Bicycle Rack Utilization Study & Bicycle Facilities Improvement Report October 2007 SUMMARY 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 racks. 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. I. INTRODUCTION 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. III. FINDINGS 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 are below. 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 below. 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 CENTRAL 35% EAST 22% NORTH 43% SOUTH 34% WEST 47% GRAND TOTAL 37% Abandoned Bicycles 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 utilization, and Comments given by campus cyclists and building coordinators to Commuter Services. 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 utilization survey. 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 location. 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 North. 7) University Facilities Annex #4: This one Custom rack location was moved; location is unknown. 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 location. UWMC-East Exp-SW location had two ribbon racks that were replaced by two Toast-11 racks. 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.
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