Wednesday, May 10

Union Station

I work near Union Station, and I'm having some trouble locking up my bike in a good place.

Here are my options:
1. MTA building by the aquarium (too far, requires a walk under the train concourse)
2. Union Station bus loading area (Lame, 1983 style racks with moving parts that don't work with U-lock technology)
3. To a banister in the walkway between the South wall of the Union Station ticketing area and the bit MWD office Building (this is my preferred alternative)

The problem with option #3 is that the security guards are all atwitter over it. I'm getting whispered comments from the MWD security guards about how the Union Station security guards are just going to go apeshit one day and destroy my bicycle, and the other bike that locks up there too. Of course, nobody has left a note on my bike, but I'm starting to wonder how far I should push it. My other bike was vandalized there a few months ago--maybe it was the security guards.

Anyway, I figured I'd post this to see if anyone has Union Station Bike Parking tips.

More details:
I've contacted LA DOT (Michelle Mowery at MMowery@dot.lacity.org and they say they no longer have a program to install bike racks in partnership with private properties. --that's kind of the central conflict here--Union Station is PRIVATLEY OWNED. There's no governance structure or board meetings where I can show up and speak before a panel of people who might be able to do something-- I've also contacted the property manager (Molly Carlson of ProLogis 213-473-3102). She might consider installing a more modern bike rack on the property if it is free... but I think she'll balk at shelling out money or spending too much of her time.

11 comments:

Alexkenefick said...

PS: I'm a new user here, so if this type of post is not what biciblog is for, let me know

federico said...

i think this is a great post. very appropriate. it addresses a very bicycle concern and i hope it reaches attentive eyes.

abstractmachine said...

I had the same problem at hollywood highland ...
Brand new complex next to a subway station in the heart of hollywood. And no friggin' bike racks.

mr.rollers said...

Jeeez . . . there ought to be some kind of LAW that these places be required to have safe & secure bike racks, just like they're required to have handicapped parking spaces!

Will said...

Don't know if they still do but the MTA used to have some fully enclosed bike lockers installed in several parking areas in and around Union Station. They charged an annual fee for them, which is kind of lame, but you might want to inquire if those are still around and perhaps available on a more short-term basis.

Lisa A A said...

I'm a little confused... I just received a big package at work -- reflective leg band, blinky light, patch kit, maps, etc-- from the MTA, all in hopes of ENCOURAGING me to ride to work during "Ride to Work" week. (The coordinator at work was absolutely salivating when she found she might have an actual bike commuter on the payroll- I suspect she gets a bonus everytime she gives one of these packages away ;))
Seemst to be a disconnect between the messages...
Closely related: I'm taking a class in Pasadena that starts next week. I was hoping to take the Gold Line but the 7pm class time conflicts with the "no bikes during rush hour" rule. Someone suggested I lock up at Union Station and take the train, but this doesn't sound like an option.

Alexkenefick said...

Wow doods, thanks for the great comments.
I will look into the bike locker idea, but --here's the rub-- I'm kind of a minimal person--I don't want to have to enclose my bike, pay a fee, blah blah blah. You know how there are wash-and-wear shirts? I'm a lock-and-walk person. I actually wouldn't have a problem with where I lock up now (the banister on the outside S. wall of the ticketing desk), but I'm just afraid of the guards.

As for Lisa a a, I agree that it's a mixed message, but recall that MTA doesn't own Union Station, they're just tenants. Locking up and taking the Gold Line is very doable provided you lock up at the very nice bike racks at the lower level of the E. Portal (near the monthly pass&metrolink window and the big fish tank). Or, if you have a cable lock, or even just a lone padlock (perhaps even one of those mini u-locks, you can use the very clunky bike racks in the NE corner of the Amtrak Bus loading area (a little closer to the Gold Line). So I encourage you to use the existing racks as I continue searching for something more convenient for my unique spatial arrangement.

david said...

I have had great success over the years just by reaching out in a friendly way. Security guards can be nice folks after a smile and a handshake.
"Hey, can you guys keep an eye on my ride? There's no g-damn place to lock it up around here, etc." And buy one of them a cup of coffee. It's cheaper than the storage rack and word will get out that you are good people. Maybe in time they can argue for a proper rack on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

ride a skateboard instead!
or get a folding bike!

Or MAKE your work let you hang your bike inside!!!!

If none of this works, kick one of the security guard's ass and then you will gain respect with them.

That is the level those savages are on!

Alexkenefick said...

Thanks for the good comments again. I will try my very special x-rated alexkenefickian way of pleasing and communicating with the security guards. It's somewhere in between buying them coffee and kicking their ass, but with leather chaps.

Thomas said...

..I'd suggest you buy a 10$ bike at any random garage sale. take it to Union station and lock it up in the middle of the main hall. Wait for the security guards to complain. Ask for the supervisor. Refuse to unlock until you see the supervisor. Take the supervisor for a tour and tell your story of why it doesn't make sense not to have proper racks etc....
enjoy