Putting a bike lane on Seattle’s light rail line can be a pain. If it’s crowded, it can be hard to find room for a bike at all, much less in the designated spot. Bike parking doubles as luggage storage, so it’s often full of belongings of other riders heading to or from a flight. Subterranean stations can pose challenges—at the very least, elevator wait times—even getting a bike to the platform in the first place.
To make things a little easier, the University of Washington (UW) campus police are trying out a bike valet service this week only, Tuesday through Thursday, September 4 through 6. Each day between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., riders at the light rail station by Husky Stadium can leave a bike with UW officers and volunteers, who will store the bikes in “bike valet equipment” from UW Transportation Services and keep an eye on them. (h/t Seattle Bike Blog)
While riders don’t have to be affiliated with UW to participate, they do have to register their bikes with nonprofit bike-listing service Bike Index to participate. Bike Index allows cyclists to register their bikes (and serial numbers) along with their name and contact information, making it easier to search for and identify stolen bikes. For example, if someone tries to sell the bike, the shop or an in-the-know buyer can check the index—or if the cops find a stash of stolen bikes, it’ll be easier to identify the owner. Campus police and volunteers will be providing on-the-spot registrations if riders are unable to register in advance.
Bike valet is limited to 100 bikes a day—at least for the pilot—so it may be helpful to show up early to participate.