The past few weeks I’ve received many suggestions for expanded bike parking at Penn Station. Two years ago, Amtrak announced the removal of the existing bike parking at Penn Station, which was then located beneath the canopy adjacent to the main entrance. The decision for the removal was based on new Department of Homeland Security regulations the prohibited bicycle parking within close proximity to train station.
Recognizing the bike parking’s removal would create a serious issue for area commuters, Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) took the lead in addressing the situation. Along with the Parking Authority of Baltimore City (PABC) and Baltimore City Department of Transportation (DOT), MTA purchased and installed new bike racks on city property managed by DOT & the Parking Authority. The result was additional, higher quality racks that didn’t scratch bikes and under closer surveillance, although not directly protected from the elements. These racks were installed in September of 2008.
Given the room for additional bikes and projection for an increase in bike traffic, I figured no new racks would be needed for at least 4-5 years. To help direct users to the bike racks in the garage, DOT installed signs adjacent to the main bike parking. Still, the demand percised. I checked it out for myself and here’s what I found: 30 bikes, 4 scooters & 1 carcass at the main parking! Another 9 bikes were at the garage parking! I was fairly stunned. Before the original racks were removed, parking averaged 20 bikes with 2 permanent carcasses. Could biking to Penn Station become this much more popular in less than 2 years?