The transit shed is a term I first read on Richard Layman's blog. The idea is that people will walk a short distance (1/4 mile?), bike a larger distance (1 mile?) or drive even farther to get to a transit station. When you look at Metro's different stations it's interesting to see how these are planned out. Some are at the center of a pedestrian and bicycle friendly area (Virginia Square, Bethesda, almost every station in DC). Others are basically a station surrounded by surface parking (Huntington, Greenbelt or, to a lesser degree Stadium-Armory). The thing, and Mr. Layman's says this too, is that you can never build enough parking for everyone to park where they want, when they want to. This problem had reached a debilitating level in New York's suburbs.
More than 7,000 people board commuter trains each day at the Princeton Junction station, but there are only enough parking spaces for about half of them
So, what do people do when there's inadequate parking?
Earlier that morning, Kristan Flynn, a 34-year-old research associate who lives in Princeton, five miles from the station, sped into the parking lot on her bicycle.
“No place to park,” she said. “Even the bike racks are nearly all full.”
It may be, though I doubt it, that you can never build enough bike parking for people to park their bikes where they want when they want to. But you can accomodate a lot more cyclist, for a lot less money and leave a much smaller footprint than you can cars.
Metro, as I've mention before, is pretty accessible to cyclist. Still, they should pull out a map, draw mile long circles around each station and ask themselves "Can everyone in this circle bike to this station safely and directly?" In most cases the answer will be yes. In others they should work to make improvements.
I've been biking to New Carrollton lately, people have helped me to find the safest route, but it's quite circuitous. Michael Plakus pointed me to this study that advocates adding a bike bridge over the Beltway along the side of the ramp between US-50 (the John Hanson highway) and MD-950 (Garden City Dr.) That would be nice. Better (and cheaper) would be a trail passing under the Beltway - from Annapolis Road to 85th Ave or from Lanham Station Road to Cobb Road - under the same bridge the railroad already uses.