Location, location, location!

pedbikeimages.org/Dan Burd

In August, I wrote a post titled It’s all about the bike rack that examined features of a good bike rack.  Today’s post revisits the venerable bike rack, and explores things to consider when picking a location for it.

As a bicyclist, I am delighted to find a bike rack at my destination but, on occasion, I sometimes come across a bike rack that I cannot or will not use.  Why?  Because the bike rack has been poorly sited.

Easily spotted, covered, steps to the door.

Bike parking is a key factor in encouraging people to make trips by bike and where a bike rack is located determines whether and how much it will be used.  The bike rack pictured to the left is superbly located, in my opinion, and gets lots of use.  As a customer who arrives by bike, I feel welcome at this Seattle supermarket because the rack is located just steps from the entrance.  The bike parking is also protected from rain because it has been placed under the entrance covering.

Hidden away, inconvenient, unused.

On the other hand, I have never used the lonely bike rack shown at the right.  This rack is hidden away in the parking garage of another grocery store and I suspect that few bicycle patrons of this business even know it exists.  To their credit, the store has since installed a bike rack at entrance level and steps from their door, and this particular rack is regularly used.

Here are more examples of well-sited bike racks at locations that serve people making trips by bike:

On-street corral, downtown Vancouver

Redmond Transit Center.

Now for some examples of poorly placed bike racks that see little or no use:

Redmond arterial next to parking lot.
Seattle commercial property, too close to landscaping and sprinklers.          
The Bicycle Alliance website has a section on bike parking, and includes our Retailer’s Guide to Implementing Effective Bicycle Parking and APBP’s Bicycle Parking GuidelinesThese documents offer guidance on selecting a well designed bike rack and recommendations on where to locate bike racks.
Bike rack needed here!
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