Author: Donald Paine
At the cusp of a livable cities movement, the Bicycle Transit Center is a highly visible catalyst promoting bicycle use and alternative transportation options by providing secure parking, rental and retail uses. At the doorstep of Washington’s major transportation hub, Union Station, the sleek veiled form reflects the technology of its contents while complimenting its eminent Beaux Arts neighbors. Echoing a bicycle wheel’s elegance and efficiency, arched steel tubes covered with an energy-efficient “skin” optimizes transparency in this sensitive historic context.
Union Station is the largest intermodal transportation center in the Washington metropolitan area and the mid-Atlantic region. Located just east of Washington’s central business district and blocks from the U.S. Capitol, Union Station plays a major role in the travel and commuting needs of thousands of residents and visitors to the national capital region from D.C., Virginia, Maryland and the entire East Coast.
The original train station was completed in 1909., but many modifications have been made over the years. The original train station was designed by noted architect Daniel Burnham and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The most recent major upgrade and rehabilitation of Union Station’s rail station occurred in the late 1980s. The Metrorail station at Union Station opened in 1976 and has undergone no major upgrade or renewal beyond routine maintenance projects and the addition of one mezzanine escalator and stair. As these adjoining stations experience new growth from expanded intercity travel, commuter rail’s growing popularity and the renewal of adjoining D.C. neighborhoods, Union Station’s many stakeholders have come together to begin extensive planning that will create a 21st century multi-modal transportation center.
Union Station is a complex of several structures and serves multiple functions. In addition to the Metrorail station, it contains Washington’s Amtrak intercity passenger rail station, the terminal for MARC and Virginia Railway Express commuter rail services, a bus terminal serving intercity and local buses, a retail center of shops and restaurants, a community gathering place with meeting rooms and public spaces, and a tourist attraction.
Read the full article at http://www.masstransitmag.com/article/10286935/union-station-bicycle-transit-center