Grid Shots: Bike parking edition

This weekend’s Grid Shots is about bike parking, one of my favorite topics.


Exterior bike racks at the Damen Blue Line station in Wicker Park sit empty at 5 AM on the last Wednesday in August 2011. Unlike their interior cousins, these racks will fill up in a couple of hours. Photo by Mike Travis. 


The Andersonville Jewel-Osco at 5516 N Clark was renovated over a year ago, but bike parking wasn’t installed until August 2011. And the bike rack is a doozy. The store promptly disrespects it by blocking the second of only two usable spaces on the “grill rack” (an unacceptable bike rack and should not be used). Jewel is known for its use of this bike rack. Photo by Kevin Zolkiewicz. 


I’d like to know what the thought was in designing this small bike parking area. The designer chose an acceptable bike rack and put it within 20 feet of the entrance (better than the 50 feet minimum) but reduced ease of access by installing it too close to a bollard and fence. Photo by Kevin Zolkiewicz. 

More on the Walgreens bike parking:

The bollard seem like it was installed there to prevent errant drivers from maneuvering their cars into the bike racks, but the bollard is so close that I don’t feel it will do a good job protecting the bike rack (or any bikes parked there). Also notice the bollard in the stop bar and driveway, to protect the fence. I advocate for removing the fence and its bollard companion, moving the bike rack’s bollard friend and leaving the space a bit more open (or use a curb). The store hasn’t opened yet, but I suspect in a month after doing so, both bollards will have many scrapes and scuff marks.

Walgreens does an acceptable job of installing bike parking at its stores in Chicago, choosing a decent rack style (the wave rack) and placing them very near to store entrances. Walgreens didn’t install any of its own bike racks at their Diversey and Kimball store. I’d like to see Walgreens choose a better bike rack: it can stick with the wave rack if it chooses a “longer wavelength” (more space between vertical tubes to increase distance between parallel locked bikes), and shorter racks (to stop their interfering with bike handlebars).

2 thoughts on “Grid Shots: Bike parking edition”

  1. I hate the wave rack.  I want to use it like a U rack and place my bike parallel against it.  But that would anger most other users who expect the rack to be used by perpendicular parking.

  2. I contacted the Jewel store manager regarding the bike back. She replied back that this “prototype has served its purpose for several years”, and that she could not replace the rack at this time.
    She promised they would pay more attention to keeping the rack and the pedestrian walkway next to it clear. I have not seen much improvement yet in that respect

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