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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The Elston store is just as bad.  I prefer to go to Menards anyhow.  The one on Clyborn & Wrightwood has a rack but is a 1970's relic that is always so packed with employee bikes that it's nearly impossible to find a spot for a customer.

I spoke to cust service at the number I provided-- the rep got the store manager on the line;

Mike--he promised he would go take care of it right now and that if I was to come by later today I'd find the bike rack available.  I asked if we could get some ongoing support for this (seems like a few weeks or months go by and they "revert") and he said he'd speak to the other managers.

This is not my neighborhood-- I've been to this store all of twice in the past year-- could someone who frequents the store please report back on the situation?

 

James, could you make a call about the Elston store? I have made calls for that one in the past with what I thought was some degree of success.

Like you Howard, I don't go to Home Despot more than a couple times a year -even though the Elston store is closer to me and would avoid a river rossing at Diversy or Damon to get to Menards on Clyborn.  Neither of these routes are good.  Damon is way out of my way and I really dislike the Diversey bridge.

 

But even so I still do it to get to Menards because I hate Home Despot because they are too expensive and don't have all the stuff I am looking for.  I also EXTREMELY DISLIKE the automated self-checkout lanes at Despot and the ringing alarms that are constantly going off every 5-10 seconds at the door and  hurting my ears.  I dislike loud noises like many people with hearing damage do.

 

So even if they fixed their bike parking issue I wouldn't go there.  There is one more reason to go to Menards:  they have my mistress there -Little Debbie.  I just can't resist visiting Little Debbie's swiss rolls or nutty buddy when I stop by Menards.  I probably hit Menards 1-2 times a week if not more.  When I'm knee deep into a project I can go there multiple times a day. 

 

I'm not a customer of Home Despot unless Menards doesn't have something I really need.  And if I do go to one I often go to the one on Kedzie and stop by White Castle for a slider.  (seeing a pattern here?)

The loud noises at Home Despot are annoying even if one doesn't have hearing damage.  I feel fortunate to have a few local hardware stores in bike friendly locations that have decent product selection and much better customer service than the big box store, so they get more of my business when I'm looking for products they've got in stock. 

 

Bonus - one of those local hardware stores is a great source for obscure hardware items and old timey stuff (glass fuses, etc.) that you just can't find at the big box stores, and there's a city bike rack out front.

I like the Ace on Milwaukee next to The Bike Lane across from The Congress.  But he doesn't carry Little Debbie products.   Menards also has a really good prices on nuts in the BIG canisters.

After months of upgrading, including a new parking lot, the Jewel on Clark and Ashland finally installed a bike rack yesterday. A fine example of a bad rack:Yes, that is a wheel bender rack hidden behind the shopping carts

 

All the more sad, because on the same day a new bike rack got installed at the soon to open Walgreens across the street:A wave rack, with plenty of room, right in front of the entrance.

 

Walgreens 1. Jewel 0.

Nice set of contrasts, Duppie.  This should be seen by Jewel's architectural/construction department for them to consider.  Awkward rack type (really only two bikes--one off each end--could be properly locked to it, any more bikes would have to be badly locked in the middle of the rack just to the front wheel, or thrown over the top of it).  Awkwardly placed--WAY too close to the fence to be used, WAY too exposed to being bashed by runaway carts, needs a guard rail to protect it from carts.  If I used this store, I'd be tempted to lock to the fence behind the bike rack, and use the bike rack as a protection barrier from carts.
I agree.  Thanks for adding these examples, Duppie.

Thunder Snow said:
Nice set of contrasts, Duppie.  This should be seen by Jewel's architectural/construction department for them to consider.  Awkward rack type (really only two bikes--one off each end--could be properly locked to it, any more bikes would have to be badly locked in the middle of the rack just to the front wheel, or thrown over the top of it).  Awkwardly placed--WAY too close to the fence to be used, WAY too exposed to being bashed by runaway carts, needs a guard rail to protect it from carts.  If I used this store, I'd be tempted to lock to the fence behind the bike rack, and use the bike rack as a protection barrier from carts.
The Trader Joe's on Clybourn in Lincoln Park has great bike parking... but it's not easily accessible. You have to either take your bike in the elevator, which is impossible for me, as I have a cargo bike. Alternatively, you can bike up the ramp, which is also impossible for me. Which means I get to lock my bike up outside and drag my kid to the building, up the elevator and then back down with all of our bags. This is why I hardly ever shop there.

Biking up that ramp behind TJ's seems pretty sketchy.  It's a good place to get run over even with that guy directing traffic.

 

Pass!

The TJs on Clybourn is much closer than the one on Lincoln but I still bike to the Lincoln location to avoid that BS. The bike parking at the one on Lincoln is really shoddy too though. They have a good rack but it's up on a curb with no curb cut, blocked by parked cars in front and the cart corral to the left. To access it you have to hope that no cars will be parked there (fat chance) or hoist your bike over your head. Last time I was there I locked my cargo bike to the corral but got chewed out by two customers for "blocking the entrance". There's another rack about 50 yards away at the end of the plaza where the CB2 used to be but it's just too far for any normal use.

Actually, the Clybourn TJ's has horrible bike parking. First off, at least half of of the rack is taken up by TJ's employees (all of the good spots), then the it's crammed behind huge traffic barrier posts, and the rack itself is the "wheel bender" variety that Duppie illustrated above.

 

I complained to the Management once about the bike parking and got a bewildered & puzzled look from the staff.

 

The ramp up the back has a sidewalk up the side to help make the walk-up easier. I relish the ride up the ramp - it's really the only reason my city bike has more than one gear.

 

Kelly said:

The Trader Joe's on Clybourn in Lincoln Park has great bike parking... but it's not easily accessible. You have to either take your bike in the elevator, which is impossible for me, as I have a cargo bike. Alternatively, you can bike up the ramp, which is also impossible for me. Which means I get to lock my bike up outside and drag my kid to the building, up the elevator and then back down with all of our bags. This is why I hardly ever shop there.

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