to go the wrong way out the ‘in’ ramp to the garage.

    • So much for that “serious respect” PoP referenced in the post.

      Dude, I love that you walk around town, but if you ever wanted to come along on a ride and see how little respect bikers get out there, I’ve got a bike I could loan you. One sign and an epic failure in the way of bike racks is little more than window dressing.

      • Well… From how I read PoP’s post, I took it as the “DC [government and businesses]” are giving bikers some serious respect. It definitely doesn’t apply to drivers (I am a driver! So don’t get all mad at me!) and anyone actually having to _share_ the road. People are crazy on the road! I don’t care what kind of vehicle you are on! If you think about it… It’s kind of like posting anonymously on the internet; you feel no shame when you’re hiding behind your car/internets/bike/whatever than if you’re talking to someone face to face. (for the record, we’re all anonymous, even if we’re registered with the site)

        //end rant

      • You should probably get off the bike and take a nice walk yourself. It sounds like you have a pretty hard time handling the stresses of bike ownership. Give it a rest.

  • I think the issue is that the available DCUSA bike racks are being used for WMATA patrons. I biked to Target at 8:30 and the rack was full, but the store was empty.

    So, adding spots for shoppers is good, but you also need more spots for commuters, and those spots don’t need to be in front of DCUSA.

    I don’t think this spot really addresses either need.

  • If there is so much demand that all the available bike racks are taken all the time, then someone needs to start charging to use them. It’s nice that you care about the environment enough to ride a bike instead of driving a car, but that doesn’t exactly mean that it’s a free ride.

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