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Racked with Frustration...

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Racked with Frustration...

Old 10-14-19, 07:23 AM
  #1  
BobbyG
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Racked with Frustration...

I finally wrote an email to my credit union about the lack of a bike rack at my local branch.

What prompted me? The disappearance of a bike rack at a local Walmart I like to ride to.

In each case I pointed out that the first impression given by a lack of designated bicycle parking is that those who choose to ride or those who must rely on bicycles are not welcome. Then I noted that the first "customer experience" is hunting for a place to lock up that does not interfere with access or mar infrastructure.

Then I pointed out that less considerate cyclists will chain their bikes to anything, trees, signs, pipes, and block the sidewalk for pedestrians and those with mobility issues like wheelchair and walker users. In the case of Walmart bikes were chained to railings around emergency exits and side doors.

In the case of the Credit Union, they have been publicizing their big, new corporate campus, and their new performing arts center. I said that certainly with budgets like that, there should be money for a bike rack at each branch.

In the case of Walmart I mentioned that they themselves sell bicycles, but if a potential customer was coming in to buy a bike for themselves or a young adult, they might think twice since Walmart had no designated bike parking as evidenced by the bikes locked to other infrastructure and in the way, and if Walmart doesn't welcome bikes, what other businesses don't, and maybe a bike isn't the right purchase.

Then I brought up the whole environmental issue, and how a simple bike rack goes a long way towards a positive corporate image.

I will follow up, if and when either company acts (I got a form-letter response from Walmart already acknowledgeing receipt of my submission).

The main reason for the post is to share the main points for any efforts on your part to get a bike rack at a business.

1) Preservation of infrastucture including trees.
2) Preservation of access for pedestrians and the mobility-challenged.
3) Preserving the customer experience for cyclists.
4) Preserving the environment.
5) Preserving the corporate image.
6) Any other issue that could cause embarrasment or bad press eg: The credit union's big building budget; Walmart sells bikes.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-14-19, 07:31 AM
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Every time I go to my credit union, I just take my bike inside. Every time I go anywhere, I just take my bike inside. My credit union doesn't have a rack outside, and I'm glad of it-- because then someone would surely say, as I'm wheeling my bike into the branch, "there's a rack for you outside." Well, if they want to go and stand guard over my bike outside, great. Until then, the bike comes inside with me.
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Old 10-14-19, 08:50 AM
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I'm surprised a credit union has a performing arts center or naming rights to one. Reputation, meet reality.

Anyway, good to read about this. I've been thinking of hitting up my library for a rack. Right now I'm locking to a utility meter (gas or water) behind the building.
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Old 10-14-19, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Every time I go to my credit union, I just take my bike inside. Every time I go anywhere, I just take my bike inside. My credit union doesn't have a rack outside, and I'm glad of it-- because then someone would surely say, as I'm wheeling my bike into the branch, "there's a rack for you outside." Well, if they want to go and stand guard over my bike outside, great. Until then, the bike comes inside with me.
That works great - but doesn't scale. Let's just say that bringing this many bikes inside galleries is a bit of an issue and leave it at that.

-mr. bill

Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
SOWA First Fridays - back to Boston's Amsterdam



-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 10-14-19 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 10-14-19, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
That works great - but doesn't scale. Let's just say that bringing this many bikes inside galleries is a bit of an issue and leave it at that.

-mr. bill
Letís agree that what happens in Amsterdam has 0% bearing on anything that happens in my life, cycling or otherwise, ever, for all time. I can say with some confidence that there are 2 people who routinely bike to my local CU. And I know the other one.
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Old 10-14-19, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
....

I can say with some confidence that there are 2 people who routinely bike to my local CU. And I know the other one.
And if you want to keep it that way continue to be glad that there is no bike rack at your local CU.

p.s. Boston is not Amsterdam.

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 10-14-19 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 10-14-19, 01:13 PM
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I just got off the phone with the manager of the Walmart I visited yesterday. He called to let me know the rack was removed temporarily due to abuse by vagrants and the homeless. He did not have a date set for its return, but he reiterated that it will.

As far as to what kinds of "abuse" the racks suffered, he mentioned personal belongings being locked to it as the covered prominade where it stood became a popular urban camping site. That led to trash and vandalism. When the store security began removing the unlawfully secured belongings and rousting the "campers" overnight, that led to more vandalism of store property and patron's and employee's bicycles.

I thanked him for his getting back to me so quickly and for his candor.

There has been a growing effort by businesses in Colorado Springs and by the city itself to curtail unauthorized "urban camping. Unfortunately, some transients have reacted to it badly as addiction, mental illness and simple desperation have fueled their rage.

Waiting now to hear from the credit union.
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Old 10-14-19, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
..Then I pointed out that less considerate cyclists will chain their bikes to anything, trees, signs, pipes, and block the sidewalk for pedestrians and those with mobility issues like wheelchair and walker users. In the case of Walmart bikes were chained to railings around emergency exits and side doors...
That's great that you attempted to contact businesses about installing bike racks; it'd help out other cyclists, as well, if they do decide to install bike racks.

However, I don't think there's a need to "throw other cyclists under the bus" in the process by criticizing them for locking their bikes on other things when there aren't any bike racks for them, in the first place, or if there aren't enough bike racks. It's not other cyclists' fault, if there aren't any bike racks to lock their bike; some people make do as best they can, with what is there.

Not everyone wants to leave their bike unlocked to anything, so that it could be stolen (bikes in my area that are stolen are, mostly, the ones that aren't locked to anything, like a front porch), or feels like bringing in their bike into places, where it'd be cumbersome; crowded, with other people with shopping carts; constantly having a hand on it, to prevent others from taking it; having to deal with constantly being stared at for bringing in your bike or worrying that employees/managers will assume that you're trying to shoplift a bike from their store (e.g. worrying that they might call the police behind my back--without talking to me--who might then point a gun at me, throw me to the ground, arrest me, etc.), etc. Plus, not all restroom stalls are large enough to fit a bike.

I understand what you mean about locking bikes around trees being harmful to them and how bikes locked to signs could block the sidewalk for pedestrians and disabled users. That's why I'd try to lock my bike on the grass, behind a sign, so that it doesn't block the sidewalk for others (not trying to purposely be "inconsiderate," at all. Naturally, I'd love it if there were more bike racks, but it's just a fact of life that, in the U.S., businesses don't prioritize bike racks; so, I just deal with it as best as I can).

Sometimes, businesses place bike racks in inconvenient areas. For example, one local library has a bike rack that is around a quarter of a mile away from the entrance, on the side of the building, where a person is unable to keep an eye on their bike from the library windows and where there aren't as many people around (where a bike thief wouldn't be noticed, much). Personally, locking the bike closer to the entrance, against a sign, where it's easier to keep a safer eye on through the windows, and where there's more foot traffic (where others might or could keep an eye on whether or not someone is trying to mess with your bike) feels better to me.

Last edited by anon06; 10-14-19 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 10-14-19, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
And if you want to keep it that way continue to be glad that there is no bike rack at your local CU.

p.s. Boston is not Amsterdam.

-mr. bill
For every element that makes Boston ≠ Amsterdam, quadruple that and you will begin to understand why SoCal ≠ everywhere else.

The reason(s) people aren't biking to the CU (or anywhere, for that matter) in SoCal has nothing to do with the lack of bicycle racks.
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Old 10-14-19, 04:51 PM
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Sounds like Boston ≠ Amsterdam, or that USA ≠ everywhere else not because of the bicycles but because of the homelessness.
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Old 10-14-19, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Sounds like Boston ≠ Amsterdam, or that USA ≠ everywhere else not because of the bicycles but because of the homelessness.
Based on one post regarding a problem in one community?

Homelessness exists everywhere. It is not unique to the US. And there is no reason to think it is generally a problem wrt the installation of bicycle racks in most places.
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Old 10-14-19, 08:55 PM
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I live in a moderately bike-friendly city that has an undeserved reputation as a mega-super-awesome bike city. So, there are quite a few racks in the city proper. Don't get out to the suburbs much, so can't comment there. Because there are so many bikes, it is not uncommon for all the locking spots to be occupied. I have occasionally walked a block to find another one open. But usually, anymore, I just bring my bike in with me. Have yet to get yelled at. I have also locked my bike up to what I thought was a really cool, artistic bike rack outside a Chipotle. It was only when I walked back out that I realized it wasn't a bike rack--it was a sculpture.
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Old 10-15-19, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
I have also locked my bike up to what I thought was a really cool, artistic bike rack outside a Chipotle. It was only when I walked back out that I realized it wasn't a bike rack--it was a sculpture.
Sorry, I had to laugh at this. One man's art is another man's bike rack.
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Old 10-15-19, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
....

I have also locked my bike up to what I thought was a really cool, artistic bike rack outside a Chipotle. It was only when I walked back out that I realized it wasn't a bike rack--it was a sculpture.
Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Sorry, I had to laugh at this. One man's art is another man's bike rack.
This mini-Fremont bridge?

-mr. bill
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Old 10-15-19, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
I would totally lock my bike to that. What other purpose could it serve? It doesn't work as a bench, no comfortable way to sit on it. Doesn't even really work as art for me, but I guess art is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 10-15-19, 11:12 AM
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It’s a bike-rack! It’s a sculpture! It’s a bike-rack AND a sculpture!!!!

But wait, there’s more....

-mr. bill
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Old 10-15-19, 11:26 AM
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Walmarts are generally the worst for bike lock-up as they not only don't have racks, most of them have mounted signs on concrete pylons you can't lock a bike to.

I've ended up locking my bike to benches outside of the store at a few stores.
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Old 10-15-19, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Not as dramatic, but here's a bike in Watertown locked up to a true bike shaped object:

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3697...7i13312!8i6656
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Old 10-16-19, 04:06 AM
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Isn't just amazing how ALL these places can devote acres of asphalt to motor vehicles, right up to the front door, and can't seem to dedicate the space of one car to a few bikes?

Enough excuses corporate America... pull your collective oil sucking heads out of your behinds and put in a freaking bike rack and be proud of it. SHEESH



acres and acres of asphalt... rediculous
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Old 10-16-19, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Isn't just amazing how ALL these places can devote acres of asphalt to motor vehicles, right up to the front door, and can't seem to dedicate the space of one car to a few bikes?

Enough excuses corporate America... pull your collective oil sucking heads out of your behinds and put in a freaking bike rack and be proud of it. SHEESH



acres and acres of asphalt... rediculous
In their defense, at least around here anyway, people use motor vehicles a wheel chairs (ironically, the practice usually creates an inability to do anything physical later in life). At the Wal-Marts, grocery stores and mega-sale places around here there's only a slightly better chance someone would arrive on a bicycle and need a parking spot than a guy riding a llama would. I just don't buy into the idea that if there are more bike racks where people want to go, they'll choose to ride instead of drive.

I've been involved in the bicycle advocacy biz and appreciate anyone who fights the good fight to make things better for cyclists. But.......if you don't recognize that cyclists are a small minority and you're always going uphill and into the wind, you're fooling yourself.

I saw this the other day, many people in the USA feel this way about cyclists but don't ever talk about it.

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Old 10-16-19, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Walmarts are generally the worst for bike lock-up as they not only don't have racks, most of them have mounted signs on concrete pylons you can't lock a bike to.

I've ended up locking my bike to benches outside of the store at a few stores.
There are two other Walmarts in town that have bike racks...at least the last time I checked.
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Old 10-16-19, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
It's funny until the driver is sued by a personal injury legal team...then it's a costly liability.
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Old 10-16-19, 06:44 AM
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All the more reason to ride with a video camera, and not let this guy go home after hitting you, and peel all those stickers off to destroy the evidence.
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Old 10-16-19, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
In their defense, at least around here anyway, people use motor vehicles a wheel chairs (ironically, the practice usually creates an inability to do anything physical later in life). At the Wal-Marts, grocery stores and mega-sale places around here there's only a slightly better chance someone would arrive on a bicycle and need a parking spot than a guy riding a llama would. I just don't buy into the idea that if there are more bike racks where people want to go, they'll choose to ride instead of drive.

I've been involved in the bicycle advocacy biz and appreciate anyone who fights the good fight to make things better for cyclists. But.......if you don't recognize that cyclists are a small minority and you're always going uphill and into the wind, you're fooling yourself.
My observations are that a fairly large number of the people who work in such places ride their bikes to work if they have a place to put them. From what I've seen in New England, there are almost never any bike racks at a Walmart location regardless of whether they're located where people actually ride. I don't know if there's an area inside where the workers can secure their bikes, however.

The lack of bike racks is such an obvious pattern here that I suspect they actually want to discourage bicyclists from riding through their parking lot, possibly for liability reasons.
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Old 10-16-19, 07:56 AM
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Emtpy Bikeracks of Walmart, One
Empty Bikeracks of Walmart, Two

BUT:

Bikes of Walmart, One
Bikes of Walmart, Two
Bikes of Walmart, Three (In a Bikerack EVEN!)
Bikes of Walmart, Four
Bikes of Walmart, Five, Six

-mr. bill
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