Bike Parking Shouldn’t be an Afterthought
Here’s a picture of the bike parking area at Whole Foods in Beverly Hills. Can you spot my bike and the bike rack squeezed in among the the chairs and tables? It was quite a trick getting it out of there between the tables (which were stacked there after I parked) and the car. Don’t even get me started on the type of bike rack — a kind that makes it hard to securely lock the bike frame.
Even environmentally friendly Whole Foods fails the bike-friendly test here. But not to pick on one otherwise great retailer. The fact is, in SoCal, we have such a strong car culture that bicyclists often get forgotten, or metaphorically (or literally) run over. (Yours truly was indeed run over by a SUV last month — the previous bike was ruined, but no personal injuries sustained, but that’s another story.) Across the region, it’s not uncommon to see bike parking be an afterthought, or seen as something that can be blocked without a second thought. I’ve seen, for instance, piles of construction supplies blocking the dedicated space devoted to bike racks at a McDonalds in Santa Monica, while the plentiful car spaces were considered too important to block. Many venues have bike racks that aren’t adequate to serve the demand, or are insecure.
It’s time bike amenities get taken seriously in the L.A area.