Left: Before, Right: After

Left: Before, Right: After

In SEPTA’s continuing effort to integrate bicycles into their transportation system, we’ve begun seeing some new, more efficient, better-placed bike racks at Philly rail stations. And recently, we came across an updated bike rack that makes biking to the Wissihackon Train Station a better experience for cyclists.

When SEPTA renovated the very busy Wissahickon Station on the Manayunk Norristown line, they included a sheltered bike rack with parking for twelve bicycles, in theory.

Unfortunately, something got lost in translation.

In the above image, you can see how the bike shelter used to look. The rack was way too close to the curb, which makes it difficult to attach an efficient number of bicycles.

It represents scuttled good intentions. Installing bike racks is not rocket science, but there are basic guidelines that must be followed in order for the racks to work as intended.

The initial installation at Wissahickon Station of ribbon racks would probably never hold more than two bikes each because the racks were installed too close to the curbing. Ribbon racks guidelines state that racks should be placed 2.5 feet from a curb or wall. One can imagine the installer, lacking proper instructions, noting the shape of the roofline and installing the racks in a manner that seemed logical, yet it prevented the racks from accommodating the full twelve bikes they were designed to hold.

On December 8th, 2015, the Bicycle Coalition wrote to Jeff Knueppel, SEPTA’s General Manager, to see what could be done to correct this problem. We were delighted recently to see the ribbon racks were replaced with five U-racks installed diagonally, the preferred design for its two-point support of bicycles. These now allow ten bikes to lock up under the protective roof.

Way to go SEPTA! We applaud their good intentions and their follow-through with a quick response to an installation error.

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