An Urban Training Facility for 2-Wheeled Vehicles Open Access
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ABSTRACT: An Urban Training Facility for 2-Wheeled VehiclesIt's just another day in commuter traffic going across town. While waiting for the light to change at a grid locked intersection, I see a scooter in the bicycle lane approaching quickly. A parked car jumps off the curb and the scooter almost becomes a hood ornament for the Lincoln Town car in front of me. The cyclist riding towards us shakes his head and pedals by into oncoming traffic.Motorcycle and scooter riders have always been required to follow the same rules of the road as cars. In bicycle friendly cities such as Portland, San Francisco, or Chicago, bicycle riders are provided with adjusted traffic lights, better road signs, and special riding lanes for improved safety; however, the benefit of such improvements is questionable if riders don't know how to use them.The urban training facility is a training facility for 2-wheeled vehicles accessible within District of Columbia (DC) city limits, to educate urban riders on safe vehicle operation within the urban environment. Due to the limited space in cities, the training facility adapts a free-standing, multi-level parking garage. Space for classroom nstructionand riding instruction is shared under one roof. The existing structure within the parking garage, i.e., a ramp, is used to provide more realistic terrain particular to riding in a city. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Safety course requirements are applied 100% to the program of the space. The urban training facility dedicates one level above ground for motorcycle and scooter instruction, and the upper level for the bicycle park. Classroominstruction, restrooms, gallery and conference spaces are on street level. A rooftop bicycle park tops the building for recreational riding and bicycle instruction only.As riding a 2-wheeled vehicle is a sustainable choice, the facility's design will also be eco-concious and integrate sustainable design points that address energy optimization, use of regional materials, and indoor air quality, just to name a few. The use of an existing structure will limit the need for new construction, meet LEED requirements for Existing Buildings where possible, and provide an opportunity for "greening" of the building with the addition of the rooftop bicycle park.As an experienced motorcycle rider and former Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course instructor, I know that instruction on a flat, open surface does not fully prepare a rider for the challenges of riding on city streets. Traffic lights, multiple cars, pedestrians, terrain changes, construction, and potholes are all part of the urban riding experience not replicated on a college parking lot. When I made a u-turn in an alley barely wide enough for a car, or steadied my motorcycle on a hill in a parking garage, I found out where the Basic Rider Course instruction I was provided and providing as a Rider Coach was lacking. I determined that a parking garage would provide more space than an alley, and that a strategically located parking garage within DC city limits would offer anyone who wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle, scooter or bicycle the opportunity within a safe, controlled urban environment.