Squeaky Wheels Get the Bike Parking

Hollywood_Trader_Joes_2_300x225.jpgProper bike racks: it’s really so simple. (Photo: Illuminate LA)

This morning on the Streetsblog Network, a bike parking success story from Los Angeles.

Network member Soap Box LA reports on how the organized efforts of bike advocates forced a new branch of Trader Joe’s in Hollywood to install bike parking — just weeks after it opened with no such facilities.

The new Trader Joe’s is part of a major transit-oriented development (TOD) project at the fabled corner of Hollywood and Vine. But when it opened, people who wanted to do their shopping by bike found an absence of bike parking, and a lot of excuses from the chain store.

A boycott ensued, fueled by Facebook and Twitter. Many phone calls were made to corporate and government officials. And after some dithering, the store installed appropriate racks.

As Stephen Box points out on Soap Box LA, it’s mystifying that a redevelopment project touted as progressive design failed to include bike parking in the first place. But quick action by a network of engaged citizens was very effective in this case. Box writes:

It’s been two weeks since the TJ’s in Hollywood opened, It’s been two days since the director of construction installed the bike racks. They look great and they are a victory for a few reasons.

*We’ve got bike racks and can lift the boycott! Now we can shop at Trader Joe’s!

*We’ve established a bike parking standard for the Trader Joe’s corporation! No wave or wheelbender bike racks, simple inverted-U racks that are properly installed and spaced and protected and accessible and visible and convenient and effective. This is the bike rack standard for Trader Joe’s.

*We’ve established a bike parking standard for the Metro and for the [Community Redeveloment Agency]. Transit-oriented development must have a bike parking standard for the project as a whole and for the tenants.…

*We’ve established a bike parking standard for the neighborhood.

Maybe next time, they’ll put the bike racks in first and save themselves the headache.

More from around the network: Transit Miami on the deadly nature of Florida’s highways. Hugh Bartling on the potential for waterborne transit in Chicago. And Half Mile Circles on an upcoming US DOT webinar about the role of transportation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.