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Metro improves bike parking at NoMa station

Metro riders who bike to the NoMa station have long encountered too few and poorly placed racks along with rampant bike theft. Metro has now installed 27 new bike racks at the NoMa-Gallaudet U station, and plans to move other racks to better locations.

Photos by the author.

Bicycle parking has been scarce for a long time. Plus, the racks were originally installed too close to the wall, forcing cyclists to lock their bikes up in strange ways.

Better bike parking will encourage people to bike to the Metro from nearby neighborhoods like Trinidad and Eckington, who might live too far to walk.

Bike theft and vandalism, once a major issue, has mostly ebbed since a young man was caught in the act of stealing wheels from bicycles at the station. New racks and nearby commercial space under construction should bring more cyclists and activity and deter theft. Station managers will be able to more easily see many of the new racks as well.

WMATA has also started replacing signs at the station, formerly known as New York Avenue-Florida Avenue-Gallaudet University with its new name: NoMa-Gallaudet U. This is one of several station name changes the WMATA board recently approved.

Metro recently posted a sign on the existing racks, saying that it will be moving them farther from the wall on May 10, and installed 27 new racks. There used to be 8 racks at the N Street entrance to the station, and 5 racks at the M Street entrance. Now, there are 30 at the N Street entrance, and 10 at the M Street entrance.

4 new racks at the N Street entrance.

8 new racks just south of the N Street entrance.

The original 8 racks near the N St entrance, plus 10 new ones.

Finally, the 5 old and 5 new racks at the M Street entrance.

While these improvements are excellent, Metro should still consider installing racks inside the station for even more safety. Theft has declined, but I've noticed a recent uptick in missing front wheels.

It's fantastic to see Metro responding to the demand for more and better bicycle parking. There are probably more racks now than absolutely necessary to accommodate the people who bike there on an average day, but now that nearby residents have this bike parking, hopefully more will start cycling to the NoMa-Gallaudet U Station.

Geoff Hatchard lived in DC's Trinidad neighborhood. The opinions and views expressed in Geoff's writing on this blog are his, and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer. 


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What the heck is NoMa? Is it anything like NoFlo?

by @SamuelMoore on May 3, 2012 1:36 pm • linkreport

Nah, nothing like NoFlo. Only real jerks would use that one! :)

by Geoffrey Hatchard on May 3, 2012 1:40 pm • linkreport

Now if only there could be a stop put to ATF employees using the entrance area as a smoking lounge.

by Richard Layman on May 3, 2012 1:50 pm • linkreport

Still hate the NoMa name. So artificial

by Tim on May 3, 2012 1:52 pm • linkreport

Richard: You're so right. That bugs me every morning. Luckily, the new racks have pushed them somewhat out of that area.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on May 3, 2012 2:03 pm • linkreport

Terrible name.

by Ron on May 3, 2012 2:27 pm • linkreport

Meanwhile... upstairs, Metro track work means you'd be better off biking somewhere else.

by @SamuelMoore on May 3, 2012 2:29 pm • linkreport

Can we please move on from talking about the NoMa name? Seriously -- every time NoMa is mentioned on a blog, the same, tired comments disparaging the name are posted. We get it; the name is unpopular to many. But it's the name of the Business Improvement District for that area. If you want the name changed, go talk to them. Otherwise, think of something else to rant about.

by Josh on May 3, 2012 3:26 pm • linkreport

I think that there ought to be a Capital Bikeshare station more convenient to the north entrance. There's plenty of room for one. I wonder if that would help deter bike theft?

by Dave Murphy on May 3, 2012 3:34 pm • linkreport

Dave: One was proposed for that corner at some point. Not sure if it's still being considered.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on May 3, 2012 3:37 pm • linkreport

@Josh: Actually, the name NoMa was created by the District of Columbia long before the NoMa BID was formed. Now, WMATA has recognized that this is a new name for a growing neighborhood by renaming the New York Ave metro station to NoMa/Gallaudet U. The name is here to stay!

by Rachel Davis on May 3, 2012 4:11 pm • linkreport

If the College Park bike corral experiment works, seems like this could be a good station at which to put another one.

by Arl Fan on May 3, 2012 4:17 pm • linkreport

@Rachel Davis

If the name was created long before the NoMA BID than why was it only heard of about 2 years after the station was built. I know people that have lived in the area for the past 25 years and they just started hearing the term NoMa used within the past few years.

If it was done years ago than why not just take the name of an existing nearby area

by kk on May 3, 2012 8:35 pm • linkreport

- You only heard NoMa after the station was built, because prior to the station there was nothing there.
- The area that is the core of the NoMa BID had no real name or identity. Many neighborhoods on the periphery do, and nobody has stolen their names from them. "Taking the name of an existing nearby area" would not work because those areas (i.e. Eckington, etc.) were already established, and I doubt people would like it if their neighborhood name was hijacked and applied to an office/commercial district.
- Click the NoMa tags for previous discussions of this top.

by spookiness on May 3, 2012 9:46 pm • linkreport

I like to tell people that I live in NoPa (which is so much better than SoPa).

by David C on May 4, 2012 12:43 am • linkreport


First, all place names were made up by people at some point. Some were made up earlier than others, but it's not like places had names before people were there.

Second, here are two examples of recently created neighborhood names: one that caught on and one that didn't.

The NoMA name was created in the 1980s by the DC Gov't to try to drum up development. The name was around before the station. There was little of worth in the area at the time; with few people going there it didn't really have an identity of its own. So in creating an identity we hope that placemaking will follow. And when a place was built up there, people started calling it by the only name that existed for it.

Contrast that with MidCity, the name of the business association along 14th Street and U Street. This name has not caught on, because the place/destination already existed and people already called it something.

What else would you call the "NoMA" area? It's not Eckington, it's not Truxton Circle; those places are already their own. "Swampoodle" is just as fake - had anybody called it that since the neighborhood was basically razed?

by MLD on May 4, 2012 8:48 am • linkreport

What else would you call the "NoMA" area?

I used to call it Lana Del Rey, but that name's been taken. Now I go with NoMa Cougar Mellencamp.

by David C on May 4, 2012 8:54 am • linkreport

(David C., I actually heard some Lana Del Rey music at Trohv in Takoma, and it was pretty good, much better than the harsh reviews have made it out to be.)

WRT the change of the station name -- IT's LONG OVERDUE -- by calling it "New York Avenue" people thought (1) it was on NY Ave. and (2) that they could walk to tourist hotels on NY Ave. from the station -- scary s***, I would collar out of sorts tourists walking aimlessly and try to get them properly oriented and situated so they could get to their destination.

AND, the reason that I think taxi stands should be indicated on WMATA maps, and they aren't, is because people will get off at this station and look for a taxi, which they can't find, whereas it's easy from Union Station. So I told people on the platform to just go back to Union Station on the train, and get a taxi there.

by Richard Layman on May 4, 2012 11:25 am • linkreport

So artificial

As is SoHo and TriBeCa. So what?

by pseudonym on May 7, 2012 11:32 am • linkreport

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