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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20 spots for hybrids? Would this shopping center really attract that many people driving hybrids at one time? I'm guessing the signs are there to score points so the building could be LEED certified. Theoretically if hybrid parking is more convenient then people will buy more hybrids to avoid walking. At least that's my take on it.

Anne Alt said:
I finally got back to the new shopping plaza at 119th & Marshfield to take some pictures.

The Jewel store has a rack, but it's too close to the wall.


Target has LOTS of racks. These are halfway between the Target entrance and the Jewel entrance.

Target has a few more racks, close to the entrance. Today someone has decided to use them as a cart corral.

This parking lot has many spaces designated for hybrid vehicle parking. Most were occupied. Guess how many were occupied by hybrid vehicles? One.
If this were in Beverly, I might see it. There are 5 Priuses within a 1 block radius of us (no kidding). But in the neighborhoods closest to this shopping plaza, I think the percentage of hydrids is a lot lower. If we could get a few of these spaces converted to bike parking, somehow I don't think it would hurt their LEED status, if that's the reasoning behind the hybrid designation.

Jared said:
20 spots for hybrids? Would this shopping center really attract that many people driving hybrids at one time? I'm guessing the signs are there to score points so the building could be LEED certified. ...
Anne Alt said:
I finally got back to the new shopping plaza at 119th & Marshfield to take some pictures.


This parking lot has many spaces designated for hybrid vehicle parking. Most were occupied. Guess how many were occupied by hybrid vehicles? One.
Does Chicago have anything similar to a law requiring bicycle allowed access to parking lot and buildings like NYC does?

http://www.livablestreets.com/streetswiki/new-york-city-bicycle-acc...
http://gothamist.com/2009/07/29/city_council_passes_bikes_in_buildi...
I believe there is an ordinance in Schaumburg requiring the provision of bike racks outside retail businesses?
Chicago zoning code now includes requirements for bike parking, but I don't have all the specifics. I want to find more detail on this or get someone who is more knowledgeable about the details to add more. My understanding is that the current code has some loopholes, which is the reason for the various problems we've described in this topic.

Amy Y said:
Does Chicago have anything similar to a law requiring bicycle allowed access to parking lot and buildings like NYC does?

http://www.livablestreets.com/streetswiki/new-york-city-bicycle-acc...
http://gothamist.com/2009/07/29/city_council_passes_bikes_in_buildi...
In many of the cases listed, there seems to be parking, but the rack is inappropriately installed to allow much of it. Rather than dealing with ordinance laws, etc. you might find a better implementation by pointing this out to manufacturers themselves. Point being: a big label declaring the rack must be installed X feet from walls or other obstacles for proper use on the rack when purchased. People spending money on the racks obviously want their dollars put to good use. As pointed out in this thread, though, that is not always the case. Installation is a major factor in their practical benefit.
This is one of the loopholes. Proper installation is a critical piece of the equation. There are MANY racks out there that would be much more useful if they were not too close to a wall.

Arrak Thumrs said:
In many of the cases listed, there seems to be parking, but the rack is inappropriately installed to allow much of it. Rather than dealing with ordinance laws, etc. you might find a better implementation by pointing this out to manufacturers themselves. Point being: a big label declaring the rack must be installed X feet from walls or other obstacles for proper use on the rack when purchased. People spending money on the racks obviously want their dollars put to good use. As pointed out in this thread, though, that is not always the case. Installation is a major factor in their practical benefit.
It may be worth mentioning that the Whole Foods on Canal just north of Roosevelt sports a fairly impressive array of bike racks beneath the parking deck. It also appears to be under camera surveillance.
I think that Whole Foods definitely gets it. That particular store probably has the best bike parking of any store in the city - lots of good racks, properly installed, close to the store entrance, out of the weather. Anyone else seen better bike parking at a store around here?

Michael Perz said:
It may be worth mentioning that the Whole Foods on Canal just north of Roosevelt sports a fairly impressive array of bike racks beneath the parking deck. It also appears to be under camera surveillance.
Clark said:
Anne Alt said:
...Anyone else seen better bike parking at a store around here?

Well this is in the basement of my six-flat in Wrigleyville, not a store. But the key factor is that this heavy-duty Ribbon Rack has been sunk 24" into the concrete floor of the basement in accordance with the installation instructions. It is NOT merely screwed to the floor through ineffective flanges using plastic bolt anchors, as is evident in so many of these other pictures.

It's great that you have this kind of serious bike parking in your building. The only downside I can see to that foolproof installation is when someone sinks a good rack into concrete but located incorrectly, as in the example below. I wonder if I'll ever be able to get TPTB to break this one out of the concrete and move it away from the wall so that it can be used by as many bikes as it's designed for, instead of only 2 or 3. *sigh*

BTW, most of the good rack installations I've seen around town have been done with steel bolts.

I was in The Beverly Coffee Shop this morning. It is at 111th and Fairfield Av. in Beverly. Dan is the owner, and has a nicely positioned rack right near the front door, which offers visibility of your bike while you’re inside. I don't know if you have ever been there, but they serve all kinds of coffee drinks, as well as smoothies and other beverages. The shop has donuts and things for breakfast, as well as sandwiches for lunch. Ice cream is also offered. There is Wi-Fi, and some outdoor seating for when the weather is good. So, go there for a ride, lock to the rack, and enjoy the coffee, food and friendly neighborhood atmosphere.
Clark said:

I've had good success with some store owners by
1. Beginning by mentioning some neighborhood affiliation to give your request weight
2. State (perhaps fictitiously) that the neighborhood group is trying to encourage more bicycle usage to reduce congestion
3. Point out that each shopper that arrives by bike leaves a store parking space available for other shoppers
4. Back up your verbal request with a letter, providing some sources for good bike racks



These are great ideas! I esp. like the letter with sources for bike racks, and hopefully information or links to how to properly install a bike rack. Managers can take a letter and pass it on to their superiors. Verbal comments tend to get lost in the see of stuff a manager has to deal with. A letter can be stuck to the wall or filing cabinet, and even if it doesn't get immediate response, it might get taken care of in the long run.

What are the chances of us getting together a standard form letter that provides info, that we can share here? I'd be happy to pass this sort of thing on to local businesses, but quite honestly, I don't have much time to do the research and writing...

Jane

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