Bicycle Lockers Enhance Community Sustainability
Bike facilities matter in Minnesota’s largest city, and there’s a coordinated effort in place to make sure cyclists have the routes, resources and parking options they need. Minneapolis is second in the nation for bicycle mode share, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey. A key player in this effort is Metro Transit, the transportation system serving the Twin Cities area. As one of the nation’s largest transit systems, Metro Transit operates the Hiawatha Light Rail line and 118 bus routes and provides numerous resources for those who carpool, vanpool, walk or bike.
Metro transit has invested in commuters who switch from one mode of transportation to another. “Our job is to provide users with options to help them get to their destination,” said Bruce Howard, Metro Transit’s Director of Marketing. “We want to do whatever it takes to make it work for the commuter. For bicyclists, Metro Transit is working to enable convenient transitions from bike to train or bus by providing bike racks on trains and buses and by providing secure bicycle parking at or near train stations.”
A Coordinated Approach
In order to mitigate lost time, spent fuel, carbon dioxide emissions and traffic congestion, the City of Minneapolis, the Metropolitan Council, Metro Transit, Hennepin County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation work together on programs that are improving bicycle infrastructure and facilities. In addition, a Go Greener initiative, encouraging intermodal travel and reduced emissions, has been in place since April 2007. A master bicycle plan map, a bicycle advisory committee and a bike rack cost-share program serves the city of Minneapolis; the University of Minnesota and many private enterprises avail themselves of the costshare plan. The Minneapolis city’s master bicycle map connects with the Hennepin County’s bicycle plan, and the Federal Highway administration-funded Transit for Livable Communities program, Bike Walk Twin Cities, promotes enhancements to create a more balanced transportation system in the region.
Bikes are a Key Element:
- The state has the most bike trails per capita in the nation
- Increased racks on busses doubled percentage of bikes carried per no. of trips (May 07-Sept 08)
- About two percent of train rides are inter-modal, with passengers bringing bikes on board
- More than 30 % utilization of racks and lockers for bike parking at or near LRT stations
A Bicycling Public
“Minnesotans love bicycling. The state has more bicycle trails per capita than any state in the nation. Recent census data (2006 American Community Survey) pegs Minnesota’s largest city, Minneapolis, at 3.8% mode share for bicycle commuting which is just a whisker shy of #1 Portland. This is an increase of 49% over the 2005 survey (was 2.4% mode share). But it’s important to note that about 1/3 of Minneapolis bicycle commuters use their bicycles year-round and our climate presents different challenges than many like-sized cities,” says John Siqveland, Market Development Specialist at Metro Transit.
This means providing reliable and secure storage options. The city of Minneapolis offers bicycle parking near downtown light-rail stations, and the remainder of stations have racks installed and maintained by Metro Transit. In addition, there are 64 bicycle lockers along the line. Racks are highly utilized at the urban locations and lockers are at or near capacity.
It is estimated that nearly 15,000 people within the city of Minneapolis bicycle on an average spring, summer or fall day. Bicycle-related capital projects are implemented quickly and supported by a wide community base. They also boast one of the highest numbers of bicycle parking spaces of any city in the United States.
Project in Brief
Metropolitan Council, Twin Cities, Minnesota
Along metro stops within seven county area surrounding and including St. Paul and Minneapolis
64 Cycle Safe lockers
Cycle Safe U/2 Racks