The Bicycle Coalition has been meeting with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority for several years to speak about the potential for bike parking options on SEPTA property, including the South Broad Concourse, where, we have long believed, there is potential for all sorts of expanded bike parking spaces and safe places for people to leave their bikes to utilize both bicycles and transit. SEPTA agrees, and is working on installing more bike parking.
Recently, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia worked with Temple Planning students Kyle Drexler, Kyle Hearing, Ashley Nuckles, Jeremy Stoff, and Kathy Zanecosky on their report on Center City bike parking.
The report found, among other things, the need for “large-scale installations of bicycle parking around Market East and the Avenue of the Arts, where the demand model suggests a need for an additional 419 and 77 bicycle racks, respectively,” and massive upgrades to already-existing bike racks.
The Bicycle Coalition and former BCGP intern Kyle Hearing then held a meeting with SEPTA to present the report and show where, within the report, SEPTA could install more bike parking over the long- and short-term.
SEPTA noted they are already working on installing more bike racks in the concourse and adding covered bike parking to existing stations around the region. Here are some of the ideas we discussed.
Potential concourse bike cage. One idea the Bicycle Coalition has been speaking with SEPTA about for a long time is a bike cage in the South Broad Concourse. The cage would allow people to use a card (perhaps a SEPTA Key Card) to open and close a locked area for added bicycle security.
The first talks about this issue were with University of the Arts; the idea was to connect this with UARTS cards. The higher quality it can go, the more use it will get because people do fear theft. Location is pretty ideal notwithstanding you have to use the steps or the elevators. There have been good examples of systems putting in cages, either a live person in a booth; we believe there is a lot of demand, too.
Installations happening. The good news is that SEPTA intends to install new bike parking underground. The first idea, we were told, is to test out some U-racks that are in the paid area — and some in the unpaid area — in the concourse.
By the “paid area,” we mean bike racks behind the gate at Walnut Locust. Installing bike racks here creates an added security in the concourse of both being behind a paid area, and with the security of being in front of a person in the booth. This area is also under camera surveillance.
Temple Bicycle Parking Plan. The Temple students found there were 60 missing spaces in the Avenue of the Arts corridor — and students could use the cage there.
We’ve also noticed there’s little space on the sidewalks in the Avenue of the Arts corridor, and we suggested double-stack bike rack. Within the gated area at Walnut Street, there are pillars and SEPTA, we believe, is going to start putting U-racks right there.
Ideally, SEPTA could have the hoops in on the concourse by the end of December. Once they install them and realize the demand is high, they will likely put in more. We will have updates as this project moves ahead.
Through advocacy and education, the Bicycle Coalition leads the movement to make bicycling a safe and fun way to get around for anyone in Greater Philadelphia. We’re a member-funded organization, and we can’t advocate for building out the region’s bicycle network without your support. Join or donate today to partner with us and make your ride better.