Bike Racks

I’d had a lovely walk home this evening (<gasp!> a WALK?! Yes, it happens) and was thinking about blogging about all the lovely things I saw on my walk home that I would normally miss whilst zooming past them on a bike, but then I read this blog post and felt a need to share it.

Biking in Heels Cycler was venting about the fact that Whole Foods (or at least the one in Cambridge, MA), which prides itself, markets itself, on sustainability and doing good for the earth, etc., fails at something as simple as bicycle transportation support with bike racks that are too close together and an inconvenient (dare I say outdated?) style. Some of the comments point out that the Trader Joe’s in the area is similar. And of all places, these are the stores that we expect to “get it”!

A while back, BikeArlington did a review of Arlington grocery stores and ranked them based on the guidelines issued by The Association of Pedestrian and Bicyclists Professionals. The 16 stores chosen for the project all earned a wide range of scores, with several failing altogether and some doing fairly well.  Accessibility to the racks seems to be the biggest problem. Asking cyclists to go down parking garage ramps and lock up next to dumpsters is barely complying.

Transportation Secretary LaHood, in his blog post today, talks about National Bike Month (of course!) and how DOT is working with many different agencies to support biking as a transportation option. And he’s right – the statistics that the pilot programs and special efforts produce show that supporting transportation biking positively changes communities. So it’s even more mind-boggling that retail giants like Trader Joe’s* and Whole Foods don’t seem to get it.

Hopefully this will start a conversation about national standards for bike parking. If you notice inadequate bike parking, even if you don’t bike yourself, please contact the store to complain.  Encouraging cyclists will only improve your way of life too.

*The new Trader Joe’s near me has some decent bike racks but not enough – it’s Trader Joe’s for crying out loud! Of course people are going to bike there to shop! And it’s in Arlington! Again, of course people are going to bike there to shop! They could have easily doubled the amount of bike racks in front of the store. The space is there.