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.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
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.

Views: 3089

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

On a positive note, Target gets a big thumbs up. The locations I've visited most often (95th St. in Oak Lawn, 119th & Marshfield, and Howard St. in Evanston) get a big thumbs up. Each location has at least 2 or 3 post and ring racks, placed in locations where they're near the entrance but out of the flow of traffic. Even better - they're in spots that do NOT tend to attract shopping carts. Yeah, Target!
Yes the Target in my 'hood (33rd and Damen) has nicely located post and ring racks also. They even made an effort to accommodate pedestrians, at least those approaching from the south west.

My nearest big grocery store, the Dominicks at Archer and Ashland on the other hand has no bike parking facilities at all. To add insult to injury, they spent a fortune upgrading the store last year and in the process they removed a row of barrier bars from right in front of the store which served as great bike racks. Also non-existent are any accommodations for pedestrians. I've whined about this here before, but since you asked...

I spend as little money there as possible within the limits of my sloth and convenience. I've talked to the manger about it countless times. He claims that it is out of his hands and that corporate has some kind of plan to address the problem and so on. Unfortunately he is a nice guy who seems to be stuck in a crappy situation.

I just had a vision for stepping up the campaign - some kind of large denomination fake currency to give to store managers and owners who don't provide bike parking. THIS is how much I spend at stores with bike racks! (very large number) and this is how much I spend here (very small number). Perhaps the back could have some kind of contract? The bearer agrees to start spending money here as soon as the store accommodates bicycles.
I have also talked to the manager at the same Dominick's, who just smiled kindly and said "yes, other people have mentioned that, too." I rarely shop there because I hate Dominick's (even though it is across the street from me), but when I do, I make a point of u-locking my bike to their shopping cart retainers, and I lock it as high as I can. When I lived in Toledo briefly, I was one of maybe three people who ever rode a bicycle downtown, where there is NO place to lock a bike. I remember having to go into City Hall there and I u-locked my bike to the railings on the steps of the main entrance.

Tony Adams said:
Yes the Target in my 'hood (33rd and Damen) has nicely located post and ring racks also. They even made an effort to accommodate pedestrians, at least those approaching from the south west.

My nearest big grocery store, the Dominicks at Archer and Ashland on the other hand has no bike parking facilities at all. To add insult to injury, they spent a fortune upgrading the store last year and in the process they removed a row of barrier bars from right in front of the store which served as great bike racks. Also non-existent are any accommodations for pedestrians. I've whined about this here before, but since you asked...

I spend as little money there as possible within the limits of my sloth and convenience. I've talked to the manger about it countless times. He claims that it is out of his hands and that corporate has some kind of plan to address the problem and so on. Unfortunately he is a nice guy who seems to be stuck in a crappy situation.

I just had a vision for stepping up the campaign - some kind of large denomination fake currency to give to store managers and owners who don't provide bike parking. THIS is how much I spend at stores with bike racks! (very large number) and this is how much I spend here (very small number). Perhaps the back could have some kind of contract? The bearer agrees to start spending money here as soon as the store accommodates bicycles.
I just had a vision for stepping up the campaign - some kind of large denomination fake currency to give to store managers and owners who don't provide bike parking. THIS is how much I spend at stores with bike racks! (very large number) and this is how much I spend here (very small number). Perhaps the back could have some kind of contract? The bearer agrees to start spending money here as soon as the store accommodates bicycles.

I like it!
Another place on my wish list - Chi Tung restaurant in Evergreen Park could be an easy bike destination if it had any bike parking at all. The waiters hand out comment cards, and I usually write "please add bike racks" on the back. It's a huge place that recently expanded and doesn't have enough parking. I plan to keep asking.

Sesame Inn, also in Evergreen Park, doesn't have bike racks, but they do have a fence in front that is a suitable substitute.

Most restaurants in Beverly have bike racks in front or nearby. Western Ave. in Beverly and Morgan Park has a good number of racks. Just gotta work on those big store chains. I'm grateful that I have a good independent grocery store so rarely have to go to Jewel or Dominick's.
Great article Anne. I love to shop at County Fair, and do it often. Their great store is made even better by having it bike friendly. Let's check more local places out...you are really on to something good here.
What's the location of your library with the wheel bender rack and your grocery store with no bike parking?

M.A.R.K. said:
I rarely shop @ Dominick's/Jewel too, but when I do I have been forced to lock up to the cart corral. I was asked once to move my bike somewhere else for some reason or another, but left it there and told them to get some racks and that there was no option outside of a parking lot light post with those huge cement bottoms(only decent for cable/chain locks).. By me, it is rare to find bike racks at any of the stores, while our library has a rack, it is one of those wheel bender racks. I think the corner bakery has one, but I never go there anyway.
no option outside of a parking lot light post with those huge cement bottoms(only decent for cable/chain locks)

If I ride to shop or dine at most places on 95th St. in Evergreen Park, that's usually my only choice.
Home Depot at Kimball and Addison has a 4 bike rack in a poor corner location which makes it only useable by 1 bike at a time. Except most of the time it can't be used at all because they use the area as their seasonal merchandise display spring, summer and fall and in the winter it is a place to store snow. I've complained repeatedly but now just park my bike in car parking spots.

Trader Joes at Grace & Lincoln has bike rack too close to wall and other patrons tend to use it as a cart corral.

The Target near me, Addison & Sacramento, has decorative post and ring racks but I've never seen anyone else lock their bikes to them. It took me a while to realize what they were and start locking my own bike to them.
Wow, your Home Depot actually has a rack? The best spot I've found at most of their stores is locking up to a cart corral.

I've seen the problem at that Trader Joe's store. If I remember right, they don't have any kind of cart corral at that place, right?

I have seen bikes locked at the post and ring racks at the Oak Lawn and Evanston Target stores. The 119th & Marshfield location is fairly new, and is getting discovered now.

Todd Allen said:
Home Depot at Kimball and Addison has a 4 bike rack in a poor corner location which makes it only useable by 1 bike at a time. Except most of the time it can't be used at all because they use the area as their seasonal merchandise display spring, summer and fall and in the winter it is a place to store snow. I've complained repeatedly but now just park my bike in car parking spots.

Trader Joes at Grace & Lincoln has bike rack too close to wall and other patrons tend to use it as a cart corral.

The Target near me, Addison & Sacramento, has decorative post and ring racks but I've never seen anyone else lock their bikes to them. It took me a while to realize what they were and start locking my own bike to them.
Clark said:
Wow Anne...what is the rack in your first picture at CVS attached to the cement with? Thin little Phillips-head dry wall screws that could be unscrewed or broken off in less than a minute? It's just as well that rack is unusable! I'd never use it, even if it were properly located.

The method of attachment is not good. That being said, this neighborhood has a very low incidence of bike theft, so risk is much lower here than it would be in the Loop, Wicker Park, etc.

In this and the landlord thread, I sense a strong "in-your-face" bike evangelism. Forcing people to accept our bikes by U-locking them in the pubic way will only set us back, and make property owners LESS likely to eventually accommodate bikes. No one that sees a bike locked inconsiderately will understand our point of view...it will just perpetuate the image of cyclists as being lawless renegades.

That's not where I'm trying to go with this. I'm asking for information, not cowboy tactics. At some stores, a cart corral is the only option. I prefer to lock my bike where it will be safe and NOT be blocking traffic. If I do block foot or car traffic with the bike, it may tick someone off, and they may use this as an excuse for vandalizing my bike and hating bikes in general. Not worth it.

I want to use the information to work through legitimate channels for positive change. I would encourage others to do the same. If there are specific store chains that fail across the board in providing useable bike parking, and repeated polite inquiries to individual store managers have been ineffective, might we have more success with informative and polite written requests to corporate offices, using tactics such as what you describe below?

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 excellent points and tactics I've used with store owners or managers myself.

My most recent successes were the Treasure Island at Broadway and Cornelia, where a new ribbon rack was installed on the walkway right in front; and the Tenenbaum Hardware store at Belmont and Racine, where Steve, the store owner, called the City for a sidewalk rack after the parking meters were removed.

Congrats and thank you for these successes! And thanks for the excellent comments.
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.

RSS

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service