Recommendation To Bicyclists

A.T.'s picture

I witnessed a bicyclist at Lake Merritt Station that was using the escalator to get to the ground level. Bicyclists, your best option is to use the stairs. Some BART Police officers may give you a warning, but you may not want to push your luck.

Please use the stairs. It'll save you time, money, and drama.

boopiejones's picture

if anything, the stairs should be illegal for bikes. what is safer? carrying your bike down a flight of stairs, or standing on an escalator while balancing your bike with one hand and holding the handrail with the other. add stiff soled cycling shoes with cleats to the mix. i'd much prefer the escalator. elevators are the safest option, but bart elevators are notoriously slow and unreliable.

As a BART bicyclist,

I agree that the escalator is safer then stairs if and only if you wait will the escalator is clear and they ride, not walk, up the escalator.

The reasons for this is that not every bicycle rider is strong enough to pick up their bike with one arm and hike up one or two flights of stairs.

I am a healthy 200lb male with a ultra lightweight TREK polycarbon bike and I have slipped and almost dropped my bike once or twice in the last five or ten years. If a bike where to be dropped down on stairs it will take out everyone below them, no questions asked.

Where as the chances of this on a escalator are far less since you are not carrying the bike and walking.

BTW: the narrow stairs at Embarcadero are the *worst* for bicycles being if you are carrying your bike up the stairs it is very very hard to pass someone doing down the stairs safely let alone outright dangerous if that person you pass is also carrying a bike.

bikesonbart's picture

I ride down the stairs.

I think my bike would self destruct if I tried that...

bikesonbart's picture

I was just kidding, those turns would wipe me out.

I will confess to taking my Bike on escalators in the past ( sorry PPID911 ), but those times have been only in empty stations where there was nobody else on the escalator (that is the passengers ahead of me already stepped off).

I agree, they should allow bikes on escalators/elevators instead of stairs. Today I saw two bicyclists going down the stairs as I was walking up. The second bicyclists almost lost his balance and started to fall forward with his bike. He did manage to save himself and yes I was thinking about the fall would take out everyone below him including me. :( ouch....I say allow them to use the escalator.

Happy Riding!
BART nubee

Shrapnel's picture

Here's the difference -

Stairs are stairs. If one is to fall down stairs, they will probably get some pretty good bruises and maybe a twisted ankle. Not a very comfortable situation.

What I don't think anyone is considering here is that if one falls on an escalator, they not only fall on "stairs" it just so happens these "stairs" have heavy-duty, metal teeth that will slice anything that comes into contact with them. Far more injuries have been caused by bikes on escalators than bikes on stairs. I can think of ONE incident where someone was injured as a result of bikes on stairs... and that wasn't as a result of loss of control of the bike.

Think about it.

Far more bicyclists use stairs than escalators. Only one injury.

Fewer bikers use escalators (ILLEGAL!), yet many injuries result.

There's a pattern there. Escalators are far more dangerous than bikes. Umm, has anyone forgotten that EVERY SINGLE BART STATION has at least one escalator that will get patrons up and down? But oh, that would involve a small walk. I guess I forgot that those who are exercising can't be bothered to take a 30-second detour to comply with state law. I guess it's just easier to bitch and moan on a BART blog.

It's illegal under Vehicle Code for a reason, people.

boopiejones's picture

just curious as to what section of the vehicle code makes it illegal. i looked in the bike section and some others and couldn't find it. i'm not saying it doesn't exist, but i would like to read it.

Shrapnel's picture

Boopiejones -

CVC 21113


boopiejones's picture

thanks for the code.

21113(a) bans all bikes, cars and animals from being driven, stopped, parked or left standing, whether attended or not, from a bunch of public places including on the property of rapid transit districts.

21113(e) allows transit authorities to make their own rules that may conflict section (a).

so i guess there are underlying bart rules that specifically allow bikes to be on trains and stairs? if not, you could write a ticket for anyone with a bike on bart property, regardless of their location.

PPID911 states :

>Far more bicyclists use stairs than escalators. Only one injury.
>Fewer bikers use escalators (ILLEGAL!), yet many injuries result.

but you there is also the kind of person that takes their bike on a escalator vs. the stairs.

most of the "escalator bicyclists" I have seen are idiots that pile in with a crowd with the front wheel in the air pushed into the back of the person behind in front of them while not holding on to anything but that bike, and are not the "think first / think safe" type that will take it up/down the stairs if there are other passengers around.

A.T.'s picture

Listen to big sis. I'd prefer a twisted ankle than shreded skin on my arm any day. And a ticket that'll mess up my so far clean record is something I DON"T need.

Chris Rock's first advisory tip on his "How To Not Get Your Butt Kicked By The Police" was Obey The Law. In this case, "How To Not Get Your Butt Shreded By The Escalator".

Okay, I think I'm takin it too far. I'll work on it.

ahh, the bike conundrum AGAIN, so there is a specific legal section. and some people have some reverence for all law.
when BPD has actually caught all of the REAL miscreants-car burglars, muggers, efc, then maybe bikes on escalators might be a target. meanwhile watch out for the wheeled suit/brief case yuppies!

Shrapnel's picture

I'm sure at least a few Officers remember a few months ago when we busted a car thief in progress, an attempted pick-pocketing, and a fare evader all in a 10-minute period... but more on that later.