Turning Covered Bicycle Parking Plans into Reality

July 1, 2015

In April 2015, SEPTA published the first ever Cycle-Transit Plan. One initiative included in the plan is to install covered and/or secure bicycling parking at rail stations. Over the next two weeks, this Journal will describe plans for rolling out the first installments of a $3 million, 3 year program to turn SEPTA's Cycle Transit Plan into reality. This week, the focus is on Regional Rail. Next week, the focus will turn to the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines.

REGIONAL RAIL BICYCLE PARKING ENHANCEMENTS

In order to determine which stations should be prioritized for enhanced bicycle infrastructure, several factors were considered.

Connectivity to the station
Existing land use patterns (auto-oriented v. "Main Street")
Transit-oriented developments - planned and existing
Roadway typology
Current traffic patterns
Pedestrian and bicycle safety
Bike facilities such as bike lanes, sharrows, trails - planned and existing
Sidewalks
Bicycle parking demand
Condition of racks
Covered or not
Visibility and safety
Number of bikes locked at the station
RideScore Rating
Non-Parking Boards

After onsite evaluations were conducted of every Regional Rail station in the SEPTA system, the following stations have been selected to receive new or improved bicycle infrastructure beginning in 2016.

Preliminary Bicycle Shelter Design

JEFFERSON STATION

Jefferson Station is located in downtown Philadelphia. Growing residential and commercial development surrounds the station.

Current Bicycle Infrastructure: Well-utilized bike racks are located on street level
Weekday Passengers: 13,488 *
Non-Parking Boards: 100% **
RideScore Rating: N/A

SUBURBAN STATION

Suburban Station is located in the central core of the Philadelphia Central Business District. High-rise office buildings and limited commercial and residential development surrounds the station.

Current Bicycle Infrastructure: Well-utilized bike racks are located on street level
Weekday Passengers: 24,198 *
Non-Parking Boards: 100% **
RideScore Rating: N/A

UNIVERSITY CITY

The station is located in high density area. It is near the University of Pennsylvania academic and healthcare campuses, as well as, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. South Street has painted bike lanes that lead to the Schuylkill River Trail.

Current Bike Infrastructure: Well-utilized bike racks are located on street level
Weekday Passengers: 2,529 *
Non-Parking Boards: 100% **
RideScore Rating: 9.7 (out of 10)


FOX CHASE

The station is located in the heart of the Fox Chase/Rockledge neighborhood center. Bicycle lanes are located on Rockwell Avenue, leading directly to the station. The station is also near Pennypack Park and its extensive trail system which extends into both Philadelphia and Montgomery County. The proposed extension of the Pennypack Trail on the unused Newtown railbed would make the station a trailhead.

Current Bike Infrastructure: There are six uncovered U racks and one uncovered wave rack at this station. The existing racks are well utilized.
Weekday Passengers: 1,365 *
Non-Parking Boards: 76% **
RideScore Rating: 6.9(out of 10)

WARMINSTER

Despite the low RideScore, this station has the highest existing demand for bicycle parking. New transit-oriented development nearby and the fact that this is the end of the line may be contributing to the higher bicycle parking demand.

Current Bike Infrastructure: Four uncovered U racks are located at the station. The existing racks are well utilized.
Weekday Passengers: 1,103 *
Non-Parking Boards: 28% **
RideScore Rating: 3.2(out of 10)

GLENSIDE

The station is located near a traditional first-ring suburb. Apartment buildings; larger commercial area and Arcadia University are nearby. Very high level of non-parking boards.

Current Bike Infrastructure: Seven U racks are partially covered by existing inbound canopy. Four uncovered U racks are located on the outbound side of the station.
Weekday Passengers: 1,243 *
Non-Parking Boards: 75% **
RideScore Rating: 5(out of 10)

TORRESDALE

This station is located near Holy Family University and is surrounded by single family detached homes and some apartments. There nearest bike lanes are on State Road.

Current Bike Infrastructure: Three uncovered U-racks on the inbound side.
Weekday Passengers: 1,096 *
Non-Parking Boards: 67% **
RideScore Rating: 5.4(out of 10)

AMBLER

This station is located in a small town with main street shopping, new transit-oriented development and adaptive reuse office space is located near the station. Roadways are generally bikeable despite the lack of on- or off-street bicycle infrastructure.

Current Bike Infrastructure: There are two uncovered wave racks on the inbound side. One old long rack under the outbound canopy.
Weekday Passengers: 918 *
Non-Parking Boards: 47% **
RideScore Rating: 4(out of 10)

DOWNINGTOWN

The area appears to be bikeable despite lack of on and off street dedicated bicycle facilities.

Current Bike Infrastructure: There are two uncovered U racks located at the station.
Weekday Passengers: 394 *
Non-Parking Boards: 18% **
RideScore Rating: 3.9(out of 10)

NORRISTOWN

Dense walkable neighborhood, near municipal buildings and directly on the Schuylkill River Trail. Medium-High rating on non-parking boards.

Current Bike Infrastructure: There are two U racks under the existing inbound regional rail canopy. There is one covered bicycle parking structure and four uncovered U racks currently located in the plaza.
Weekday Passengers: 2,010 (Regional Rail and Norristown High Speed Line) *
Non-Parking Boards: 87% **
RideScore Rating: 7.6(out of 10)

FERN ROCK

Very dense row house neighborhood. Mainly residential.

Current Bike Infrastructure: There are 7 U racks located on Nedro Avenue.
Weekday Passengers: 2,970 (Regional Rail and Broad Street Line) *
Non-Parking Boards: 83% **
RideScore Rating: 7.8(out of 10)

SWARTHMORE

The station is located in a small "downtown" area close to Swarthmore College.

Current Bike Infrastructure: There are a total of 20 U racks located at this station.
Weekday Passengers: 766 *
Non-Parking Boards: 67% **
RideScore Rating: 6(out of 10)

LANGHORNE

The station is located in an extremely bikeable area. Residential neighborhoods surround the station. RideScore rating is fair. Mid-range connectivity scores and an established number of non-parking boards make this station a contender for better bicycle infrastructure.

Current Bike Infrastructure: There are uncovered wave racks and one uncovered U rack at the inbound side of the station.
Weekday Passengers: 662 *
Non-Parking Boards: 52% **
RideScore Rating: 3.6(out of 10)

BRYN MAWR

Bryn Mawr station is located in a very walkable and bikeable area, directly adjacent to two colleges. The existing bicycle racks are well utilized.

Current Bike Infrastructure: There are two uncovered U racks on the inbound station plaza. There is one old long racks that is installed under the existing outbound platform canopy.
Weekday Passengers: 1,131 *
Non-Parking Boards: 79% **
RideScore Rating: 4.7(out of 10)

STRAFFORD

This station has a strong existing bicycle parking usage. It is located near a multi-family development.

Current Bike Infrastructure: There are two uncovered U racks on both the outbound and the inbound side of the station.
Weekday Passengers: 822 *
Non-Parking Boards: 65% **
RideScore Rating: 4.4(out of 10)

Swarthmore Station Will Receive Additional Bicycle Parking in 2016

*All ridership numbers are taken from SEPTA's 2011 or 2013 Regional Rail Census.
**Non-parking boards is an estimation based upon the number of parking spaces provided at the station, the utilization of the parking, and the daily average ridership. The difference between passenger boards and the number of parked cars can be used as an approximation of the number of passengers who access the station via walking, bicycling, bus connection, or getting dropped off by someone else. This methodology and calculation is used by the DVRPC as a part of their RideScore analysis.