The Bike Hub at Denver Union Station – Coming Fall 2015

by Peter Bird

As Denver continues to expand its bicycle infrastructure (protected lanes, bike parking, and bicycle-specific signage, to name a few), the city recognized the additional need for a major bicycle facility to serve Downtown bike commuters. With a planned opening in the fall of 2015, The Bike Hub at Union Station will soon become the center of bike commuting in downtown Denver. The creation of the Bike Hub was led by the City of Denver, the Union Station Neighborhood Company, and BikeDenver. All images in this post are courtesy of The Bike Hub.

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Adjacent to Denver Union Station and the 16th Street Mall, the Bike Hub will serve as a nexus for the city’s burgeoning bike culture. From the Bike Hub, bikers will be able to easily access downtown bike lanes, the Cherry Creek bike path, and the Platte River Greenway. In addition, riders parking their bike in the Bike Hub will have immediate access to all the shopping, entertainment and cultural activities downtown—no need to drive or worry about locking their bike up on the street.

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The Bike Hub Facility Details

The Bike Hub was modeled after successful facilities across the country, but also made to be uniquely “Denver,” capitalizing on the city’s current bike-centric attitude, the rise in percentage of residents who bike to work, as well as the multi-modal nature of Union Station.

The Bike Hub will be the centerpiece of an open-air public plaza featuring bike sharing, outdoor seating, and retail. This area will also include outdoor bike parking and rentals, as well as repair stands for professional repair and do-it-yourself repair stands for member use.

Riders will be able to choose between annual, monthly, or daily memberships; and they will access the secure building with a keycard. Inside the 2,800 square-foot building, members will find 160 enclosed bike parking spaces, as well as men’s and women’s showers and changing room facilities.

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The Future of Biking in Denver

Denver deserves a bicycle facility worthy of its impressive, yet still growing, bicycle culture. And it’s going to get it with The Bike Hub at Union Station. With the downtown bike commuting mode share approaching seven percent, and the number of people commuting by bike more than doubling since 2007 (now almost 10,000 people every day!), a dedicated bike facility is well deserved.

The Hub’s construction sends a clear message that the city recognizes the importance of biking for its future growth. And once completed, the Hub will serve the needs of those who already bike to work—or just downtown—and it will also encourage more people to bike into the city.

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Peter Bird grew up around the country and, after completing his Bachelor’s degree in linguistics, moved abroad, living in Hungary and Estonia. It was there that he first developed a love for cities and the transportation patterns within them. He currently works for BikeDenver and is also pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Colorado Denver with a special interest in bicycle/pedestrian transportation planning.

By | 2016-12-27T19:56:21+00:00 December 19, 2014|Categories: Bicycles, Infrastructure, Parks & Public Spaces|Tags: |15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. JerryG December 19, 2014 at 10:02 am

    It’s great to see this happening. Now the city needs to build another (may larger) one on the east side of downtown. More bike commuters coming from that side of town, I should think.

    • Ken Schroeppel December 19, 2014 at 10:15 am

      People recognize that a bike hub at Union Station is only the beginning.

  2. Overload in CO December 19, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    This seems to be a change from the earlier idea of it being the HQ for B-Cycle.

    I’m trying to understand the purpose of the Hub. It’s an indoor bike parking lot, right? People are going to pay to store their bikes inside?
    Is the idea the people will park their bikes here while they work during the day? The location near public transportation would seem to allow people to park and grab and bus or train to somewhere else. I wonder if people would arrive on a train with their bike?

    Can anyone point me to an existing structure that this is trying to emulate?

    • Will December 26, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      I think the idea is that you store you bike here over night and that you commute to DUS and then take you bike to work? I could be wrong but this would make the most sense.

  3. UrbanZen December 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Nice facility and a total score for the bikers! I do hope they place the outdoor bike paking, bike sharing and bike rentals in the spaces at the ends of the bike hub, and not in space between the hub and the planters in front of the Triangle Building. That area looks to have the potential to become a cluster in a hurry and bad for peds trying to cut through.

  4. BALLPARK RESIDENT December 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Questions:
    1. Is this going to be open access for anyone to stop in? Even at night?
    2. What kind of security will be in place?
    3. If there isn’t a paid staff, who makes sure that not just anyone can go take a shower?

    Overall – very cool concept for Denver. Agreed that a similar location at the other end of 16th would do well, too.

  5. Manta December 19, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Very cool but sounds like this is a pay station for members. The area is currently lacking free outdoor bike locking stands and maybe this means they wont be coming?

  6. Chris December 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    A few answers:

    1. It is a membership facility. This is for commuters and includes showers. Its a very safe place to park a bike. Membership prices aren’t set, but affordability is the definitive goal.

    2. The Hub is meant to be a prototype for all of downtown. People can learn from it, copy it and add to a network of facilities. The Civic Center area seems ripe for a station.

    3. There is a definitive need for both a new B-Cycle station and more bike racks. Both B-Cycle and the DUS metropolitan district are working on both.

    Cheers!

  7. Indian Hoods December 25, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I think it’s a great initiative that decreasing emissions will also add to people’s health.

  8. Sarah December 26, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Sounds great. Just hope the price is reasonable for folks who don’t use it every day–those of us who go downtown to shop and dine, but don’t work downtown. B-Cycle, for example, is not cost effective for occasional use.

    • Jeff December 26, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      B Cycle is $80 for an annual membership and they seem to run promotions where you can get an annual membership for less. Seems pretty cost effective.

  9. Frank Sturgell December 26, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Didn’t see a single word on showers or changing stations. Did I miss something?

    • Ken Schroeppel December 27, 2014 at 5:51 am

      “Inside the 2,800 square-foot building, members will find 160 enclosed bike parking spaces, as well as men’s and women’s showers and changing room facilities.”

  10. Kyle January 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Very cool. I hope to see more of these pop-up around town. I think the developers should be rewarded or given incentives for building these on prime downtown properties. I know a lot of new apartment buildings have bike facilities and some businesses do but this helps fill the gap for people who don’t live downtown but would like to commute by bike to downtown. Great job!

  11. Zachariah January 24, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Not sure if this is formally modeled on DC’s Union Station Bike Station (http://home.bikestation.com/) , but the concept is very similar. I’m a Denverite living in DC who uses that facility, so some more answers building on Chris based upon how the DC facility works:

    1. The facility is secure; I have a key fob that I swipe to gain access. The intention isn’t really so much for the casual biker as it is for the commuter who will be routinely leaving their bike for long periods of the day/night, people who find it worth the $96 per year to know our bike won’t get stolen or rained/snowed on.

    2. Bike Station is a company headquartered out of CA that runs 3 of these facilities nationally (including the DC station); unless the use of “Bike Station” in the renderings is a coincidence, it seems like they may pick up the Denver facility too.

    3. The facilities in DC works in both commuter directions. I live in the city and commute out the suburbs, so I bike to Union Station in the morning, park my bike, then hop on the Metro, and do the reverse in the evening. At the same time I’m parking every morning, a number of people are coming in from the suburbs and picking up their bikes which have stayed there overnight in order to ride the last leg of their commute to downtown offices. This enables the station to serve far more bikers than the number of spots would imply at first glance. For me, it also shaves about 5-10 minutes and a Metro transfer off of my commute.

    The showers seem like a great addition (DC doesn’t have any and it would be really convenient in the swampy summers), though I’m not sure how good they’ll be in practice since there’s no point in showering before you get on a bike if you commute in.

    All in all a great move for Denver!

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