Thanks to the resounding passage of Measure M in November 2016, final planning for the next Foothill Gold Line Extension to Claremont is well underway, with the popular project slated to be among the first to be constructed under the new funding source.
Given the project timeline and ongoing efforts to finalize station design for the 5 project cities (Glendora, La Verne, San Dimas, Pomona, and Claremont), now is a particularly opportune moment to review the pros/cons of the existing Gold Line station design and first-mile/last-mile access for people on foot/bike, and hopefully improve upon it for the $1 billion + final leg to the LA County border.
Existing Station Parking (For Cars and Bikes)
When the Gold Line extension to Azusa opened in March 2016 the new line's popularity was quickly overshadowed by a perception that there was a severe shortage of free automobile parking. Frustrated 210 commuters found that station parking along the line's eastern-most stations (Azusa, Irwindale) was reaching capacity at 7am or even earlier on weekdays. Lost amidst the discussion was the high cost of "free" station parking; in an elevated structure, parking spaces typically cost Metro $25,000+ a piece, with underground parking running $35,000+ per space. With 1,437 parking spaces built in structures between Arcadia and Azusa, the ballpark cost of the line's free parking alone was over $35 million (1,437 x $25,000), not counting ongoing maintenance costs to Metro, or the opportunity costs of using valuable station adjacent land for other purposes such as mixed use, transit-friendly, residential housing with some parking, especially in the midst of a major housing crisis (e.g., see South Pasadena station).
At the same time car parking pandemonium was breaking out, local demand for paid, secure bicycle parking was also exceeding supply. Metro "bike lockers"- available at some Foothill Gold Line stations and all 6 of the new extension stations - cost $24 every 6 months, plus a $50 key deposit fee. In comparison to automobile parking, bicycle locker parking is a relative bargain, costing approximately $3,500 per stainless steel unit, making the total investment for the 144 lockers along the Acadia-Azusa extension $504,000.
The below table outlines secure capacity, usage, and waitlists for Gold Line Bike Parking as of December 2016.
With the exception of Irwindale and Duarte stations, every station that currently provides paid, secure bicycle locker parking was at capacity in December 2016, with 144 persons waiting for spaces to open up. These numbers also do not account for existing stations that offer secure parking, many others do not, including South Pasadena, Filmore, Del Mar, Lake, and Allen stations. Given these stations proximity to residential communities with relatively high bicycle modal share vis-a-vis more suburban communities along to Azusa, it is conceivable that there is latent demand for secure station bicycle parking at these stations. The lack of secure bicycle parking at these stations, and reported rates of theft of bikes parked at standard station U-racks, is also why local groups such as the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition have made retrofitting these stations with secure, paid bike parking a priority project.
Planned Glendora-Claremont Station Parking
According to the Gold Line Construction Authority's planning figures (page 4) for the Claremont/Montclair extension, new stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, and Montclair would provide over three times the amount of station car parking (5,080 spaces) than across the 6 stations along the Arcadia to Azusa segment, 5 of which would be new multi-story parking structures:
The ballpark cost of 3,480 new structure spaces: $87 million dollars, assuming a $25,000 per space cost.
Existing Gold Line extension planning documents do not state if triple the secure bicycle parking is also planned for the next 6 stations, only that station bicycle parking will meet Metro required standards. As the bicycle locker table underlines, demand for paid, secure bicycle parking is high across the Gold Line corridor, underlining the need for additional capacity. Given the large university student populations in several of the Claremont/Montclair extension cities, we expect demand for such facilities to be even higher than in cities like Irwindale (population 1,400) and Duarte. Secure bicycle parking facilities would not per se have to be entirely in the form of lockers, either, with other options such as card-access bicycle cages such as the one pictured below serving as a lower cost, higher security alternative.
These types of facilities could also be retrofitted into existing parking structures at stations with long locker waitlists (e.g., Arcadia, APU stations), or stations that current do not provide any secure bicycle parking (e.g., South Pasadena, Filmore stations). Another opportunity worth consideration is relocating some of the lockers at stations with excess capacity (e.g., Irwindale station) to Gold Line stations with long waitlists, as well as introducing at least some walk-up, secure bike parking options similar to those used by UCLA.
Given the many health, environmental, financial and equity impacts of constructing bike and automobile parking along transit lines, BikeSGV staff and volunteers will be attending the next Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Meeting to make the case for smart bicycle parking in the project's final phase. If you are interested in this issue, we strongly encourage you to join us at the meeting, or submit comments via email to board clerk Chris Lowe (email@example.com).
The Issue in Numbers
The BikeSGV team hopes you had a restful holiday break and are ready for another banner year of advancing a more vibrant, healthy and multi-modal San Gabriel Valley! 2017 is shaping up to be a great one, with a bunch of active transportation projects slated to kick-off in the coming months, including:
Your friends @BikeSGV
Women-on-Wheels "Bike BaBes and Brunch" Ride - Sun 1/15
Sunday 1/15 (9-11am) - Women-on-Wheels "Bike Babes and Brunch" Ride ( Whittier Narrows) - Join Women on Wheels for a Bikes, Babes and Brunch Ride from South El Monte to Uptown Whittier for brunch! We will meet at Whittier Narrows, bike to Bailey Street Kitchen, enjoy brunch, and return. Please bring a bike lock. Let us know if you need to borrow a lock. Please note: This ride is for women and women-identifying individuals only. We travel at a relaxed pace. This ride is great for beginners!
Lunar New Year Bike Train - Sat 1/28
#SGVBikeChallenge Ride #1 | Lunar New Year | Sat 1/28 - BikeSGV's monthly, family-friendly Bike Train community ride will touch every City in the SGV in 2017, thanks to project sponsors Kaiser Permanente Foundation Hospitals, Day One, and the San Gabriel Mountains Forever coalition! Join us in exploring one of the most diverse regions in the United States (and world!) in 2017.
The first ride will be a special Lunar New Year Bike + Hike to the famous Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights to check out some of the new year festivities. No lock required (supervised racks will be provided by BikeSGV where the 0.5 mile hike begins to/from the Temple).
626 Golden Streets: Free Materials and SWAG
626 Golden Streets Posters, Stickers, Flyers, Flyers, Banners and Yard Signs!
ICYMI, the SGV Open Streets extravaganza aka 626 Golden Streets is rapidly approaching on the one year anniversary of the Gold Line Extension grand opening, Sunday March, 5, 2017! Come out and explore 8 San Gabriel Valley communities via over 17 miles of car-free streets. You won't want to miss it, as there are currently no plans to repeat the event in the short-term.
626 Golden Streets flyers, posters, stickers, and even #GabeTheSasquatch Yard Signs are available free of charge for BikeSGV friends and supporters. Help Gabe keep the SGV great this March by getting the word out. Please contact Andrew@bikeSGV.org to request materials, or feel free to stop by our Bicycle Education Center to do so. Located at BikeSGV HQ at 10900 Mulhall St. in El Monte, the Center also has 626 tank tops ($15) and t-shirts ($20) on sale. All proceeds and donations support our community programs! For more information, or to inquire about what is in stock, please contact Program Coordinator Andrew Fung Yip (email).626 website: www.626goldenstreets.com
Learn-to-Bike Classes | 2017 Schedule
Don't know how to ride a bicycle, but want to learn? Know someone who'd like to learn? BikeSGV is hosting a series of FREE Learn-to-Bike classes through June 2017, including two this month: Saturday January 14 and 21 (9am-12pm)!
Don't own a bike?
No problem! A limited number of foldable bicycles thanks to program sponsor Dahon Bikes as well as full-size bikes from the San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Education Center are available for participants to check out at no charge. If you register, you are guaranteed a bike. All upcoming classes will be hosted at the Jeff Seymour Family Center on 10900 Mulhall St. in El Monte.
More info, register here.
Questions: Contact Catalina Gonzalez
City Cycling and Bike Repair Classes
City Cycling Classes
Want to feel more comfortable riding on city streets? Learn more about the rules of the road? Or how to set up your bike to commute to work/school?
BikeSGV's City Cycling course is broken into 3 parts to help you gain more confidence on your bike:
Basic Bicycle Maintenance Classes
Do you know the basics to keep you bike rolling? Whether you are looking to get back on the bike for fitness, commuting, or just to be able to spend a nice weekend with family, this class is a great way to get your bike(s) back on the road. We'll teach you how to: perform an ABC Quick check,repair/replace a flat tire; adjust brakes; clean your bicycle; and acquire the tools needed to make simple repairs on the go.
Click here for upcoming dates
Jose Jimenez, BikeSGV Education Director
Jose@BikeSGV.org - (626) 566-8302
SGV Bicycle Education Center, Room 29
10900 Mulhall Street, El Monte, 91731
SGV Bike Park Work Day - Sun 1/22
The Jeff Seymour Family Center in El Monte is in the midst of being transformed into a more sustainable campus with native trees, stormwater capture features, and even the SGV's first community bicycle pump track and skills park! Check out the construction photos.
Made possible via CalFire, REI, and SoCalGas grant funding, the green makeover project will host another public volunteer day Sunday 1/22 (9am-12pm). Partial shifts welcome, just be sure to wear comfortable clothes/shoes that you are ok getting dusty! Rain or wet conditions cancel (track cannot be used when wet)!
Volunteers Needed - Chinatown FireCracker Ride!
One of LA's most popular and fun annual bike rides and runs, the Chinatown Firecracker, needs the help of a few more volunteers for its sign team. All volunteers will receive lunch, a free t-shirt, and goodie bag! Event info here: www.firecracker10.org
To volunteer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Introducing BikeSGV Volunteer Memberships!
Short on cash after the holidays but still want to be eligible for all the great benefits of being a BikeSGV member? We've introduced a new membership option in 2017 that won't cost you anything! Donate 10 hours of your time as a volunteer with BikeSGV in 2017 and you'll receive a free 12 month general membership!
Volunteers are needed for all sorts of projects, from helping complete construction of the SGV Bike Park, participating with bicycle parking audits, supporting upcoming rides/events like 626 Golden Streets, and/or helping out at the Bike Ed Center. Questions/info, contact monica@bikeSGV.org
Want to learn more? Check out ActiveSGV's new podcast, ActiveLab