The Chainlink

The new Apple store at North/Clybourn in Lincoln Park does not have bike racks.  Indeed, the picture of the store on the Apple website ironically shows a biker, who may have been searching for a bike rack at the time.
Biker wonders why beautiful computers but no bike racks (Photo from Apple website)

Chicago Blogger Steven Vance noted that bike accommodations were removed as part of the construction of the store and the associated renovation of the nearby Red Line station.  Apple funded those renovations in partnership with the CTA.

I talked to an Apple employee when I visited the store.  She was unaware of any plans to add bike racks, but said that such were a "possibility."

As a loyal Mac user I'm POed at Apple's lack of accommodation for customers who arrive at the store on bike, especially since it appears that Apple may have struck a deal for auto parking at a nearby garage.

Suggest bikers make their views known to store employees when they shop at the store or by phone:  (312) 777-4200.   As this is a prominent new retail outpost by a company that prides itself on good design and that demonstrated a commitment to public transit by investing in a renovation of the nearby CTA station it is worth squawking.

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Well said!

Steven Vance said:
Absolutely not jumping the gun.

First of all, the CTA puts up signs saying, "only lock to bike racks," doesn't provide bike racks, and this situation remains for a week.

Second, $3.9 million buys a lot of nice renovations. You know what $1,200 buys? 4 u-racks. That's more capacity than what was there before (by 2 spaces), but the station, the store, and the plaza can support more and the demand will be there. You know what $2,400 buys? 8 u-racks.
Apple Tree

Apple Trees are not acceptable places to lock bicycles. A bike rack should have been available from day one. Do you disagree?

Third, the station remained opened throughout construction but bike racks were missing for X weeks - I don't know how many weeks because I don't live around here to take notice, but at least 1 week. The CTA was not serving its customers appropriately during this time.

Fourth, while the Apple Store may have just opened last weekend, and the train station just "reopened," both Apple and CTA had 18 months to consider a construction schedule for bicycle parking facility that would be convenient for their customers who arrive to the store and station by bicycle.

Fifth, too much lip service about bicycles is given in this town and we need to stand up for quality infrastructure. Did you hear about CDOT getting $3.2 million to build a cycle track (separated bikeway) on Stony Island? Already there's talk of people at CDOT who're against a facility that would make bicycling there safer and probably attract new people to ride bikes.

Like I said in an earlier post in this topic, we have too many professionals in Chicago who would have done this differently but instead it seems amateurs got to decide what to give Chicagoans who ride their bicycles.

Read more about what I think of this situation.

adam Hirsch said:
do you think yur jumping the gun?

apple store just opened last weekend. they did remodel the red line and create a really nice public plaza (with free wifi)

I would give it a little before there are protests, but thats just me.
Doom I fuckin love you! (and the ingnut comment made actually laugh out loud not just that silly lol shit)

Iggi, Criticize away.

The whiners about bike racks, buy a PC! ;-)

Look at that I solved your whole problem. I'm off to cure cancer now.



Dr. Doom said:
Why should anyone refrain from criticizing anyone else just because they feel they're right? Obviously you feel you're right. I feel that you're wrong, and that making a big to-do over slightly suboptimal bike rack shapes here is a bit ridiculous and makes cycling advocates look silly. You're of course free to feel that I'm wrong and claim that Apple has gravely insulted the cause of sensible urban design, but how convinced you are of your own rightness is irrelevant.
I agree with Dr Doom. All the crying here is ridiculous. If anything the constant badgering of random employees at the store will help no one. The people that work at the store aren't there to make sure there is good street parking for commuters, they are there to sell overpriced apple products and help people with their apple product issues.


Dr. Doom said:
You realize that from the point of view of someone managing an extremely expensive anchor project on a major retail corridor that was built without adding any car parking and while spending a great deal of money on a mass transit project, someone acting as if great injustice has been done because they don't like the shape of the bike racks on the site is going to come off like an absolute wingnut, right?
Thanks, Steven. It's pretty clear that new cyclists aren't aware of how much agitating it took to get us where we are now. Hopefully the more educable will get it, eventually.



Steven Vance said:
Absolutely not jumping the gun.

First of all, the CTA puts up signs saying, "only lock to bike racks," doesn't provide bike racks, and this situation remains for a week.

Second, $3.9 million buys a lot of nice renovations. You know what $1,200 buys? 4 u-racks. That's more capacity than what was there before (by 2 spaces), but the station, the store, and the plaza can support more and the demand will be there. You know what $2,400 buys? 8 u-racks.
Apple Tree

Apple Trees are not acceptable places to lock bicycles. A bike rack should have been available from day one. Do you disagree?

Third, the station remained opened throughout construction but bike racks were missing for X weeks - I don't know how many weeks because I don't live around here to take notice, but at least 1 week. The CTA was not serving its customers appropriately during this time.

Fourth, while the Apple Store may have just opened last weekend, and the train station just "reopened," both Apple and CTA had 18 months to consider a construction schedule for bicycle parking facility that would be convenient for their customers who arrive to the store and station by bicycle.

Fifth, too much lip service about bicycles is given in this town and we need to stand up for quality infrastructure. Did you hear about CDOT getting $3.2 million to build a cycle track (separated bikeway) on Stony Island? Already there's talk of people at CDOT who're against a facility that would make bicycling there safer and probably attract new people to ride bikes.

Like I said in an earlier post in this topic, we have too many professionals in Chicago who would have done this differently but instead it seems amateurs got to decide what to give Chicagoans who ride their bicycles.

Read more about what I think of this situation.

adam Hirsch said:
do you think yur jumping the gun?

apple store just opened last weekend. they did remodel the red line and create a really nice public plaza (with free wifi)

I would give it a little before there are protests, but thats just me.
Thanks, you've just motivated me to make a few more calls.



Minh said:
I agree with Dr Doom. All the crying here is ridiculous. If anything the constant badgering of random employees at the store will help no one. The people that work at the store aren't there to make sure there is good street parking for commuters, they are there to sell overpriced apple products and help people with their apple product issues.


Dr. Doom said:
You realize that from the point of view of someone managing an extremely expensive anchor project on a major retail corridor that was built without adding any car parking and while spending a great deal of money on a mass transit project, someone acting as if great injustice has been done because they don't like the shape of the bike racks on the site is going to come off like an absolute wingnut, right?
Perhaps since Apple seems to think their computers are virus-proof, they just assume that bikes parked at their store will be theft-proof.
I wonder if some kid, who bikes to the office, put the bike in the rendering. And maybe another kid had put bike racks all over the place in the drawings. Then the architect/partner was like, "Na-ah. That ain't going to fly. Take 'em out." Or maybe the client saw the rendering and was like, "Whoa. What are those things? Bike racks? They don't match. They make the store look cheap. We want people to spend a lot of money on shiny objects. We don't want bikes outside the store cluttering it up. Take 'em out." :)

the store looks cold and boring. architects and clients in their 50s and 60s, finally at the pinnacle of their career, are now designing how they did in school in the 1970s and 1980s, too look futuristic...i.e. 1990s. They didn't consider bike racks back then, so they won't design for them now. We have to wait for the younger kids to become architects to start putting in bike racks.

having worked in an architecture office for 5 years, to me it seemed some architects were progressive and adapted to new ideas quicker, but some are stuck in their old ways. and then there is the client. that's a whole other obstacle.

maybe someone should call the architect's office to ask about the real story of the bike racks.
This discussion is great but it really needs more bacon.
Filet mignon wrapped in bacon ;-)
I agree-- the look of the Chicago apple stores are stuck in the past.
May have something to do with Chicago building code though-- look what they did in Shanghai:




Mark Kenseth said:
I wonder if some kid, who bikes to the office, put the bike in the rendering. And maybe another kid had put bike racks all over the place in the drawings. Then the architect/partner was like, "Na-ah. That ain't going to fly. Take 'em out." Or maybe the client saw the rendering and was like, "Whoa. What are those things? Bike racks? They don't match. They make the store look cheap. We want people to spend a lot of money on shiny objects. We don't want bikes outside the store cluttering it up. Take 'em out." :)

the store looks cold and boring. architects and clients in their 50s and 60s, finally at the pinnacle of their career, are now designing how they did in school in the 1970s and 1980s, too look futuristic...i.e. 1990s. They didn't consider bike racks back then, so they won't design for them now. We have to wait for the younger kids to become architects to start putting in bike racks.

having worked in an architecture office for 5 years, to me it seemed some architects were progressive and adapted to new ideas quicker, but some are stuck in their old ways. and then there is the client. that's a whole other obstacle.

maybe someone should call the architect's office to ask about the real story of the bike racks.
I finally had a chance to ride by there, and one thing I noticed was that there was not a single road sign (parking/no parking signs, etc) on any side of the Apple store (North, Halsted, or Clybourn). As a result the right lane on Clybourn was full of parked cars with their blinkers on. You can hardly blame the drivers since they are trained to look for no-parking signs to know where not to park.
1. I can hardly believe that a row of parked cars is what is what Apple had in mind.
2. It might just be indicative of the pull that Apple had in redesigning this public space. They are so concerned about the curb appeal of their store that they were able do away with signs
A friend sent me a picture last night that was taken in front of the North/Clybourn station. Apparently they've just added bike racks. It's a start, but judging from the picture, I'd say it's not nearly enough.

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