Santa Monica College opened a new 400-space bike parking lot on campus on Monday, the first day of the spring semester. (Photo courtesy SMC)

Santa Monica College opened a new 400-space bike parking lot on campus on Monday, the first day of the spring semester. (Photo courtesy SMC)

Responding to a significant increase in bicycle ridership by Santa Monica College students and employees, officials there on Monday announced the opening of a new $600,000 bike parking lot with 400 spaces.

That brings the number of total bike parking spaces to 710, college officials said. The lot also has secure racks for skateboards.

The parking lot, on three-quarters of an acre, is secure, with bright lighting, security cameras and emergency phones. It is also located across the street from the campus police office.

Funded by Measure AA, a 2008 bond measure, the new bike parking lot took six months to complete. A grand opening ceremony is planned for 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28.

The lot opened just in time for the spring semester.