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Bike Repair Station Arrives At Union Station

by Thomas MacMillan | Jun 16, 2014 3:44 pm

(10) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Transportation, Downtown

Thomas MacMillan Photo Cyclists with a screw loose have a new way to get the help they need.

They’ll find that help attached to a cable outside the train station on Union Avenue. The station’s bike-parking area now has a bike-repair station, equipped with wrenches and screwdrivers and even a bike pump.

The bike-repair stand is one of a couple new amenities for cyclists at the station, along with 10 new bike-storage lockers. Another bike-repair stand is on its way to the corner of Temple and George, said David Panagore, acting head of the New Haven Parking Authority. (The Devil’s Gear bike shop also offers public-access tools during business hours in Pitkin Plaza.)

Panagore (pictured) announced that news Monday morning at an open house for the authority’s new and improved downtown office, at the same corner.

As part of an effort to make the authority more accessible, the organization has transferred staff from its second-floor Union Station office to the downtown location.

Previously, only one person worked out of the Temple and George office, Panagore said. Now it contains managers for security and operations, and a freshly built “customer service counter.” That means people can have their questions answered without having to search out the authority offices hidden away in Union Station.

The authority still has staff at its Union Station office, like people in charge of construction, and other projects that aren’t outward-facing.

Panagore said the authority recently made a change to its management structure, assigning one manager to each garage rather than having several managers who share responsibility for multiple garages. The previous system meant that managers wouldn’t pay attention to details like gum on the the floors. Now they’re on top of it, Panagore said. 

Panagore said the authority is planning to install bike racks and a bike-repair station at the southeast corner of Temple and George. Union Station’s bike-repair stand appeared two months ago. It features a variety of tools for basic bike repairs, as well as a stand to hold your bike while you work on it. The stand also has a sticker with a QR code linking people to a site with basic bike-repair instructions.

More recently, the station installed 10 bike-storage lockers behind the bike-parking area. Panagore said these will be free to use; people have to pay only a deposit for a key. The lockers are designed for cyclists who want a more secure or sheltered option for storing their bikes when they take a train.

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posted by: NHV Greenie on June 16, 2014  4:58pm

I truly love this.  However, as a female executive, there is no way I could ever ride my bike to the train, in my professional attire, lugging my bag, and arrive at my job looking presentable.  But good effort. 

The train station should also look to make a few easy tweaks to accommodate the commuters who drive, because it feels like they do everything they can to alienate us.

1) Move the ticket machines to an area closer to the parking garage
2) Enable the screens at each track so that I don’t have to walk through the station to figure out on which track to find my train

posted by: Threefifths on June 16, 2014  5:15pm

How come the people have to pay to park and the bikers do not.Also how about those of us who ride motorcycles like myself and other who ride mopeds.Where is the repair station for us. Looks like the bikers are taking over.

posted by: TheMadcap on June 16, 2014  8:32pm

I don’t see anyone stopping from someone on a moped from using the tools. Also a repair station for a car/motorcycle would take more than a few screwdrivers and ratchets. Also the whole gas thing.

posted by: shadesofzero on June 17, 2014  9:04am

Threefifths—The reason bikers don’t have to pay is because government wants to create an incentive to move away from automobile-based transport, which is expensive for our society—in terms of the need for oil, road upkeep, regulation, dangerous for drivers, etc.

Bicycles don’t pollute or generally cause traffic jams, etc., so for instance, if most people biked instead of drove, the city would spend less money on road maintenance, building garages, etc., and would still end up ahead on revenue.

posted by: Ray W on June 17, 2014  9:05am

kudos to Park NH for trying to pick up some of the slack that Metro North has a surplus of. I took my bike to and from NYC this weekend and one of the conductors asked me if I’ve seen any(or either?) of the bike hooks on the trains and wanted to know if I knew anything about their progress. It used to be the other way around, until I gave up on the hope that Metro North would make good on that initiative. On the way home there were five bicycles on my train car alone. 3/5ths, if you cant beat ‘em…

posted by: FairHavenRes on June 17, 2014  9:25am

NHV Greenie, you totally can do it!  I bike to work in professional attire; it can be done!  I have an old British upright bicycle with a chain case, so it’s clean and easy.  You can always keep a change of clothes at work too; I’ve done that before as well.

But good news about the ticket machines; they now have park-and-pay machines right by the elevators, so you pass right by them coming and going.  Very convenient for drivers! 

I agree with you about the train arrival/departure software; it would be great if they could get that up and running.  They’ve got the screens in place, they just need to get the rest of it working.

3/5, come on, what do you have against bicyclists?  We take up a lot less space; space = money.  We’re not using the resources that cars are in terms of parking (space) or wear and tear on the garage; it’s logical to provide a small space for bicyclists.  If nothing else, it frees up more spaces for cars.

posted by: Threefifths on June 17, 2014  11:21am

posted by: FairHavenRes on June 17, 2014 9:25am

3/5, come on, what do you have against bicyclists?  We take up a lot less space; space = money.  We’re not using the resources that cars are in terms of parking (space) or wear and tear on the garage; it’s logical to provide a small space for bicyclists.  If nothing else, it frees up more spaces for cars.

My motorcycle is a bike.


posted by: shadesofzero on June 17, 2014 9:04am


Threefifths—The reason bikers don’t have to pay is because government wants to create an incentive to move away from automobile-based transport, which is expensive for our society—in terms of the need for oil, road upkeep, regulation, dangerous for drivers, etc.

Again my motorcycle is a bike.You must always have cars.Can you ride your bank in a snow storm.

My Bad. Here is a movie you would like.

BIKES VS CARS - trailer

http://www.bikes-vs-cars.com/home

posted by: FairHavenRes on June 17, 2014  11:38am

I disagree that you “always have to have cars.”  With the right urban planning and infrastructure, you don’t.  Look at major cities in Europe where many, many residents do not use cars—year round and in lots of snow, rain, etc.  Look at Amsterdam, look at Copenhagen as just two examples.  It can be done and it is done.  Heck, even I bike nearly every day of the year.  The only exception would be when even my car can’t get onto the u-nplowed streets, and then pretty much everyone is snowbound until the plows get through.  It really can be done, I promise.  Obviously it’s a personal decision and I don’t fault people for their choice of transportation, but I don’t think it’s accurate to make a blanket statement about always needing cars.

posted by: HelloHiHey on June 17, 2014  11:57am

Where do I go to get a locker key?

posted by: Nathan on June 17, 2014  4:16pm

My guess would be that the ticket machines mentioned in the original comment are the Metro North RR machines, which are bizarrely placed at the opposite end of the main station room away from the stairs leading to the tracks.  They should place some additional machines at the other end of the room near the stairs and in the lower level at the start of the tunnel.  As much as I love NHV Union Station, I’ve been happy to avoid its issues by using the new West Haven Station.  If the latter station was open later than 6 PM, it would be close to 100% replacement for NHV.

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