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Perth Cycling Infrastructure: Bike Parking, Perth Arena

06 Jan

I went to the final of the Hopman Cup last night. Everyone seemed to be there to cheer Djockovic & Ivanovic at first, and Djokovic won his game against Verdasco, but Anabel Medina Garrigues fought gamely to defeat Ivanovic and the feeling in the Arena changed a little, with many many people supporting Spain. In fact the Anabel Medina Garrigues vs Ana Ivanovic match lasted for hours and pushed the end time of the match back to the wee hours of the morning.

djokovic at the Hopman Cup final (photo mine lol)

All of the players seemed impressed with the size of the crowd, Anabel and Novac both said they thought the crowd was like being at a Grand Slam. It was pretty much a sell out.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand, bike parking. As the Arena is pretty much brand-spanking-new it reflects some of the ‘newer’ philosophy that people need to be encouraged to walk, cycle and take public transport to big events. That means that there is bike parking provided in the underground car park.

Bike Parking underground Perth Arena

It’s pretty easy to get in there from the ‘old Entertainment Centre overpass’ – after you cross over the rail line, there’s now a little street that runs down the side of the Arena down to the car park.

There were only four bikes down there for a sell out crowd and we were responsible for two of them – though I think some of this is because it hasn’t been promoted!

There is space for about 4 or 5 bikes near Entrance B above ground, and that bike rack filled up as we were waiting in the queue to go in. There were also 4 or so bikes chained up to random objects. I suspect that these people didn’t know there was another bike rack available.

The racks themselves are the ‘corkscrew type’ which they already have in Northbridge. They do look kind of pretty but they are a bit awkward to use when compared to plain old U-racks which are still the most practical bike rack design that I have used.

When it was time to leave the underground car park, hundreds of other people were also leaving in their cars. One of the staff informed us that the ‘in’ ramp had been closed to traffic so we could use that without joining the queue of cars. This was great because my opposite number has a sore knee at the moment and has real trouble riding up inclines at any speed. After we rode up the ‘in’ ramp, we simply crossed the road to the overpass and home via the PSP, bypassing all the traffic jams and avoiding the train station at 2am on a Sunday morning.

I am going to see Pink at the Arena in the very near future so we will see if there are more patrons using the bike parking then.

It is certainly a great improvement on Burswood Dome (where we locked our bikes to the railing of a stairwell last time), and Subiaco Oval (where we usually find a random pole).

So next time you go to see something at Perth Arena, consider cycling there.

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5 responses to “Perth Cycling Infrastructure: Bike Parking, Perth Arena

  1. Kris Rhodes

    January 6, 2013 at 5:38 am

    As an ex-pat Perth resident that is currently living in Seattle, this shows some pretty progressive thinking.

    My experience coping with traffic at events in Seattle has been much the same as yours, only we don’t have the PSP; just bike lanes and shared roads. However, unlike Perth most people here have begun to embrace that they’ll be able to ride out of there faster than people can drive, so only those that have to (and the foolish/lazy) actually drive to the games. Parking at the games is comparable to parking at Curtin University, with a ratio of approximately 8 people to 1 parking space when nearing capacity. Because of this, the main stadium has 3 bike cages I know of, all three of which are at least 75% full (~50 bikes in each cage) during events, using areas of the arena and surrounding area that would otherwise be unoccupied/storage – an example is part of the bike parking is only 4.5 ft high, under a ramp, thus can’t be used for regular purposes.

    This has added benefits too; the commerce area immediately around the stadium (<5 blocks) sees more business because people are stopping in for a beer instead of waiting in traffic for the extra 30… 40… 50 minutes… and people buy more food from the bars and vendors inside because they're arriving hungry! That's one thing I don't remember seeing near Perth Arena, although I guess there's always Northbridge… You'd think that their ability to leave straight away could hurt the industry in the area, but the opposite occurs – people arrive early on their bikes, secure tables for their mates, and it brings in even more people because they know they won't have to wait to get a seat for food!

    One thing that makes a huge difference though is posting a security guard to make sure no one rocks up with bolt cutters and just helps themselves to the bikes. Gotta admit, the spiral bike racks are harder to use, but having lifted the U-Lock ones completely out of the ground in the Forest Chase area (~6 years ago) and Joondalup Train Station ones at the north end (when my bike got stolen & I couldn't figure out how they stole it), I think I'd feel more comfortable with the spiral ones.

     
    • perthcyclist

      January 6, 2013 at 6:29 am

      I hope Perth people will start to figure it out – we always ride to big events and it’s nice to have somewhere to park the bike that is not totally dodgy for a change!

      When the rail line that cuts Northbridge off from the city is finally sunk then it will provide easy access to the restaurants of Northbridge. You are right in that there aren’t a lot of restaurants and bars on the city side – around the Arena. There is a very nice Indian place up the road a bit that had a big sign ‘OPEN HOPMAN CUP’

      Seems like there are quite a few staff posted to the car park at the Arena at the moment but I think that might just be part of the ‘new’ stage where they are directing people around the car park and helping them find their way in and out. Security is always good, though I am not particularly worried about it, I use a lock that would require a battery powered grinder and a bit of time to cut open, and I would never ride a pricey bike to leave unattended in that area all night 😉

      thanks for the comment, by the way, it is always great to hear other people’s opinions and stories… crap about your bike getting knicked too, it’s the problem when they are attached to the pavers, the pavers break up over time and the racks tend to become movable 😦

       
  2. Ant

    January 25, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Going to see Neil Young in March, thanks for the tip!

     
  3. perthling

    February 28, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Excellent, thanks also from me for the tip.
    Strangely there’s no bike info on Perth Arena site about this facility! Parking is big business I suppose.

     
    • perthcyclist

      February 28, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Yeah that’s sad 😦 though I don’t think they will lose parking revenue because people will always park at the venue first…

       

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