I was about to duck in to a local coffee shop when I saw this sign on the front door:
I agree, it’s a bad idea to lock your bike to a young tree. You can scrape the bark, break a branch, or a thief can come along and break the tree and take your bike. However, there aren’t any bike racks at this coffee shop. In fact, there aren’t any bike racks in the general vicinity. The shop is in a small shopping district known as Wayland Square. It’s full of small, independent shops and restaurants (and one Starbucks). There’s also plenty of on-street car parking and a couple of off-street lots. In fact, this coffee shop will help you pay for parking your car in one of the lots:
I’ve taken a car to this square a few times (from back when I owned a car, or when I’ve been driven by friends). Whatever car I was in, we always managed to find an on-street space within 2 blocks of our destination. When I bike to this square, I usually make do with locking my bike to a parking sign.
Not the ideal solution, but it gets the job done. By the way, this picture is from over a year ago when I last complained about the lack of bike parking in Wayland Square. I’d like to see this situation improved, but I’m not sure how to go about doing it. I didn’t like the lack of bike parking at the Farmers’ Market, and now Recycle-A-Bike has a program that has helped to alleviate that (thanks to dedicated volunteers like Kim & Mary!) I don’t think that the bike parking demand in Wayland Square is high enough to justify bike valet. I emailed one of the restaurants last year and he basically said “our landlord doesn’t want to do it.” I emailed the landlord and got no response. A couple of days ago, I emailed the coffee shop in question and I have yet to receive a response. I also posted on their facebook wall about the issue – no response their either (granted, their last facebook activity was about a month ago…) I’d prefer to use a positive approach rather than approach the businesses with a gripe – and my email certainly had a positive tone to it. And yet… no response. So, has anyone else had any luck getting businesses to install bike parking?
UPDATE: The Cafe in question now has bike parking, within 3 weeks of my public shaming! Coincidence? You be the judge.