Sunport eyes more space for bicycle storage

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The City of Albuquerque may soon make it easier to get to the Sunport on two wheels instead of four.

For people like Patrick Martin, who commute from Nob Hill to work and everywhere else, something like that is a revelation.

“I’ve been riding my bike in most scenarios for about 10 years,” he said.

Martin doesn’t have a car and never had one since college. Getting to the Sunport has been challenging for him and other full-time bikers.

“When I go to the airport, I don’t take my electric bike. I take my normal bike because all we have at the airport are bike racks and those are exposed. If I’m leaving for a few days, I don’t really want to have my expensive e-bike out in the open,” he explained.

Currently, Rail Runner stations in the Albuquerque metro have bike lockers. Four lockers can fit about eight bikes and you can rent them out on a monthly basis.

With all of that in mind, Martin tagged the Sunport in a tweet asking, “When are y’all getting bike lockers like the Rail Runner has?”

Sunport officials are now developing bike storage for people to use.

“We can’t necessarily say that it will be a locker or what kind of system it would be. That’s because we still have to study it,” said Manny Manriquez, a Sunport spokesperson. “We are very interested in looking at how we can better support our biking community. We’ll definitely address that as a new project.”

If you tried to park your car in the parking structure lately, you’ve probably experienced congestion. That’s another reason having an option for bicyclists is a priority.

“If more people can bike to the airport, all the better, right? I mean, I think everybody’s seeing it now. The parking lot is full, our airport parking lot is full,” Manriquez said. “We’re seeing the volume of passengers really recovering to very close to 2019. That is pre-pandemic levels.”

Now as it heads to its planning stages, the biking community can continue to hope the wheels keep turning on this project at the Sunport.