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Do you see bicycle shelters as drab, uninspiring, utilitarian structures? Then you haven’t seen the one in the Bloomfield NJ train station. Commuters who bike to this station park in a custom Duo-Gard Bike Safe shelter located on the first floor of the parking garage. Above the bike racks, murals line the walls.
“The murals are lively and colorful,” says Cyndi Steiner, executive director of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition. “They take the shelter from functional to fun. Commuters coming to work tell us they love it.”
And no wonder. The 13’ x 25’ structure combines aesthetics, security and convenience for the growing number of transit passengers who relish the advantages of biking. One wall-to-wall abstract mural by local Senegalese artist Papa Gora Tall is called “Love and Family on the Road” and depicts a family astride a tandem bike. Another features a bright yellow bike awaiting a rider. Steiner says the artist wanted to evoke togetherness, freedom and peace in this work spearheaded by Velo Bloomfield, a local advocacy group.
“We call it a Bike Depot, complete with safety, security and weatherproof protection,” Steiner says. She points out the shelter contains a repair station by Duo-Gard, including tools that enable riders to perform routine repairs on the spot. “This makes more people willing to bike, knowing they won’t be stranded,” she adds. Steiner says almost half the memberships are already sold following the shelter’s opening in March 2017.
Among the shelter’s amenities for members are 38 parking spaces, including vertical and horizontal racks. Key-fob access maintains security. With 3/8” clear acrylic glazing in anodized aluminum framing, the shelter includes a 42” storefront door with delayed closer and wind skirting around the bottom.
Bloomfield’s shelter is the second Bike Safe from Duo-Gard and joins the pilot opened in Montclair’s train station in October 2014. A third shelter is in development for the City of Elizabeth’s Midtown Parking Deck.
“Duo-Gard’s Bike Safe shelters prove that aesthetics, economy and practicality can be integrated to serve the biking public and support the growing interest in this alternative transportation,” says Sean McKnight, the company’s biking infrastructure coordinator.
Photos courtesy of Cyndi Steiner, NJBWC