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I found out yesterday that the Cycle Center will no longer allow non-members to park their bikes there. The explanation was that with all the construction going on, they were having issues and the city was making it worse. This starts on May 1. I for one, am totally bummed. 

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Disappointing news.

Any idea if there will there be a day use fee if someone wants to lock up just for a day, or do you have to get a monthly membership? 

Are you talking about the outside racks?  That would suck because that's the best place to park during concerts at Millennium.  Btw, how would they know?; do members put stickers on their bikes?

The website, naturally, does not report the change.   Its an all too sad commentary on the state of the City and the further division of society into the class of haves and have nots.   The best way to develop a democratic state is to have many services available to everyone regardless of income and without any "needs" tests or "fees".  Yet here in Chicago, even things such as Public Schools now have "school fees" which a parent must pay or go through a long rigamarole to prove that the parent cannot.   That's contrary to the basic concept of a public school with uniform opportunities for all.

And the idea that now only "members" who can afford the monthly or annual fee (admittedly not that high a fee) can have safe bicycle parking is similarly non-democratic.  And it is targeted at the less avid rider -- someone who we should be encouraging to ride.

The good news is that we do have an option.   What is the name of the bicycle center?  McDonalds.   A corporation subject to public pressure.  My guess is that it would not take that much pressure for McDonalds to pressure the city to reverse this decision.   Does McDonalds really want the City turning people away from a facility with their name on it earning their resentment.  

Here's a link to send them a message on their Social Responsibility Page:

http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/contact_us/social_responsibility/soc... 

Anne B. said:

Any idea if there will there be a day use fee if someone wants to lock up just for a day, or do you have to get a monthly membership? 

Yes. Members have stickers on their bikes.

JeffB (7+ miles) said:

Are you talking about the outside racks?  That would suck because that's the best place to park during concerts at Millennium.  Btw, how would they know?; do members put stickers on their bikes?

My message

Dear McDonalds:

It is my understanding that the City of Chicago has decided no longer to allow free parking in the McDonalds' sponsored Chicago Bicycle Center. Parking will now be restricted to people who purchase a monthly or annual membership. Apparently no daily option would be available. As I understand this, the facility was sponsored in part by McDonalds to support healthy exercise and to support alternate transportation by families on the weekend to enjoy the lakefront. Yet by now limiting it to monthly members, it will now be perceived as an "elite" facility intended to support a limited few with a special interest. I would think that McDonalds would not want their name on such a "special interest" facility. As such, perhaps McDonalds should suggest to the city that, as the sponsor, they would like the city, at a minimum, to provide a reasonable daily option.



David crZven 10.6 said:

The website, naturally, does not report the change.   Its an all too sad commentary on the state of the City and the further division of society into the class of haves and have nots.   The best way to develop a democratic state is to have many services available to everyone regardless of income and without any "needs" tests or "fees".  Yet here in Chicago, even things such as Public Schools now have "school fees" which a parent must pay or go through a long rigamarole to prove that the parent cannot.   That's contrary to the basic concept of a public school with uniform opportunities for all.

And the idea that now only "members" who can afford the monthly or annual fee (admittedly not that high a fee) can have safe bicycle parking is similarly non-democratic.  And it is targeted at the less avid rider -- someone who we should be encouraging to ride.

The good news is that we do have an option.   What is the name of the bicycle center?  McDonalds.   A corporation subject to public pressure.  My guess is that it would not take that much pressure for McDonalds to pressure the city to reverse this decision.   Does McDonalds really want the City turning people away from a facility with their name on it earning their resentment.  

Here's a link to send them a message on their Social Responsibility Page:

http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/contact_us/social_responsibility/soc... 

Anne B. said:

Any idea if there will there be a day use fee if someone wants to lock up just for a day, or do you have to get a monthly membership? 

I think you're assuming facts not in evidence here, David. Bike and Roll has a multi-year contract with the City to operate the Cycle Center. I believe the decision is Bike & Roll's not the City's. McDonald's simply bought naming rights for the Center. They have no ongoing operational responsibilities. Bike & Roll also has their corporate nose out of joint due to their unsuccessful bid to operate the City's bike share program (which went to Alta).

David crZven 10.6 said:

My message

Dear McDonalds:

It is my understanding that the City of Chicago has decided no longer to allow free parking in the McDonalds' sponsored Chicago Bicycle Center. Parking will now be restricted to people who purchase a monthly or annual membership. Apparently no daily option would be available. As I understand this, the facility was sponsored in part by McDonalds to support healthy exercise and to support alternate transportation by families on the weekend to enjoy the lakefront. Yet by now limiting it to monthly members, it will now be perceived as an "elite" facility intended to support a limited few with a special interest. I would think that McDonalds would not want their name on such a "special interest" facility. As such, perhaps McDonalds should suggest to the city that, as the sponsor, they would like the city, at a minimum, to provide a reasonable daily option.

McDonalds name is still on it.   Their name is all over the website.  The City wants future naming rights payments and the like from McDonalds.   McDonalds is the guy that "looks" like the bad guy to Jane and Janet Roe when they bring their kids down to Millenium Park on the weekend and find that they cannot park their bicycles at this facility after having read about this facility in their paper.  The City may ignore pressure from citizens, it does not ignore pressure from large corporations that spend a lot of PR money to maintain their image.

This should be a relatively easy one to apply pressure to.   A threat of a boycott or two or a protest, and McDonalds will clearly swing into action.  They want to be associated with "beautiful people on bicycles" not overweight teenagers guzzling 40 ounce sodas and eating fat laden Big Macs.

Kevin C said:

I think you're assuming facts not in evidence here, David. Bike and Roll has a multi-year contract with the City to operate the Cycle Center. I believe the decision is Bike & Roll's not the City's. McDonald's simply bought naming rights for the Center. They have no ongoing operational responsibilities. Bike & Roll also has their corporate nose out of joint due to their unsuccessful bid to operate the City's bike share program (which went to Alta).

David crZven 10.6 said:

My message

Dear McDonalds:

It is my understanding that the City of Chicago has decided no longer to allow free parking in the McDonalds' sponsored Chicago Bicycle Center. Parking will now be restricted to people who purchase a monthly or annual membership. Apparently no daily option would be available. As I understand this, the facility was sponsored in part by McDonalds to support healthy exercise and to support alternate transportation by families on the weekend to enjoy the lakefront. Yet by now limiting it to monthly members, it will now be perceived as an "elite" facility intended to support a limited few with a special interest. I would think that McDonalds would not want their name on such a "special interest" facility. As such, perhaps McDonalds should suggest to the city that, as the sponsor, they would like the city, at a minimum, to provide a reasonable daily option.

Also, I disagree with the idea that paying for secure bike parking is elitist.

European countries (ie. the Netherlands) whose societies are arguably much more egalitarian than the US have deployed these pay-per-use guarded bike facilities across the country for years. After unsuccessfully fighting bike theft for decades they have figured out that the only way to prevent bike theft is by parking your bike behind a guard. Clearly such guarded facilities come at a cost. Asking the users to pay that cost is a reasonable request.


Kevin C said:

I think you're assuming facts not in evidence here, David. Bike and Roll has a multi-year contract with the City to operate the Cycle Center. I believe the decision is Bike & Roll's not the City's. McDonald's simply bought naming rights for the Center. They have no ongoing operational responsibilities. Bike & Roll also has their corporate nose out of joint due to their unsuccessful bid to operate the City's bike share program (which went to Alta).

David crZven 10.6 said:

My message

Dear McDonalds:

It is my understanding that the City of Chicago has decided no longer to allow free parking in the McDonalds' sponsored Chicago Bicycle Center. Parking will now be restricted to people who purchase a monthly or annual membership. Apparently no daily option would be available. As I understand this, the facility was sponsored in part by McDonalds to support healthy exercise and to support alternate transportation by families on the weekend to enjoy the lakefront. Yet by now limiting it to monthly members, it will now be perceived as an "elite" facility intended to support a limited few with a special interest. I would think that McDonalds would not want their name on such a "special interest" facility. As such, perhaps McDonalds should suggest to the city that, as the sponsor, they would like the city, at a minimum, to provide a reasonable daily option.

But that's not, apparently, what they are doing.  It only lists a monthly membership option.    That pretty much eliminates casual use.  And, of course, consistent with the American Model, the center carries corporate sponsorship.  In my experience, the ones in Europe that have corporate sponsorship are low cost or free and even the non-sponsored ones only have a nominal charge.

Duppie 13.5185km said:

Also, the idea that paying for secure bike parking is elitist is simply not true.

European countries (ie. the Netherlands) whose societies are arguably much more egalitarian than the US have deployed these pay-per-use guarded bike facilities across the country for years. After unsuccessfully fighting bike theft for decades they have figured out that the only way to prevent bike theft is by parking your bike behind a guard. Clearly such guarded facilities come at a cost. Asking the users to pay that cost is a reasonable request

I would assume the parking behind the bike garage would remain as is since it's outside?  Right now they allow free parking on the lower level - I assume that's what they're talking about.

Honestly, I would never expect to get free indoor parking unless it was included in an office building or apartment.

Yes, I believe the charge is $4-5 for you to park for the day and have access to the locker room for a shower.

Anne B. said:

Any idea if there will there be a day use fee if someone wants to lock up just for a day, or do you have to get a monthly membership? 

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