Bicycle Rack Utilization Study &
Bicycle Facilities Improvement Report
Approximately 2,291 bicycles were counted on May 9, 2007, a 2.9% increase from
2,227 bicycles counted in 2006.
Around 2,849 total bicycles were estimated to be on campus on May 9th. This
estimation includes bicycles in bike rooms, lockers and offices, plus those locked to
Bicycle rack utilization in 2007 was 37%, down from 39% in 2006. The lower
utilization was due to an increase in capacity.
In order to better meet demand, seven low-utilized rack locations were eliminated
resulting in loss of eight racks; four new locations were created resulting in a gain of
seven racks; three racks were removed from two existing locations; four racks were
added to four existing locations; and two racks from one location were switched from
ribbon-type to toast-type.
Over 200 presumed-to-be-abandoned bicycles were tagged in July; fifty-six (56)
bicycles and bicycle frames with tags remaining were removed on two days: August 15,
2007 and September 5, 2007.
This report documents the University of Washington 2007 Bicycle Rack Utilization
Study, and the bicycle facility improvements that were made in response to the findings.
II. SURVEY METHODOLOGY
The survey was completed by Commuter Services staff on Wednesday, May 9, 2007,
between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Historically, the survey has been conducted on a
sunny Wednesday in May with temperatures in the 70s. May 9th fit this description with
clear skies and temperatures reaching high 60s.
Surveyors used CAD maps of campus bicycle facilities to locate and count the number of
bicycles parked at each location, including inside bike rooms. However, the surveyors did
not conduct the count inside the bike rooms at dormitories, Bagley, and CSE buildings
because of access problems. In the absence of 2007 data, the number of bicycles in bike
rooms in 2006 was used as an approximation for the 2007 value. In future years,
additional efforts will be made to secure access to bike rooms in advance. Surveyors also
noted any bicycles parked illegally on rails, posts, trees, or other non-rack locations. The
survey did not include bicycles parked in lockers or those in offices or hallways.
Utilization is calculated by dividing the number of bicycles parked at legal bike racks by
the number of bicycle parking spaces available.
As shown in Table 1, the campus bicycle rack utilization survey has been conducted
every year for the past twelve years. Beginning in 2005, bicycles parked on railings at
McMahon and Haggett Halls were included in the counts. Findings from the 2007 survey
Almost 2,300 bicycles were counted campus-wide.
The rack utilization rate in 2007 was 37%, down from 39% in 2006.
Rack utilization rates at individual locations across campus ranged from zero (no
bicycles parked) to over 100% (the number of bicycles parked at the rack exceeded rack
capacity). North and West Campus had the highest utilization rates, as shown in Table 2
Table 1: Campus Bicycle Rack Utilization 1995 – 2007
Year Capacity Bicycles Percent
1995 5,632 2,198 39%
1997 5,560 2,250 40%
1998 5,544 2,091 38%
1999 5,811 1,916 33%
2000 6,178 2,030 33%
2001 6,161 2,204 36%
2002 6,184 2,009 32%
2003 5,722 1,835 32%
2004 5,218 1,923 37%
2005 5,487 2,011 37%
2006 5,757 2,227 39%
2007 6,112 2,291 37%
Table 2: 2007 Bicycle Rack Utilization by Campus Area
CAMPUS AREA PERCENT UTILIZATION
GRAND TOTAL 37%
Of the 2,291 bicycles counted on May 9, 2007, 7 were tagged as abandoned by
Commuter Services on the survey date. These were included in the total count of bicycles
parked. In an annual effort to clear campus of abandoned bicycles, the
Transportation Planner tagged an additional 260 presumably abandoned bicycles across
campus. After one and a half months, the 56 bicycles and bicycle frames with tags
remaining were impounded by the UWPD. Unless claimed by their owners, the bicycles
are held and then sold through UW Surplus Property.
IV. EVALUATING ADEQUACY OF BICYCLE RACKS
As part of the program of encouraging and facilitating bicycle usage by students, faculty,
and staff, the University of Washington has an interest in ensuring the best possible
placement of bicycle racks around campus. Two methods were used to identify locations
in need of additional bicycle racks and locations with a surplus of bicycle racks:
Evaluation of specific locations with over 80 percent utilization or under 5 percent
Comments given by campus cyclists and building coordinators to Commuter
V. IMPROVEMENT AREAS
One of the objectives of monitoring the use of bicycle racks on campus is to identify
locations where the existing bicycle facilities are not well matched to their demand. High
demand locations are identified and evaluated for their potential to accommodate
additional bicycle racks. Low-use locations are identified and their racks put under
consideration for re-location, with care taken to maintain a minimum capacity in all
areas. Bicycle racks with maintenance issues are also noted during the bicycle rack
Below is a list of new locations that were created in 2007:
1) Thompson Building/King Lane: One Toast-13 was added right at the intersection
between King Lane and Yakima Lane
2) Southwest Guthrie: One Ribbon-11 was added by the stairs on the Southwest of
Guthrie, adjacent to Physics/Astronomy Building
3) Sport Medicine Clinic: Three Toast-13s were added between Sport Medicine Clinic
and Edmundson Pavilion.
Below is a list of existing locations that had bike rack(s) added in 2007:
1) Husky Stadium East: One Toast-13 was added to make a three Toast-13 location
2) UW MC-East Exp-NE (Emergency Entrance): One Toast-13 was added to make a
three Toast-13 location
3) NW-Wing Court Yard-E: One Toast-11 was added to make a three Toast-11
4) By-George Entry – West: One Toast-13 was added to make a two Toast-13 location.
This rack was moved here from the Red-Square Entry-West (by the bottom of the stairs)
location that was eliminated.
Below is the list of locations that were eliminated due to low utilization:
1) Bank of America Executive Education Building: This Toast-13 was moved. The
rack was added to the location behind Balmer.
2) Music and Art: This one Toast-13 location was eliminated and moved to a new spot
to create the Thompson/King Lane location.
3) Allen Center for Computer Science/Benton Lane: This one Toast-13 location was
eliminated due to low utilization. This rack was moved to the Bloedel Building.
4) Red-Square Entry-West: This one Toast-13 location was moved to add capacity to
the By-George Entry-West location.
5) Fluke: This one Toast-13 location was moved to Husky Stadium NE.
6) Douglas Road/E5 Parking: This one Toast-13 location was moved to Husky Stadium
7) University Facilities Annex #4: This one Custom rack location was moved; location
Below is a list of locations that lost racks due to low utilization:
1) H-Wing Addition: Two Toast-13 racks were removed, leaving behind two racks.
2) Atmospheric Sciences - North: One Toast-13 was removed, leaving behind one rack.
It is likely that these three racks were moved to Sport Medicine Clinic to create a new
UWMC-East Exp-SW location had two ribbon racks that were replaced by two Toast-11
VI. BICYCLE LOCKERS
There are 291 bike lockers on campus with the maximum capacity of 582 rental spaces.
At the time of the survey in 2007, 45 locker spaces were vacant because of transition
between rentals and 6 were broken. Hence, the total number of available rental spaces
was 576 and 92.3 percent were in use.
Traditionally, the week after the bicycle rack utilization survey, the Transportation Office
Manager conducted an e-survey of bicycle locker utilization. However, an e-survey was
not conducted for this year. We used the percentage from 2006, which was 98.9%, and
estimated that 525 bikes occupied the lockers at this time.