Most Shopping Centers in Suburban America Lack the Proper Number of Bike Racks

Does your suburban city have enough bike racks? Some cities do and some cities don’t. Further, in some cities it’s far too dangerous to ride your bike to work, or to the store without getting run over. There are far too many people text messaging these days while driving, and they are not paying attention as they swerve back and forth in their lane, often into a bike lane where you happen to be. If it is unsafe to ride your bike, chances are you won’t. Having a helmet doesn’t help much, if you get hit by a car, you are still going to have injuries.

After battling against 6000 pound SUVs, you still have to find a place to lock your bike. Sometimes a tree, a no parking sign, or something else nearby suits the purpose. But the reality is it’s much safer if you can lock your bike in a rack which is bolted down or even welded into place. Still, just because there is a bike station, doesn’t mean there’ll be enough space for your bike when you get there. Small racks only hold a few bicycles, and what is everyone else supposed to do?

There was an interesting article in the New York Times (International Section) on June 21, 2013 titled; “The Dutch Prize Their Pedal Power, but a Sea of Bikes Swamps Their Capital,” by John Tagliabue which had a picture of well over an acre of bicycles parked, so crowded it was hard to navigate and lord help you if you forgot where you parked, it’s not like you can click the alarm and listen for the chirping sound or find it by the blinking lights.

Now then, if you’ve ever owned a business and put a bike rack in front of your business and bolted it into the concrete, then you know very well that bike racks are severely abused. Skateboarders use them as launching ramps, and they seem to get bent, broken, and torn up pretty bad at times. Worse, people use these racks for all sorts of other things. If there are no bikes there, runners use them as stretching bars, and mopeds also attach themselves even if the bike rack isn’t really sturdy enough to hold them.

Then you have to ask yourself who is to maintain this rack that you put in, and why should you have to limit your sidewalk space where you might put tables out front for a bike rack that people will use going into other nearby businesses. Cyclists may use a bike rack and not even patronize your store. This is why cities need to be involved in proper cycle rack installations and repairs. Please consider all this and think on it.