Friday, October 17, 2008

Bike commuting in the Bay Area 3

I mentioned that some BART stations have lockers that you apply for, and some now have first-come lockers. The last option for bike storage at BART stations is only available at a few stations, and is supervised bike parking.

Three stations (Fruitvale, Downtown Berkeley, Embarcadero) have bike parking. Fruitvale is operated by Alameda Bicycle and is located in the back of a small shop (great for getting new tubes). The others are in the BART stations themselves, and are operated in partnership with Bikestation. Unfortunately, all of these stations are on the wrong side of the hills for me.

I need to do a little legwork (har har) and check out the area around the stations at my end of the commute to see if there are options. If I had the money to ride a Rivendell (sigh, someday) I would stop by the shop and see if there was a way to park there, since they are walking distance from the Walnut Creek station.

Note - this whole set of posts was actually inspired by this article from the NY Times blog. The blurb that showed up in the reader irked me because it sounded as if the article was arguing that there should be government-sponsored bike valet parking set up, and I couldn't figure out why there needed to be government involvement. Then I read the piece and saw this:
The city (or perhaps a third party like Transportation Alternatives) should license the valets so people would be be confident that their valet isn’t a fly-by-night bike thief. The city has already used its licensing power to increase the availability of fruit and vegetable vendors in poorer neighborhoods, why not use it to increase parking valets?
Government licensing could be necessary, especially if the parking area is not right where the bikes are dropped off. The only one of these I've ever used is the one at Fruitvale, and you can see them wheel the bike into the back and place it on the rack. Plus, the fact that there is an obvious brick-and-mortar facility makes it a little easier to know who you would "go after" if your bike went missing.

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