Friday, March 15, 2013

Crowdsourced Bike Parking Map Identifies Rail Stations Most In Need Of Bike Parking

This thing. Remember this thing?
Back in September we asked for your help to improve bike parking at area rail stations and transit hubs by adding information to a crowdsourced map. The project was a collaboration of DVRPC, SEPTA, NJ TRANSIT, DRPA (PATCO) and the Open Plans Shareabouts application.

The public input portion ended in December, and DVRPC has now compiled the 462 responses the map generated. PlanPhilly also covered the release of the survey results.

At the bottom of this post, you can see the three maps DVRPC generated based on the user responses.
One interesting finding from the survey is the identity of the leading bike-to-transit stations. That is, the stations with a high level of usage and a relative high demand for improvements. They are Princeton, Princeton Junction, Collingswood, Glenside Jenkintown, Narberth, Merion and just about every Regional Rail and Market Frankford in Center City and University City as well Ellsworth-Federal and Snyder in South Philadelphia.

If we overlay those results with the responses from Map 4 (locations where improvements are suggested), these locations seem to rise to the top as priorities:
  • Princeton Junction
  • Princeton
  • Jenkintown
  • Lindenwold
  • 30th St Station, Suburban Station, Market East
  • Nearly every station on the Market-Frankford Line between 46th and Allegheny
  • These stations on the Broad St Line:  Snyder, Ellsworth-Federal, Lombard-South, Spring Garden and Cecil B Moore
The stations most in need of additional parking are:
  • Princeton
  • Glenside
  • Jenkintown
  • Trenton
  • Collingswood
  • Langhorne
  • Market El - Girard
  • Market El - Spring Garden
  • Market El - 2nd
  • Market El - 15th
The stations most in need of better parking are:
  • Princeton Junction
  • 30th, 30th St Station, Suburban Station, Market East, 8th & Market
  • Broad St line - Spring Garden, Lombard South, Ellsworth-Federal
  • Market El line - 46th, 40th, 30th, 11th, 8th, Spring Garden, Girard, Berks
  • Eastwick and Airport Terminals
  • Narberth
  • Norristown Transportation Center
  • Lindenwold
Bike Stations in New Jersey 
In Mercer County the bike lockers at the Princeton Junction and Hamilton NJ Transit stations are managed by the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association (TMA). Bike lockers programs have failed at SEPTA stations because the ticket agents were often responsible for bike locker management. TMA's transportation focus makes them excellent candidates to manage bike parking at suburban stations. Princeton Junction has more than 100 bike racks and 86 bike lockers. The demand for lockers is greater on the east (New York bound) side of the tracks which has a waiting list while on the west side there is a surplus of bike lockers on the west side of the tracks. The cost for renting a bike locker at these stations is $7.50 a month. With the survey respondents ask for more and better bike parking at Princeton Junction we would imagine that a full blown bike station at this location would be wildly successful.

Hamilton Station - NJ TRANSIT Northeast Corridor Line
Bike Station at 30th Street Station
At Amtrak's 30th Street station the discussions for setting up a bike station goes on. A working group has been meeting with Amtrak for the past few years but those negotiations seemed to have stalled. There is a possibility that PENNDOT could include a bike station as part of its Keystone Corridor station improvement project.

This study has shown that there is a demand for better bike access and parking at transit stations. Furthermore at some select stations the demand will meet or exceed whatever accommodation is provided. We plan to continue to work with our transit partners to offer optimum bike access.

The Maps
Below are maps and graphics reflecting the 462 responses the crowd-sourced map obtained. Each map reflects the answers to a different question:

  • Map 1: How often do you bike to [this] station?
  • Map 2: How would you rate the bike parking at this station?
  • Map 3 attempts to categorize the comments left about each station.
  • Map 4: Would you cycle to [this] station if suggested improvements were made?

Greater Philadelphia Bike to Transit Parking Needs - Survey Result Maps