Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Bike Rack Request at the Mall

Emailed to White Flint Mall managers:

Greetings,

Today, I decided to bicycle to the mall. It's a beautiful day for it. I arrived and went to the bike rack that is by the Eatery Entrance. It was full with 3 bikes. Maybe I could've squeezed mine in... but hey, I didn't want to damage my or anyone else's bike. So I proceeded to search for another bike rack. I went up and down ramps, round and round the mall (3 times around!) in a vain search for another bike rack.

So I locked my bike to the light pole to the left of P.F. Changs restaurant. I considered that it was sufficiently out of the way of pedestrians, yet beneficially within view of many coming and going shoppers. I then went in to do my shopping at the bookstore. On the 3rd floor, I once decided to look out the window, to check up on my bike. My bike was fine, but what do you know, 2 young women on bikes were just stopping beside my bike. They looked like they were trying to find a bike rack too...

I bought my books, stopped and got a slice of cheesecake to take home, and then discovered a yellow warning slip from security officer #14. It politely requested that I lock up at the bike rack. Not possible. And apparently from the girls I mentioned above, I was not the only one with this problem. I do understand though, that you want both an orderly appearance to parked cars AND bikes. In addition, you don't want bikes parked willy nilly which might obstruct pedestrian and automobile traffic.

As you may surmise, I'd like to request you add more bike racks. Off the top of my head, let's look at some of the advantages from a shopping mall owners perspective.

More bike racks:
1. Give the mall a greener image. (always good these days!)
2. Free up more parking spaces for automobiles.
3. Provides an orderly, safe, inviting place for bikes to lock up.
4. Reduces pollution (which affects everyone, even mall managers!)
5. Keeps bicyclists feeling welcome. Parking warnings like I got may encourage bicycling shoppers to go elsewhere.

That seems like a decent list for off the top of my head.
I hope you seriously consider my request. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

- Stephen Starling

I'll post any reply I receive...

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