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Thread: WMATA Metro Rail Bike Policy

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexisglenn View Post
    Are people in this part of the U.S. so much more inconsiderate than others in 13 major U.S. cities?
    Yes.
    Last edited by Steve O; 02-01-2016 at 10:57 AM.

  2. #12
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexisglenn View Post
    Yes, this issue was discussed before --3 years ago. If you read my original post, I acknowledged that. It is clear by that thread that the most vocal people in this forum don't agree with my point of view and that's ok. All I simply asked is if anyone here happened to agree with my point of view that the ban was arbitrary, it just takes a moment to let WMATA know.
    I appreciate you posting. I agree with the others that you haven't made any new points, though I did like your graphic, which was new. Also, there's a new GM, so a chance that in changing things, he'd be willing to change this. I think it's a completely appropriate post.

    I happen to agree with you as a policy matter. There are reasons why people shouldn't take bikes at MetroRail at certain times, but those aren't the kind of reasons for an outright ban based on hours. There are much better ways to do it.

    Of course, the bigger issue, in my mind, is the elevator policy. I think wheelchairs, strollers and others who are mobility impaired should get first priority. People with bikes should get second priority because we have no other choice. Those who are choosing to take the elevator because it drops them off in a more convenient spot should be last in line.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexisglenn View Post
    Could you show me where I compare a bike to a child? Like actually pull the quote?

    I compare the SPACE a bike takes to the SPACE a stroller takes up. A stroller is a mode of transportation for a person, as is a bike, and believe it or not, people do use bikes to transport their children also. 6' x 2' bike? What model do you have??
    I think you are well aware of the difference between a stroller and a bike. I think the transportation requirements and options of a 6 month old and a 36 year old are also obviously different. I think equating those things is just silly and counter productive to your argument.

    Space and dimension - Google tells me so.

    Opinionated/Vocal? Don't look up the ELF thread.....

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Of course, the bigger issue, in my mind, is the elevator policy. I think wheelchairs, strollers and others who are mobility impaired should get first priority. People with bikes should get second priority because we have no other choice. Those who are choosing to take the elevator because it drops them off in a more convenient spot should be last in line.
    Please go back and review 1:57 - 2:01 of this important cycling video

    (discretion strongly advised for viewing at work or with children present)
    Last edited by Steve O; 02-01-2016 at 11:26 AM. Reason: grammar stuff

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Of course, the bigger issue, in my mind, is the elevator policy. I think wheelchairs, strollers and others who are mobility impaired should get first priority. People with bikes should get second priority because we have no other choice. Those who are choosing to take the elevator because it drops them off in a more convenient spot should be last in line.
    Isn't that what they have posted on the elevator doors? I swear I've seen it on metro. Problem is many of these rules (such as the disability seating) can't be enforced via ticketing on the metro from what I've heard--they rely on social pressure which many people wont succumb to. Plus you always need to remember someone who may look healthy may actually have an issue which limits their mobility. Post surgery a few years ago I looked fine, but walking more than a block at the time could cause serious issues, yet I still had to report to the office. So I took the elevator since it reduced my walking quite a bit due to elevator locations, and got dirty looks from people with strollers :-/.

    To the main poster--
    IMHO, re-examining the hours bikes are banned would be good as other posters brought up. Maybe shrink it to 2 hrs, or some other switch depending on when crowds really are bad. Secondly, perhaps another option might be having "bike friendly" cars during rush hours. 1 or 2 at the ends or something, maybe every few trains (not sure what location would be best safety wise). My only concern is that I've been on the metro during rush hour where ALL the cars are packed, even the usually empty front and rear ones. I'd be interested if anyone can get WMATA or someone else to look into this and see if there is a good option.

    I agree strollers and luggage are a pain, but outside of some huge double strollers, they aren't as big as a bike, and the dirt is mostly close to the ground on the little wheels. I've also never gotten a difficult-to-remove grease stain from one knocking against me, whereas I swear every time I just look at a bike I get one.

  6. #16
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    Default The ban makes sense

    I wasn't around for the prior discussion three years ago. But I have used the Metro to transport my bicycle (in an appropriate time frame) and I totally do not support eliminating the rush hour ban entirely -- even though doing so would occasionally be helpful to me. Navigating a cycle on a train and in a station full of people is disruptive. At peak times it would be downright dangerous for all involved.

    I don't begrudge somebody bringing up an idea and I sort of hate to see people jump on anyone for raising an issue. But debating the merits of ideas is always appropriate.

    I avoid Metro whenever possible. It is a crowded, unreliable and very user unfriendly system. But it is the only option many people have and is vital to many. I can't believe that anyone who has ever actually waited for an Orange or Blue line train in Arlington during rush hour would think adding bicycles to the mix is rational or reasonable. Blue line riders at the Pentagon or Rosslyn are lucky to even squeeze on a train (without bikes).

    I suspect that most people who hang out at this forum would be highly responsible about Metro use during rush hour. But that does not include the entire universe of cyclists. If it was allowed to try and cram a bicycle onto a crowded rush hour train, plenty of selfish people would try. And we, the entire cycling community, would bear the blow-back.

    Rules should be no more restrictive than public safety requires. The Metro is for all. But the public safety case for the rush hour ban is pretty strong and the practicalities of completely doing away with it are not very realistic.

    As others pointed out, the bike racks on buses make a great alternative. I use that one almost every day and it makes a morning commute (which would otherwise not be tenable for me) possible. My only fear is the coming day when the two bikes per bus rack will be insufficient. (But at least that can be addressed with engineering ... I hope.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexisglenn View Post
    Could you show me where I compare a bike to a child? Like actually pull the quote?
    Name:  trump.PNG
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymo853 View Post
    Name:  trump.PNG
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    IANAL, but I do not see a child in that image.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    IANAL, but I do not see a child in that image.
    The child is inferred by the image of the stroller as being inside of it.

    Or possibly the piece of luggage.

  10. #20
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    Just reading this, and I am shocked and surprised by the lack of support from the posters here. It is all well and good to take the position that you know best about whether or not a policy is workable, and especially appropriate to be mindful of the functioning of the Metro system. But to conclude that a blanket ban on bikes during rush hour is appropriate on all trains and at all times is completely counterproductive to providing better bike access in the DC area.

    I'd be interested in the biggest critics explaining exactly what is wrong with the BART policy. BART tested whether and how this policy would work over a one year period, and determined that there was plenty of excess capacity to permit bikes on trains. This is their policy:

    BART Trains

    Please observe all bike rules if you plan on taking a bike on a train. Although bikes are allowed on all trains at all times, there are some important exceptions:

    Bikes are never allowed on crowded cars (there must be enough room to comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle)
    Bikes are never allowed on the first car of any train
    Bikes are not allowed in the first three cars during commute hours (7:00 to 9:00 AM and 4:30 to 6:30 PM)
    Bikes are not allowed on escalators. Bicyclists must yield to other passengers and not block aisles or doors. If you are taking your bike on BART, it's your responsibility to know and follow all bike rules--please read them.

    They have now allowed bikes on BART for a year and a half. I have heard of no complaints about it. If the doubters wish to show me how the policy is a failure, I'd love to see it. The BART policy appears to want to treat cyclists like adults, something that those who would want no changes tends not to want to do. I personally want to be treated as if I can follow those above rules. It smacks me as elitism to take the position that others cannot be held to that same standard of using their best judgment in this regard.

    One last point. I want my 7 year old son to ride his bike more often. He goes to school 6 miles from our home, and some says he can ride to school, but would have a tough time riding both ways. Letting him and me ride part way, and take the Metro the rest of the way would be great, but some here think not.

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