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Bike Parking At Skinker MetroLink Station

December 24, 2012 Bicycling, Featured, Planning & Design 11 Comments

Where you see bicycles locked to handrails on an ADA ramp that’s a good indictor of a need for convenient bike parking.

ABOVE: Bicycles secured to the handrail of the Skinker MetroLink ramp on the Washington University campus
ABOVE: Bicycles secured to the handrail of the Skinker MetroLink ramp on the Washington University campus

The night I took the above image a young man on the same train I was on unlocked his bike from the same rail and rode off away from the Washington University campus. Three bikes were locked here on a random Thursday evening (11/29).

This MetroLink station may have bike parking somewhere but I’ve seen bikes here before. We’ve got to do a better job at designing public space for the actual users.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. Mark says:

    Bike parking at that station is located near the parking lot behind Kaldis. It’s often muddy and inconveniently located for the type of traffic at that station.

    • So across both Skinker & Forest park is bad bike parking? No wonder people use the hand rail.

      • JZ71 says:

        So, “muddy and inconvenient” is an acceptable excuse for parking a bike illegally, but god forbid, we should make vehicular parking convenient?! You’re rightfully upset when cars block crosswalks. Why not the same outrage when bikes block ADA ramps and handrails? Double standard, perhaps?

        • Moe says:

          Agreed. I read not a single comment about how rude and disrespectful these bike owners are to those that need to use the handrail.

  2. JZ71 says:

    Agree completely. Bikes are a great way to solve that “last mile” challenge that faces most transit users. However, according to Metro’s website, there IS bike parking available here (and at many other Metrolink stations – http://www.metrostlouis.org/RidingMetro/BikeAndRide.aspx. .), so the available parking is/was either full, poorly located and/or these cyclists were just being lazy jerks (and making life more difficult for people with disabilities). And if it’s the latter, Metro Security needs to be doing a better job of removing these obstructions.

    And, for a shameless plug, check out the difference between Denver and here – bike lockers!: http://www.rtd-denver.com/Bike_n_Ride.shtml

    • Will Fru says:

      I use this station often, both on foot and with a bicycle, and I’ve never noticed racks anywhere here.

      • JZ71 says:

        First, keep in mind that these comments are coming from someone who supports accessibility, cycling AND transit. Second, I rarely use this station (just pass thru) so I went to look for myself today. As Mark noted, there is limited bike parking behind Kayak’s, but that parking is being provided by Wash U (who owns the building), not by Metro. The bike “parking” that Metro provides is a single ribbon rack, located between the elevator tower and Forest Park Parkway. There’s room for, at most, 4 bikes; there were none there today. Is it great? No! Good? No. Could it be better? Absolutely! But it does meet the definition of “parking”. http://goo.gl/maps/csQyZ

        Third, Metro has no duty or responsibility to provide parking at any of their stops or stations, not for cars, not for trucks, not for bikes. Doing so probably makes good business sense / encourages more people to ride, and bike parking should be provided everywhere they provide vehicular parking facilities, but much like how I have to figure out if I can park my truck at any station, cyclists need to figure out if they can safely park and secure their bikes at any particular station, as well. Here (and at Big Bend) no park-and-ride facilities are provided for vehicles, so getting even these pathetic bike facilities should be viewed as a bonus. In reality, I’m guessing that most of these bikes belong to Wash U students, and Wash U should be providing bike (or vehicular) parking facilities near these two stations IF their population is demanding them.

        Fourth, I get that cyclists can and do get creative on how and where we secure our bikes, racks or not. Where I draw the line between necessity and being an a**hole is when living things start to be compromised. Don’t lock you bikes to trees – chain rings are hell on bark. Don’t lock your bikes to handrails – they’re there for a reason (and no, it’s NOT for your bike). Find a fence (there are several around this station), find a metal signpost (ditto), find a parking meter, just don’t act like you’re the only / most important person using the station. No one would support me if I decided to park my truck on the sidewalk, just because the parking lot is full / “too far away” / doesn’t exist, at all. I can’t give (clueless?) jerks who choose to lock their bikes to handrails a pass just because this may be the “best” place for them! (This attitude probably comes from my years in Boulder, where CU has thousands of cyclists and the university is pretty aggressive in both providing adequate bike parking facilities AND physically removing bikes that obstruct pedestrians and the disabled.)

        Bottom line, YES, more and better bike parking should be provided, here and elsewhere. Regular users, here, need to “encourage” both Metro and Wash U to do more to address the problem. But, until things get better, we all gotta live with what we have now, and that includes keeping the ramps and handrails free of locked bikes . . . .

  3. RyleyinSTL says:

    It is also about visibility/security. The bike parking is out of sight compared to the ADA ramp. Most cyclists feel parking your bike in more visible areas might help reduce the chances of theft.

  4. GMichaud says:

    I agree that we have to do a better job of designing public space for the actual users. That is the real problem here, not pointing fingers at automobile infractions to make things equal. In fact this is the central problem. How is it possible to get city government responsive to a whole new world of city planning. It isn’t happening except in minor ways.
    Even the city sustainable plan draft
    says all of the right things, but does not include a mechanism for implementation. In fact Michael Allen and Preservation Review just complained about a demolition on Bohemian Hill that according to the draft sustainability plan should have not been undertaken.

    I’m not sure if Slay, Reed and City government are so ignorant they don’t understand these issues or what the problem is. Have they even looked at the sustainability plan? Or they even concerned about the ideas presented in the plan? Who know what they think. The press does not report on it. In any case it is clear decisions are not being made to strengthen the City of St. Louis. Thus the need for a new regime of transparency.

    As with the History Museum and Archibald, the whole structure of government should be exposed for greater transparency. I find it unbelievable with global warming, oil and other concerns that enlightened planning policies are not put into place, or at a minimum discussed in the public realm. The major media is a factor in this failure of democracy. They spend more time discussing peripheral issues rather than anything of substance.
    Instead, it is left to Steve Patterson and the Urban Review and a few other blogs to bring up issues that are meaningful to the daily lives of the citizens of St. Louis.
    It does not speak well of either local government nor their enablers in the media (who barely reported on the resignation of Archibald for instance). I guess the Fleishman-Hillard PR firm is a member of the group that runs this town (for their benefit).

    I hate to say that his bicycle security issue leads to Fleishman-Hillard, but in many ways it does. It is the way these guys control things.They have powerful connections in the media. Is this why there is not effective bike parking at this site? I would say yes.

    Otherwise St. Louisians should be in a full tilt debate about the role of bikes, pedestrians and auto’s. It is not happening, why is the mainstream press not concerned with these issues?

    • Ed Golterman says:

      F-H does not run this town. They are ‘order-takers’ as is Archibald. Walking and biking trails and parking spots and a place to shower Downtown and command of the streets and roadways most good weather weekends-the bikers have it pretty good here. Just don’t get on the bad side of the power brokers, that you might ‘compete’ with or threaten any of there enterprises or the hammer will come down very, very hard. Yes, a city has to do smart re-design but it is difficult in a city continuing to fall to the bottom.

  5. Ed Golterman says:

    Bikers, walkers and hikers seem to be getting all the tax funding they need, especially up and down the central corridor. What amounts to double taxation is being proposed in an increase of the sales tax. Bicycles also run on rubber tires, Trolleys can do the same, especially to, from and in parks.


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