Municipalities have begun to follow the market in shifting their focus from automobile-centric projects to projects including pedestrian and alternative transportation. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and KGP design studio are at the forefront of this new alternative transportation infrastructure.
The huge success of bicycle facilities and bicycle public transit programs, such as Capital Bikeshare, has dramatically increased ridership in the Washington D.C. Metro area. These shifts have altered the landscape of public transportation for both urban and suburban commuters. With such rapid growth, new challenges must be met in order to continue this positive, sustainable growth. While bicycle racks provide an effective, low-cost, and short-term parking solution, they only provide a modest amount of security to deter theft. Secure, long-term bicycle parking facilities are an essential component of bicycle-based infrastructure and a key component for increasing the capacity of WMATA rail ridership.
Two types, an interior-parking garage prototype and an exterior, free-standing prototype have been developed to accommodate the wide range of locations WMATA intends to deploy these secure parking prototypes throughout their broader multimodal transit network. The design of these facilities considered all possible jurisdictional building codes, regulations, and other criteria, which could regulate its design very early in the process to minimize site variations without limiting the modularity of the prototypical design process.
Three core strategies to target the design criteria were developed: economy of assembly, continuity between prototypes, and a kit-of-parts design approach. The value engineering strategy for an economy of assembly drove the design’s details to minimize on-site welding, utilize off-the shelf and readily available components, and fabricate assemblies in the shop to the greatest extent possible. Design continuity between the prototypes and differing site locations throughout the system is established through graphics, materials, and adaptability of the prototype for enlargement or reduction depending on site criteria. We achieved these results by designing the kit-of-parts first and developing robust design details, which apply to all prototypes regardless of site adapted conditions. Repetition of structural connections, and facade and cladding details between the varying site conditions allows for pre- fabrication of building components to bring down installation and erection costs.