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Secure bike storage facilities under construction at Ashmont and Dudley Stations

Posted by Patrick Rosso  April 9, 2013 02:13 PM

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(Image courtesy Patrick D. Rosso/ Rendering courtesy MBTA)

A picture of the facility being constructed next to Ashmont Station and a rendering of the completed product.

Bike riders and commuters in Dorchester and Roxbury will soon have new facilities to safely store their bikes at MBTA stations.

Crews are installing Pedal & Parks at Ashmont Station in Dorchester and Dudley Station in Roxbury, according to the T.

Pedal & Park stations are enclosed facilities that provide parking for 50-150 bikes. Each facility is equipped with six security cameras, lighting, a police intercom system, and an electronic lock, which is opened by a special BikeCharlieCard.

The new facilities in Roxbury and Dorchester are expected to be open by spring/summer.

The Pedal & Parks were first introduced to the system in 2008 at the Forest Hills Station in Jamaica Plain and the Alewife Station in Cambridge.

By mid-April, three new facilities are expected to be opened at the Oak Grove Station in Malden, South Station in Boston, and the Braintree Station in Braintree.

In addition to the new Dorchester and Roxbury facilities, more locations are expected to open in the coming year at Malden Station in Malden, Davis Square Station in Somerville, Back Bay Station in Boston, and Alewife Station in Cambridge. Facilities are also expected to be opened in Salem and Beverly by 2014.

With the new stations, paid for through $6.1-million in federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program, T officials hope to boost both bicycle ridership and system ridership.

“Having a larger supply of protected and secure bike parking spaces attracts significant numbers of customers who either currently drive to the transit station or who do not ordinarily take public transit,” said Erik Scheier, a project manager with the T.

Some of the money also went to install 50 covered bike racks throughout the system.

Bike advocates have voiced excitement for the new additions, which will make leaving a bike at a station and hopping on the T much safer.

“We’re thrilled they’ve been able to make progress,” said David Watson, executive director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, a non-profit bicycle advocacy group that has pushed for the facilities.

“They’ve been enormously successful, all you have to do is see all the bikes at Alewife Station,” said Watson.

In addition to providing safer facilities to store bikes and possibly encouraging more bike riders, Watson said the facilities could also help reduce street traffic.

“If you take even a small number of cars off the road it has a disproportionately effect on traffic flow,” said Watson, who also said more bikes on the road could mean more people visiting local shops, getting exercise, and helping the environment.

Once completed the covered bike rack and Pedal & Park programs will add 1,600 bike parking places to the T's existing 4,200, according to the T.

Crews are currently working on the Ashmont Station Pedal & Park facility, located on Dorchester Avenue by the bus entrance to the station. The $500,000 station, which will hold approximately 94 bikes, should be online by June.

To find out more about the program or how to register for a BikeCharlieCard, click here.

Email Patrick D. Rosso, Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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