Wednesday, October 01, 2008

To boldly park where no man has parked before...

Well, okay, I'm sure someone's parked in these places, but when there aren't any bike racks, you improvise!

Case and point: Power & Light District. I went and snagged some lunch with Clem. Yes, there's a ring and post a block away. I was feeling lazy. Besides, it gave me an excuse to do a cyclocross rolling dismount and run up the stairs with my bike over my shoulder while people in general thought "what the heck?!"

Things are changing for the better (and quite quickly, I may add) in KCMO. Next month, we'll get a real grocery store downtown. This is huge, and I personally think will do more for urban revitalization than any amount of upscale madness. From a sustainability and urban planning perspective, this means people living in the urban core will have one less reason to rely on their car or take a bus trip. Basic necessities will be easily accessible without the trip to Westport or North KC.

Then, I got this exciting Let's Go KC e-mail from Laurie Chipman (recently featured as KC's best outdoor activist by Pitch):

Some good things have been happening in our fair city. Hazard mitigation is going on every day. If you don't know what hazard mitigation is, it is new grates that don't eat your tires. The BikeKC plan is getting done at last! I even saw a new grate in my own neighborhood and several around town!

The other cool thing I found out about is a bike parking rack at our beloved midtown Costco at Linwood and Gillham. I was talking with the check out guy there and he said they had just put one in. Some of their regular customers had been asking for one. I was trying to stuff the suggestion box myself but I was glad to hear that other people were way ahead of me.

I also heard that there is bike parking at the midtown Home Depot but I have not seen it.

Just want you to know that requests are being heard so keep asking!
Really, KC is showing some serious effort to make good on their promise to become a bicycle friendly community. Let's just hope that the successors to KC's mayoral throne don't mess it up.

Bicycle racks at a hospital. Conflict of interest or not? After all, the medical industry is making a killing (pun intended?) on the obesity epidemic in America. Olathe Medical Center seems to be embracing this epidemic wholeheartedly. Try as I might, I saw no bike racks here. Shawnee Mission Medical Center and Overland Park Regional both have racks, for what it's worth. Hey, I got to park 10 feet closer than the Volunteer Of The Year. Warren calls this phenomenon "Rock Star Parking" and I'm definitely re-using that phrase as often as I can.

While on the topic of words worth stealing, Bike Snob NYC recently introduced me to the word "clustercoitus" which is also going to find a place in my vocabulary.

Lens flares as I was getting ready for the ride home.

God Bless America. And Long Exposures.

The ride home was quiet and uneventful. I had a good route picked out which involved a little bit of riding through construction. The CatEye HL-500II c'Dude hooked me up with is nice but quite anemic (too narrow of a focus) when you're in no-man's land in pitch darkness. Other than that, it was a great evening for a ride.


Scott Redd said...

Many business have websites where you can send comments. I sent comments to a grocery store that has a bike rack just thanking them for it and letting them know that I sometimes choose their store (2 miles away) over my neighborhood store (1/2 mile away) because of the easy bike parking. I got back a very nice reply.

I've also tried contacting a sandwich shop I frequent asking that they consider putting in a rack. I also got back a nice reply saying they'd look into it, and asked me for suggestions on rack type and location. I don't think they've actually put in a rack yet, but now they know someone is wanting it.

In general, I think businesses like hearing from their customers, especially when the contacts are positive and constructive.

Noah said...

That's a good idea. The Power & Light district is headed up by Cordish, and I suppose I could tell them how I feel. My guess is it would be about as useful as the droves of cyclists who contacted the people who run Town Center Plaza in Leawood. Never hurts to voice an opinion, though.

I might stand a chance of getting somewhere with Olathe Medical Center, though.

I'm with you in that I'll often frequent places offering easy and obvious bicycle parking over places that don't. It doesn't stop me from improvising like this when I choose an establishment without bike racks, though.

The Unabashed Blogger said...

But does the KCP&L District want a bike riders patronage? I'm sure they do, but they may not want bikes parking in their area. I mean, if they are willing to have a dress code, It wouldn't surprise me if they said they do not want to see bicycles parked all over their precious property. I mean, someone might ride a huffy! They probably only allow bikes that came with an optional payment plan.

Maybe we should start a circus of riders every Friday wearing clothes that are obviously tacky and with colors that clash while we wear our hats backwards while blaring gospel hymns. That outta get em going.

The good news? Hmm..I'm not sure if it's good news, but it is one of the only (if not THE only) place in KC where you are allowed to walk around with an open alcohol container. Public intoxication good. Bike parking bad.

Noah said...

It's THE only place, by the way.

And let's not forget the incident that got your panties in a twist, Unabashed. (granted, I handled the situation just as poorly as the security lady) but bikes leaning against City Center Square are BAD. Bikes are tantamount to poverty.

The Unabashed Blogger said...

I know, weird. Wait a sec, I have a bike. And I'm Poor. OH man. They were right! I couldn't afford to buy one beer at their prices!

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