Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Where do you park your bike when visiting Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital?

Unfortunately this holiday season someone very dear to me is in Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.  Being that the hospital is an easy bike ride from my house and the weather relatively warm, I figured why not ride!

A view of the main building and entrance to RWJUH.
Note the nice Sharrow painted on Somerset Street by
the City of New Brunswick.

However when I got to the front door and the ER there isn't a bike rack in sight.  There is one about a block away over by the Cancer Institute of New Jersey but it is still far from ideal.

Hey!  Is that bike parking I see near the front door of the Cancer Institute?

Oh...  Wheelbenders!  Moving along...


So with those wheelbender racks not quite cutting the security threshold and being in front of the wrong building anyway, I decided to park my bike to a stainless steel railing near the front door of the main building but a little out of the way of the main entrance.  Still, since this was not an official bike parking spot I felt uncomfortable about leaving it there.  Not that I felt it was unsafe location but because I felt security itself might try to remove it.


Finally a parking spot!  Note the mailbox in this photo and
its location in the first photo for an idea where I parked.

So what's the deal RWJUH?  Your the flagship hospital of New Jersey and we all know you do a great job promoting preventative medicine.  So why make it hard for people to choose an active means of getting to your hospital, whether a guest or an employee, by not providing quality bike parking that's easy to find? 

I know.  You're busy doing one hundred and one other things.  That's okay.  We understand but we are here to help.  SERIOUSLY!  If you read this blog post just let us know with a reply in the comments.  I'm a professional regarding all things bike and pedestrian and would be glad to quickly show you the finer points of bike parking at such a large institution over lunch.  Looking around you have quite a few places to stick a few bike racks.  It's not rocket science.  Just send us message! 

3 comments:

Glenn Patterson said...

Andy,
There is covered bike parking in the Plum.St parking deck on the hospital campus. It's right at the entrance into the deck. There is also racks on the medical campus at the Paterson St deck and School of Nursing. The Gateway parking deck, about a block away, also has covered bike parking on the 2nd level, which is accessible directly from the walkway that connects to Somerset St by the bookstore. There is also a bike corral on Prospect at French St next to the radiology facility.
Glenn

Andrew J. Besold said...

Glenn,

Thanks for the rack info but I honestly think those are all totally inadequate for visitors to the hospital. These are all blocks away from the main entrance. I knew about some of those racks but would never consider using them and doubt most other cyclists visiting the hospital would either. They are so far away from the final destination that they eliminate much of the convenience of using a bike.

As I'm sure you know, according to the APBP Bicycle Parking Guidelines (2nd Edition), Short-term bicycle parking should be, to name a few:

- Convenient to the cyclist destination.
- Placed no more than 50' from the door, otherwise cyclists may lock to other street furniture or trees (something I saw on later visits).
- Visible from the destination to reassure cyclists about the security of the rack.
- Located in a high-traffic area with passive surveillance or eyes on the street.

All the other locations sound like they are more acceptable for employee or long-term parking but still sound like they lack the "higher security from controlled access to cages, rooms or lockers" to say the least.

All our best and keep up the excellent work in New Brunswick!

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