Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Change in the air for THIS bike commuter

May is going to be a monumental month for bike commuters at the office where I work.

The FIRST change is very welcome. For the first time, bike commuters will qualify for reimbursement of transportation-related expenses... up to $20 per month, for months in which a bike is the primary mode of transportation. (I've mentioned it before HERE, but it becomes reality in May. $240 will let me upgrade to some sweet goathead-resistant rubber, and probably a spare rim or two.)

Single-occupant vehicle motorists will still get more help - my company is picking up $50 of the $89/month parking tab. (Boy howdy! I'd sure hate to have to squeeze $89 into the monthly budget for parking... or even $39! It SUCKS to drive a car!)

The SECOND change... well, the jury is still out on that one.

On or around May 1, a new parking garage will open, to service people in my building. Incorporated into the garage is a secure "bike room." It will have racks, and will have a door that can only be opened by people with the electronic key card.

My main concern is capacity. They claim it should hold "30 to 40 bikes." Which is fine in April; I counted about 15 bikes in company-provided facilities yesterday. But last summer, there were routinely more than 50 bikes in the racks. If bikes are jammed into the new room like sardines or cord-wood... fuggeddaboudit!

Besides... for a year or so, I've been enjoying SUPER-PLUSH parking in the basement. If the CEO of the company was a bike-commuter, he'd have the same setup. I ride up to a ramp and swipe my key card. The garage door rolls up as I roll down the ramp into the heated basement, then closes behind me. I'm maybe 50 feet from the locker/shower room. I don't even need to use a bike lock! I can visit my bicycle, and lovingly caress it, during the day, without even stepping outside! I will be losing all that.

(They claim that riding up and down the ramp is a "safety issue." But if truth be known, the ramp-ride is probably the safest leg of my daily commute.)

1 comment:

Clancy said...

They shouldnt' issue more keycards than spaces in the room. I would still probably lock my bike up since it is 5 floors down and across the street. At least your employer acknowledged bikes in the new garage.