Some new bike parking alongside Loblaws: late and not enough

Thanks to some warm winter weather and possibly to a bit of persuading on my end (by directing some emails to Street Furniture and to Councillor Vaughan's office), City staff have installed post and rings along Portland and Richmond next to the new Loblaws.

As I noted in the other post, Councillor Vaughan and Jennifer Chan of his office were quite helpful in pursuing the case of the missing bike parking to get it solved. Lisa Ing of Street Furniture was also helpful in spelling out the details of this location and the limitations of her office.

It's super that we now have some bike parking for Loblaws. Now what about the rest of the stores along that block on Queen? Short-term bike parking should be no more than 15 metres from the entrance of destinations, according to the Bicycles at Rest design guide. Are post and rings just not "aesthetic" enough to get installed there?

The "season" for installation of bike parking ends in the fall - it gets too difficult to install with lots of snow and the City ends its contract with the company that installs the bike rings. It is remarkable, then, that these post and rings appeared. Who installed them? There were plans in the works to install them but not until the spring. Did public pressure on City staff quicken that process?

Makes me think of what other locations we could identify. For instance, I recently explored and tweeted about the below-ground bike parking at the Loblaws at Church. Who knew about this bike parking - next to the garbage - way below ground? Who is going to bother go there when they just want to pick up a few groceries? Evidenced by the empty rack, apparently no one.

But even at the Church/Carleton Loblaws, according to whoever is tweeting for them there is a plan to install outdoor bike parking in March. It's not clear if its on Loblaws property or City.

If this is true, it's great. It just leaves me thinking that bike parking continues to be an after thought, getting installed long after the store is open and full of shoppers. Doesn't Toronto deserve a better plan for getting convenient and secure bike parking? Something akin to the same reverence we give to cars? Loblaws likely spent $25,000 for each car parking spot and maybe $50 for each bike parking spot, even though only a minority of people will actually drive to Loblaws. And to add insult to injury, cyclists and pedestrians going to the checkout at Loblaws will be asked if they want their parking validated? How about just some validation as an equal human being? How about those few people who drive pay for their own damn parking?

I'm happy about the new post and rings, don't get me wrong. But I keep getting reminded of how far we have to go to change our societal attitude about these things. Bikes shouldn't be an after thought, especially in places where about 1 in 5 people use their bikes to commute, shop, etc.

Comments

Let's hope there will be a push of new bike post installation come Spring. However, I would imagine it will be an contest to actually see them happen.

Oh, ten spots...? I wonder how many will be occupied all day by the employees.

Bitch when there is no parking, whine when it is installed. Here is what I take from this thread

Herb's email campaign, like most email campaigns was ineffective
Adam Vaughan isn't doing enough for cycling (who is?)
DWT doesn't think employee should ride bikes to work.
Some study claims cyclists are incapable of walking more than 15M
There is lots of bike parking at Loblaws and nobody uses it. (must be more than 15 m from stuff)
Loblaws cashiers should bag my food then validate my human rights
It's not about bike security, it's about social enginerring

Oh the humanity! Let's pitch a yurt in protest?

IwhineTO, how about making a positive contribution? Try it, it makes you feel a lot better about your day... ;-)

It's very true that bicycle parking is often treated as an afterthought, even though it's relatively cheap to install. These stores should be happy that people can cycle to their stores and encourage the practice because providing parking for bicycles is not the costly burden that it is for cars and is better for the environment. The parking should always be near the entrances of establishments not just for convenience, but because it's always easier to keep an eye on it that way.

This article is steadfast in making its point, and I applaud Herb for it. For these bad examples, there are hundreds of stores with those terrible racks that only allow you to lock the bike by the wheels and busy urban shopping areas with completely inadequate parking like Yorkville. When I was shopping around for a new bike a couple of years ago, I went to a variety of stores around the city including the Sporting Life on Yonge north of Eglinton. In spite of being a pedestrian and cyclist friendly strip, there were very few post-and-rings installed after the reconstruction of Yonge--none in front of that bike store. Once again, bicycle parking was treated as an afterthought and the cyclist marginalized.

I also think Herb's thoughts are right on the money. The city insists on certain things to be planned for when applying for permits - and sufficient parking spaces for cars have always been part of that.

As the share of driving customers has decreased over the years, the store can get away with planning for fewer car spots and save itself some real money. But as a good part of those car-less customers arrive by bike, it is only fair to provide bike parking as part the store's facilities. Just passing the problem to public parking on the sidewalk and avoiding the expense, the store is shifting the problem onto the public purse.

We can't have this, in a city that has voted against freeloaders feeding on the gravy train! So we can expect the city to adjust the building rules accordingly if that hasn't happened yet. Or else we've been short-changed again...

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