Bicycles are currently not permitted on escalators in BART stations. It’s always been a “safety issue.” This may soon change. Denis Cuff reported on this last Friday in the Contra Costa Times.
In the cyclists’ corner, BART board members Robert Raburn and Tom Radulovich are working to reverse the ban. BART did its own study on the “safety issue” years ago and concluded that escalators and stairs were equally safe for cyclists to use in BART stations. Despite that, the escalator ban continues. BART officials say they want to encourage people to bike to BART stations because it can increase train ridership without adding expensive parking lots, and it reduces pollution and traffic congestion.
BART, kindly put your money where your mouth is. End the escalator ban. Thank you.
I HATE lugging my bike up the stairs, especially if I have a lot of stuff on it. It seems LESS safe than the escalators. Come on, BART.
I noticed that the 16th/Mission station has a TON of indoor, paid zone bike parking. Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesbondsv/5728193407/in/photostream
I’m right there with you, Curtis. When I take BART, I’m often with my son. He’s not big enough to SAFELY haul his bike up or down the stairs, and I’m usually rollin’ my 70+ lb cargo bike. So we usually take the cramped, slow, often unsanitary, elevator. If there’s a stroller-pushing mom, or a person in a wheelchair waiting for the elevator, I do the right thing and let them go first. I’ve missed a train more than once as a direct result of doing the right thing.
I hope BART decides to do the right thing.
I’m in favor as to be perfectly honest I often take my bike on the escalator. Yes it’s a light bike but I’ve found that it’s safer. When I climb the stairs I have to lift my bike up and watch out for people waking so I don’t hit them. When I’m on the escalator my bike is down and still. The only time I’ve ever come close to hurting people has been walking my bike on the stairs — especially those assholes who sit on the stairs and don’t bother to move. It’s pretty easy to bring your bike on the escalator without blocking it. Anyways I’d bet on any given day there are more pedestrians standing and blocking the escalator.
I usually like to carry my bike up the stairs for a quick ‘workout’ but the past four months my knee has been very sore and going up stairs has been painful. I’ve been dodging BART staff and taking the escalator. In my case it’s a one lane escalator though, and half the people who take it just stand there anyway, so blocking other pedestrians is moot.
Even on ‘two-lane’ escalators, you can easily minimize the obtrusion of a bike by grabbing the frame on the seat tube just above the bottom bracket, holding it under your arm just a couple of inches above the floor. If you stand to the right and hold the bike to your right, nobody gets blocked and your tires aren’t in anybody’s face.
Sure there is a risk, but there is probably an equal risk of a person collapsing on the escalator and creating a hazard for other passengers (or having their clothing or luggage caught, etc).
People who bring their bikes on the escalator safely and conscientiously should be allowed to do so. People who are unsafe and physically discourteous with their bikes are the ones who should be cited. The rules against bikes in so many circumstances seems to be an invitation for others to be rude to the cyclists when they are causing no harm to others.
The elevators however, are a joke. They’re incredibly slow, inconveniently located, and the floor is usually covered in human waste. I pity (literally pity) individuals who unfortunately have no choice but to rely on BART elevators.
• Robert Raburn sent details about this survey to the ebbc-talk listserv, but the listserv and its archives vanished when the EBBC redesigned its website. So I’ve stashed a copy here: