Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Bike Racks, Please

posted by Elizabeth Fama

SW corner of 57th and Blackstone

Hyde Park is so wonderfully bikeable, but for some reason there's a paucity of places to lock up your bike. Landlords ought to provide a secure rack outside, or an easy-access bike room inside. Businesses ought to have 'em out front. The City and University should diligently remove dead bikes to make room for the living...

Rusted Hulk, 3/1/09.
57th and Lake Park.
The wheels are missing now.

6 comments:

Greg said...

Does anyone know if there's a bike abandonment ordinance? I've seen bikes left to rust for years. There's a gorgeous old Raleigh with the steel chain guard a block away from my office in the Loop that has been there for over a year. When I lived at Mayfair, there was a bike locked up across the street for at least two winters. The bike rack out in front of that building next to Poinsetta Apts is always loaded with rusted hulks.

I guess an even better question is, who are these people who abandon so many perfectly good bikes?

Patrick said...

The city has a program where they will consider requests to install bike racks at specified locations.

http://www.chicagobikes.org/bikeparking/index.php

I mentioned this to the guys who run Cafe Istria when they first opened and they used the service to get the rack installed there.

Earlier this summer, I biked up to Zalevsky & Horvath and found they had no racks. I was planning to mention the program to owner Tim Schau, but he was busy when I came in so I just sat in the front window with my coffee, thinking I would tell him when he was free.

Five minutes later, a truck pulls up and two people hop out and unload two bike racks and begin installing them. That's the kind of costumer service you can expect at Z&H! (Actually, Tim had contacted the city several weeks before and It just happened that the workers arrived while I was there and thinking about bike racks.)

Elizabeth Fama said...

The building next to Pointsetta Apts. is Broadview, a U of C dorm. I think students tend to forgetfully abandon bikes when they move -- especially if something about the bike needs repair.

The City can remove bikes by putting a warning tag on them, I think, to give the owner time to act. Then they come back and cut the lock. It's just not a priority. Maybe it's one of those things that requires a neighbor to call to start the process.

J/tati said...

On a somewhat related note, I was shocked to learn that most of the UofC dorms lack secure indoor bike parking facilities. Thus commuters leave their bikes outside in bad weather, they rust, and they are abandoned. And kids with bikes too valuable to lock outside are forced to squeeze them into tiny dorm rooms.

Phlegmatic said...

AMEN.

Richard Gill said...

Perhaps no apartment building owner wants to be the first to install a bike rack, because bikers from nearby buildings will hog it. Neighboring apartment building owners should consider acquiring bike racks as a group. They might even cost less that way.