I am not a native of Albany, Albanean Albinen. So I get news some times about what is happening in good old Westchester New York twenty minuets outside of New York City; the burbs as they say. Apparently the are considering putting bike racks on their buses for people to store their bikes on for going long distances. This is something I can confidently say that Albany does very well.
After a statement from the Westchester county administration said that “bike racks fastened to the front of the bus presented problems because they collectively took up space at bus storage facilities.” Which is unequivocally true because adding metal on the front of the bus would add more space no matter if they folded up or not. What I love about this was the “solution” they came up with for this problem.
So if not hang the bikes on the front of the bus than where? Their solution was for double wide buses only to put racks up in the back of the buses for people to use. Since you are currently not able to enter from the back door on any of the Bee Line buses that means people would have to get their bikes on the buses, walk them through the entire bus, packed or otherwise, to get access to a rack. Not only is this a terrible idea… No wait, that is just a terrible idea. You are not only inconveniencing the cyclist but also the passengers that have to sit there while a bike moves through them. This would not foster a positive relationship from anyone.
Granted Donna Greene from the county administration said, “[this] did not seem like a good idea,” but it is kind of funny that an idea like that even gets entertained as a viable option. If I am being completely honest I feel a little sense of pride for how Albany handled the bus rack situation. I see all the time how other cities have so many features when it comes to bicycling that we don’t. It is nice one time to see that we are not as bad as we could be even if it is a little Schadenfreudeish.