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46 and another looked into "replacement of two-bike bike racks with three-bike bike racks," but that would have been "cost prohibitive." Despite these reconsiderations, Figure 35 shows that most agencies are pleased with their existing policies. Overall, 17 of 35 agencies (49%) rate their bicycle policy as "very effec- tive." The few agencies that give themselves low effective- ness ratings primarily cite overcrowding as a concern. One small agency sees revising its bicycle policy of utmost impor- tance owing to capacity problems with exterior racks. One large agency explained that "accommodating cyclist demand for space during peak hours is often a challenge"; another addressed demand: "We have an overwhelming number of passengers wanting to take their bicycles on the trains. It FIGURE 36 Bicycles block doors and seats on a BART train overcrowds the trains and is unsafe for other passengers." (courtesy : BART). Expanded use of bicycles will only demand further policy measures to counteract overcrowding. One case stands out The mode share of BART riders who are bicyclists, as a lesson for future accommodation of bicycles on rail. although still small, has increased from 3% in 1998 to 4% in 2008 (BART 2008). The 1% increase is the same as prior BART studies, which showed an increase from 1% to 2% in the period 1987 to 2002. The bicycle mode share varies at the 43 stations, with a Berkeley station achieving the highest at 12%. The 2002 "BART Bicycle Access Parking Plan" attributes this upward trend "to be the result of the increased amount of bicy- cle parking available at stations, improved outreach and major changes in bicycle policies" (Wilbur Smith Associates 2002). Since the 1980s, when BART ran test programs that eventu- FIGURE 35 How effective do you think the agency's bicycle ally loosened bicycle policies, bicycling has become part of the policy is (n = 35)? agency's strategies to achieve "a 10% shift in the access mode split by reducing the percentage of parked Single Occupant Vehicles relative to other modes..." (Wilbur Smith Associates ONE AGENCY'S EXPERIENCE: BART, SAN FRANCISCO 2002). Some BART innovations include the following: BAY AREA--INNOVATIONS FOR BICYCLE ACCESS ON RAIL · A Stair Channel (Figure 37) at one of the San Francisco stations, where bicyclists wheel their bicycles onto Policies about bicycles on the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid ramps marked up or down alongside the stairs. The ramp Transit District (BART) have moved from limited and takes the weight off the shoulders, providing assistance temporary permission to active encouragement. In Octo- for bicyclists who must otherwise carry their bikes at ber 1974, two years after the opening of the BART system, other stations or use the elevator. Bikes are not permit- bicycles were allowed in the rear of the last car only during ted on escalators; according to the manager of access off-peak hours. Permits were required, and no more than programs, violators have caused severe accidents to five bicycles were allowed per train. Today, the permits have themselves and other passengers, as well as wedging been done away with, and bicycles are allowed on all cars the bike into the escalator while it keeps running. The except the first one on any train. (The first car is kept clear Stair Channel was funded by a grant; more are planned for the operator to exit in an emergency.) However, bicycles as additional funds become available (L. Timothy, per- are still not permitted on most trains in the peak direction sonal communication, Apr. 9, 2010). during the "peak of the peak" commute hours, defined as · Bicycle Priority Area inside the train door marked with "approximately 7:05 to 8:50 a.m. and 4:25 to 6:45 p.m." The an outline of a bicycle (Figure 38). These bicycle areas, exception is folded bikes, which are allowed on the trains at installed on 41 cars as a demonstration project with all times. The prohibition of bicycles during commute hours grant funds, have a leaning bar so that multiple bikes recognizes the conflict caused by large items taking up space can be stacked against the rail. The area was created by on crowded trains (see Figure 36). Nonetheless, an online removing seats and windscreens by the door. A message survey by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition reported that is posted allowing strollers and luggage if no bikes are lifting the blackout period rated high on the improvements present. Each special car has a decal on the outside and its 523 respondents favored (Vi 2009). has additional spaces for wheelchairs inside.
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47 FIGURE 37 Bicyclist uses a stair channel to exit one of BART's stations (courtesy : BART). FIGURE 38 BART is experimenting with bicycle priority areas on its trains (courtesy : Adrienne Johnson: http:// changeyourliferideabike.blogspot.com). · Electronic Bike Lockers programmed for "pay as you go" (Figure 39). Bicyclists buy a $20 access card to insert into the electronic locker, which deducts 3 cents Bicycle advocates have been instrumental in shaping an hour to rent it. Electronic lockers will eventually BART's bicycle policies. A bicycle advisory committee has replace keyed lockers to free up available secure bike been in existence since BART service started in 1972. The parking for those on a waiting list. The agency plans to current BART Bicycle Advisory Task Force reviews pro- increase the current 200 electronic lockers to 900, and posed bicycle policies and offers suggestions for improve- the 1,300 traditional bike racks will also remain. ments; discusses problems and complaints regarding bicycles · Bike Stations, which offer indoor secure parking, are on BART; makes recommendations to BART staff and the operated at three heavily used stations for bicyclists. Board of Directors; and acts as a liaison between BART and One of the largest in the nation is located in a Transit bicycle advocacy groups and associations. The Task Force Village and features a full-service bike repair shop. meets every other month and includes six appointed mem- This and one other are staffed by attendants. The third bers, two people from each county BART serves. is a self-service parking system featuring an electronic smart-card access lock system. FIGURE 39 BART passenger swipes her card and places her bike into an electronic locker (courtesy : BART).