In early 2013, the Lafayette Park Commuter Team (LPCT), acknowledged a problem with their existing bicycle parking in the Lafayette Park Complex outside of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. Users complained that the existing wooden bike lockers had deteriorated and needed to be replaced.
As the organization prepared to replace the existing wooden bike lockers, they researched bike cages, open-air cage structures with individual parking stations inside. While secured by a locking mechanism, these cages do not provide protection from the elements and still allow an open view to what bikes and gear are being stored in the cage, which became a concern. “Out-of-sight bikes seem to be less targeted,” said Harold Weigner, a former MPCA employee that was involved in the project. More importantly, the cost of the cages was beyond what their budget would allow.
After research and polling of bicycle riders, the LPCT decided, instead of bike cages, to purchase 20 of CycleSafe’s high-quality bike lockers. Secured with a high-security Abloy lock cyclinder with non duplicable keys, these units provide full protection from the outdoors, including extreme temperatures. “Bikes are designed for outdoor use, but they live longer if optimally protected from water, dust, and ultraviolet light,” noted Weigner.
This implementation provided an increase in bicycle parking. The bike locker installation has alleviated availability issues previously plaguing staff members. “We had had a waiting list to use our bike lockers for as long as I can remember,” said Melissa Wenzel, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, LPCT member, former chair. With the increased amount of lockers available, the wait list has since dissipated. Additionally, those biking to work are now more comfortable doing so year-round, because the bikes are completely shielded from the elements.
For more information on the LPCT’s decision to purchase bike lockers, as opposed to bike cages, see the case study Agency Collaboration Selects Bicycle Lockers Over Bicycle Cages.