Thursday, June 16, 2011

Trader Joe's to Open Tomorrow; LifeSource Still Sets Standard for Bikes

As Trader Joe's gets ready to open, different approaches to bike parking tell us much about the difference between local and chain stores. One store meets the minimum, the other goes far above and beyond.

On Tuesday night the Bike & Walk Salem Advisory Commmittee heard about possible Plan and Code Amendments.

One of the areas for possible code changes involved bike parking. A year ago, code would have required Battlecreek Elementary to have 192 bike parking stalls. That's pretty clearly out of alignment with even the most optimistic projections for school biking.

But code also is out of alignment in the other direction. Last fall, for the Trader Joe's, and as we saw with the Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry, code requires too little:
City Staff will require a minimum of a 4-bike bike rack for the Trader Joe's, located within 50-feet of the building main entrance, per SRC Table 133-1(6).
This is for a popular grocery store! Even as challenging an area for bikes as is South Commercial here, those in Trader Joe's market demographic will surely bike occasionally.

Yesterday the rack went in. It's a basic, no-frills installation.

There is a wave rack. Wave racks are often used in town, though they are not recommended by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. This particular installation is right up to the wall. A 700x28 front tire just fits, but a little more clearance would have been good. I wonder if larger 700 tires might not fit!

It's also out in the open, and up on the curb. A curb cut or ramp would be nice on the corner for ease in access.

Contrast this will the bike parking at LifeSource. That parking is covered, uses a recommended style of rack, has a ramp for easy access, and offers 14 stalls.

If the Trader Joe's installation is adequate, LifeSource's is gold standard!

As you make your shopping choices, remember LifeSource supports lots of local bicycling and sustainable transportation, including Breakfast on Bikes and Capital Velo Racing Club.

And if you visit Trader Joe's, be sure to let them know you bike and care about bike facilities.

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