The Chainlink

bike parking hall of fame/hall of shame (was bike parking at stores, libraries and other major destinations)

I previously started this topic with a slightly different focus.  I'd like to keep the info we've already gathered and encourage you all to add more.  The goal is to collect data for a project I'm pursuing with a few folks to improve bike parking in the city.

Please post comments about Chicago businesses whose bike parking is either good (to say thanks) or needs improvement.  Include identifying information - name of business, address, and what is good or not so good about their bike parking

Photos are useful if you can get 'em.  If you have multiple businesses you'd like to mention, feel free.  They can be big chains (Jewel, Dominick's, Walgreens, Home Depot, etc.), franchises (hardware or fast food stores, for examples), or independent businesses.

If you talk to a store manager about the issue, tell us if you got any positive results.

Thanks for all your info!  It would be great if we can get better bike parking at the majority of stores and restaurants in bike-accessible locations in the next few years.  Your info can help make that possible.

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I've had an ongoing discussion with a few people about the lack of good bike parking at most grocery stores, drug stores, etc. 

County Fair (a family-owned independent) at 108th & Western has city racks out front.  Riding there to shop is a piece of cake.

Jewel and Dominick's stores typically have no racks at all or one rack installed so close to a wall that it can only be used by a few bikes, or one rack in a location where it's always surrounded by shopping carts - not bike friendly.  Walgreens stores near me have wheel bender racks similar to this

The nearest CVS has a city rack out front near the door, which is well used, but the one on their own property is so far from the flow of traffic and installed so close to the wall that it's never used. 


There's a new public library on 95th St. that opened less than a year ago.  It has a 10-bike rack near the front door.  Guess what?  It's installed so close to the wall nothing with wheels larger than 20" can be secured to it with a U-lock.  It usually has no more than 2 bikes locked to it, then people start locking to the nearby benches and fence. 


Meanwhile, another perfectly good 10-bike rack goes unused, because it's tucked away in the corner of the parking lot, out of sight from where most cyclists approach the library.


Which grocery store, pharmacy and library are your usual stops?  Do they have good bike parking?  Tell us about what's good or bad about the bike parking at these places or other frequent destinations.  Curious minds want to know.

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Yes. I tried my back wheel first, but the front wheel on the ground kept turning.

I'll take a picture the next time I'm down there.

Davo said:
So Your front wheel goes up and into the "coat hanger"? I'd like to see a picture of this because I am still somewhat baffled by this style of rack.



Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
I was actually there this afternoon and locked to one of those 'coat hanger' racks. I have a long Kryptonite U-lock; I went through my front wheel, the 'coat hanger' and around my down tube
A bike rack shouldn't be this challenging to figure out and use. *sigh*

Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
Yes. I tried my back wheel first, but the front wheel on the ground kept turning.

I'll take a picture the next time I'm down there.

Davo said:
So Your front wheel goes up and into the "coat hanger"? I'd like to see a picture of this because I am still somewhat baffled by this style of rack.



Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
I was actually there this afternoon and locked to one of those 'coat hanger' racks. I have a long Kryptonite U-lock; I went through my front wheel, the 'coat hanger' and around my down tube
Is this indicative of what will happen to bike racks in Chicago if you vote republican?

Photo taken this morning in front of the Cook County Republican Party offices on Lincoln @ Diversey.
Mind you, this office houses the Chicago Young Republican organization, not the Fat Old White Guy Republican organization ;)
Well they are saying something about Alexi signing over $3million for bike racks in DC. Granted this is from a ad on tv and I have not researched this topic.


Duppie said:
Is this indicative of what will happen to bike racks in Chicago if you vote republican?

No. They all will be melted down for bullets.
That was disgusting.


Davo said:
Well they are saying something about Alexi signing over $3million for bike racks in DC. Granted this is from a ad on tv and I have not researched this topic.
Man, I hope so. If the GOP agenda included the wanton destruction of shitty, useless excuses for bike racks I might feel compelled to vote again.

On a more rational note, has anyone considered the possibility that what is pictured there might be the result of bike theft?

Duppie said:
Is this indicative of what will happen to bike racks in Chicago if you vote republican?
That was exactly my thought. Some bike thief may have broken this poor excuse for a rack to steal bikes. Either that or it got hit by a car.

Michael Perz said:
On a more rational note, has anyone considered the possibility that what is pictured there might be the result of bike theft?

Duppie said:
Is this indicative of what will happen to bike racks in Chicago if you vote republican?
I don't know how I missed this discussion before , but I'm glad I found it! I blog a little about bike parking on my bike blog - I focus on grocery stores and have made a recent foray into Walgreens. I hope you don't mind if I borrow your hall of shame idea and feature a store/location that lacks decent bike parking about once a week on my blog? Also, just so you know, the city of Chicago has some great resources for businesses that want to install bike parking:
1). Request a city-installed bike rack on public property near your establishment (individuals can request too)
http://www.chicagobikes.org/bikeparking/index.php

2). A nifty pdf brochure on "bike parking for your business"
http://www.chicagobikes.org/pdf/bike_parking_business.pdf

3). Complete specs on the best type(s) of bike racks to install, how to install them, and where, with what spacing, etc
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/provdrs/bike/svcs/b...
I'm aware of those resources, but thank you for mentioning them again so that people newer to this discussion are aware of them.

If you want to feature the hall of fame/hall of shame idea on your blog, go for it! We can collectively promote these ideas: that bike parking will bring more customers for less cost than car parking, that more shopping by bike will reduce traffic congestion, and that shopping by bike is better for your health than shopping by car. The more we get this idea out there to fellow shoppers and to store owners and managers, the sooner we'll see improvements. Raising awareness is our biggest hurdle right now.

Could you post a link to your blog? Other Chainlinkers might want to check it out.

I live in Beverly (far south side), where there are some other like-minded people who use bikes as their primary transportation. Too many others are in their minivans and SUVs. When I take my cargo trailer for groceries, it almost always starts a conversation or two. I use those opportunities to raise awareness a few people at a time.

samantha said:
I don't know how I missed this discussion before , but I'm glad I found it! I blog a little about bike parking on my bike blog - I focus on grocery stores and have made a recent foray into Walgreens. I hope you don't mind if I borrow your hall of shame idea and feature a store/location that lacks decent bike parking about once a week on my blog? Also, just so you know, the city of Chicago has some great resources for businesses that want to install bike parking:
1). Request a city-installed bike rack on public property near your establishment (individuals can request too)
http://www.chicagobikes.org/bikeparking/index.php

2). A nifty pdf brochure on "bike parking for your business"
http://www.chicagobikes.org/pdf/bike_parking_business.pdf

3). Complete specs on the best type(s) of bike racks to install, how to install them, and where, with what spacing, etc
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/provdrs/bike/svcs/b...
I can't believe people have trouble with the racks at Performance. I actually like them. They take up less space since the bike is somewhat vertical, you don't have to bend over as far, people can't block bike parking by putting their bike longways across several spots, and they're pretty easy to use. My u-lock easily locks up my frame and front wheel (though a mini u-lock probably wouldn't work well). The racks aren't as thick as other wavy ones, but I'm not locking my bike up this for hours on end or overnight. Sure they look confusing at first, but I'd find it hard to believe that it would take someone more than a few seconds to figure out where the wheel goes.



Anne Alt said:
That's exactly what I was wondering when I was standing in front of those racks.

Davo said:
Im confused. What would be the proper way to lock to one of those racks? They look like they just welded metal hangers upside down to a piece of tubing all willy nilly.


Liz said:
performance has had those terrible racks for years. No one can use them properly. I've seen many nice bikes unlocked outside that store simply because there aren't many good ways to lock. One would think a bike shop would try and install usefull racks for its customers.



Anne Alt said:
Last night I stopped at Performance on Halsted for a few things. For years, they had one rack that was only suitable for end locking or over-the-top placement. Haven't been there in a while and discovered they now have 3 racks, none of them easy to use for secure locking.

There were 2 of these goofy racks I wasn't sure how to use (vertical bike placement?) and one wheelbender. It was obvious that I wasn't the only one who couldn't figure these out and didn't want to use the wheelbender. Will Performance ever get
> The bike rack spaces at Performance are spaced too closely together so nearby bikes conflict and touch. I guess the spaces can slide along the rack, but bike rack users shouldn't have to "operate" a bike rack except for the ones like at the Millennium Park Bike Station that assist the user in loading their bike into the top rack.
> The bike rack is wobbly.
> The bike rack only holds the front wheel and doesn't reach my frame so I can't lock it correctly.
> The bike space wheel well isn't fender-friendly - the rack interferes and kind of crushes the fender or stretches the fender guides (okay, this part is hard to explain).
> The bike racks are too close together and only one person can be maneuvering their bike in or out at once.

Lots of bikes at MBAC meeting

This is a better rack choice for when there's no suitable mounting surface.

Matt Wehrmann said:
I can't believe people have trouble with the racks at Performance. I actually like them. They take up less space since the bike is somewhat vertical, you don't have to bend over as far, people can't block bike parking by putting their bike longways across several spots, and they're pretty easy to use. My u-lock easily locks up my frame and front wheel (though a mini u-lock probably wouldn't work well). The racks aren't as thick as other wavy ones, but I'm not locking my bike up this for hours on end or overnight. Sure they look confusing at first, but I'd find it hard to believe that it would take someone more than a few seconds to figure out where the wheel goes.

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