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Thread: Gaining Access to Parking Garage?

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    rcannon100's Avatar
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    Default Gaining Access to Parking Garage?

    How do you gain access to your parking garage? Is your garage secure? Do you have to show your badge to the attendant? Do you have to swipe in? Is there enough room for both cars and bikes to enter and to leave?

    What do you recommend? What are lessons learned? Is there a good way for bicycles to enter and leave garages without cars hitting bicycles right there at the entrance, as bicycles stop and have to deal with the attendant?

    Thoughts and input would be appreciated.

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    My office building's garage is on a one-way street that is problematic for bike access. The easiest thing to do is to salmon about 100 feet on the sidewalk. First you have to get onto the curb which may be full of pedestrians standing in the curb cut. Then it goes across the neighboring building's garage entrance. Still it "feels" safer than the road access from the other direction.

    The entrance is up a short ramp and you have to stop and show your id to uniformed security (so do drivers). Cars and cyclists have each wait his/her turn, but there are rarely more than one or two at a time. More problematic is exiting the parking garage because there are two lower levels and cars tend to get up a head of steam climbing the ramp heading for the exit and can not see cars or cyclists on the top level coming from the right (the view is blocked by the attendant's office which is different from the security booth that is between the entry and exit driveways).

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    At my garage cyclists ride around the swing arms (a little precarious if you've got a lot of stuff on the bike due to the steep hill and low speed required) and then head toward a locked bike cage. No attendant for entry (or exit, except for daily parkers). There are also some U racks there for visitors/people without cage access. After hours there's a roll door on the garage, and I'd probably sneak my bike into the elevator in that case. It's definitely a "take the lane" situation, as there is not enough room for a car and a bike. It's a bit nerve-wracking going up and down the ramp, but the traffic volume isn't that high, and you can hear whether someone is coming.

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    lordofthemark's Avatar
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    My building's garage is accessed from 3rd Street SE between M and Tingey. 3rd is closed to through motor traffic - the north half is closed to ALL motor traffic (and hence is a wide but short MUP in effect) and the southern half, which one must traverse to get to and from the garage entrance, is open only to motor vehicle accessing the garage (at the entrance to both halves one must navigate bollards). One must show one's ID to the sec guard to enter, as motorists must. There is adequate bike parking. I get nervous exiting, because its a steep ramp, and I have issues on hills, but motorists here seem to be careful, and I have had no problems so far.

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    How do you gain access to your parking garage? --Doubles as a pay garage some days. So I just go down the entrance.

    Is your garage secure? --No, but I know the guard in our guard watches it since a car was broken into and he called police as they attempted to break into the car. The parking attendants are also down there all day and bike racks are in their line of sight.

    Do you have to show your badge to the attendant?--No. Do you have to swipe in?--No. Is there enough room for both cars and bikes to enter and to leave?--Simultaneously? Not really for two cars and a bike, but it never seems to happen. My bigger worry is cars that go down the ramp too slowly and I'm coming down with some decept speed and don't want to run my brakes.

    What do you recommend?--I prefer the bike indoor to outdoor because from what I gather there have been 0 incidents with theft of bikes. Some folks even leave their bikes unlocked. I recommend using your lights in the garage on blinky mode as that seems to attrach cars attention far before your physical body on a bike does. Why, I have no idea.

    What are lessons learned?--Lesson one, it became much easier to turn at the bottom when they put down that gripping type paint over the pavement. Still, when it's wet, I slow down. Two, blinking lights make me very noticable. Three, if it's after 7pm I must use the elevator.

    Is there a good way for bicycles to enter and leave garages without cars hitting bicycles right there at the entrance, as bicycles stop and have to deal with the attendant? --I don't have this issue, but my garage does abruptly come out from a steep angle onto a sidewalk on 15th and onto the cycletrack. I know the cars going in and out see me, but I worry they often don't/can't see the other cyclists or pedestrians. I wish there was a mounted mirror or something to make it easier for them.

    Thoughts and input would be appreciated.

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    Ride up the sidewalk, lock my bike to the rack, walk inside, grab my rain cover, walk back outside, cover bike.

    I was just getting really jealous about all of your covered parking, and sad about my lack of it, so I thought I'd post mine.

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    americancyclo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcannon100 View Post
    How do you gain access to your parking garage? Is your garage secure? Do you have to show your badge to the attendant? Do you have to swipe in? Is there enough room for both cars and bikes to enter and to leave?

    What do you recommend? What are lessons learned? Is there a good way for bicycles to enter and leave garages without cars hitting bicycles right there at the entrance, as bicycles stop and have to deal with the attendant?

    Thoughts and input would be appreciated.
    The garage entrance is directly off 2nd st. There is a swing arm, a metal gate that retracts in to the ground, two guards, and a badge reader that opens a rolltop door. You also need an up to date parking sticker. I always wave as I come around the corner so the guards will begin to lower the gate and raise the swing arm. I keep my badge on the lower left side of my bag where it is visible and level with the card reader, and when I'm lucky, I don't have to put a foot down. There are often a car or two waiting, and I take my place in line. They stop everyone, so sharing the ramp is not an issue.
    I usually get a respectful distance from cars and have learned not to expect turn signals in the garage, because apparently they don't work underground. To exit, you need to badge out through a gate and a rolltop door.
    Biggest lesson learned beside the turn signal? Be patient with drivers and remember to get in your low gear BEFORE approaching the steep exit ramp.
    In a perfect world, I would eliminate the 90* turn at the bottom of the entrance ramp and the drainage grate but all things considered, its a pretty good setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by americancyclo View Post
    remember to get in your low gear BEFORE approaching the steep exit ramp.
    Yeah, I usually switch to the granny ring on the way in, because after forgetting once on the way out I don't want to forget again.

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    I sometimes wonder how many miles ridden and feet climbed I've lost from not being able to log the parking garage exit ramp ride-outs.


    I once had the chain come off at some point between locking up and starting off again and didn't notice. So when I pushed down to clip in, the crank just spun and a went straight down on parking garage concrete. Cracked a rib.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vvill View Post
    I sometimes wonder how many miles ridden and feet climbed I've lost from not being able to log the parking garage exit ramp ride-outs
    This will solve your first problem
    http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Speed-C.../dp/B000BFNOT8

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