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Sidewalk Cafes vs. Bike Parking

October 14, 2010 Bicycling, Downtown 6 Comments
ABOVE: Bike secured to railing outside Flannery's
ABOVE: Bike secured to railing outside Flannery's Pub

I’ve posted before about St. Louis needing much more bike parking so that patrons don’t need to secure their bikes to parking meters, sign posts or railings. When I spotted this bike locked to the railing in front of Flannery’s Pub I thought, “wait a minute, this is one of the few areas where we do have bike parking!”  Did the racks get removed?  No, not quite, they are still there — somewhere.

ABOVE: Public bike rack hidden behind cafe tables & advertising
ABOVE: Public bike rack hidden behind cafe tables & advertising

Oh there is one, buried among Flannery’s cafe furniture and advertising.  Not exactly a usable bike rack, is it?  I’m a huge fan of sidewalk dining — I love the excitement it can bring to the sidewalk.  When I’m out I often see people I know dining outdoors, including at Flannery’s. But the restaurants must realize they don’t own the public sidewalk in front of their establishments. They must respect others using the sidewalk — including bicyclists trying to secure their bikes.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Kris says:

    I've been considering adding a basket to my bike for groceries. I scouted a bikable way to the store, but when I got there, I discovered no bike racks. Oh well, secure it to a tall sign I guess. *understanding the frustration*

    • Yes, people will bike for errands but they need a place to secure their bike. Bike parking should be out front, not hidden somewhere, be able to support a bike that lacks a kick stand, and enable the cyclist to lock their bike frame/wheels in two places.

  2. If a business isn't responsive to a complaint about obstructing the bike rack, I think they ought to be fined by the city. There's no sense spending all the money for a downtown bike commute center if bikes are always going to be treated as afterthoughts.

  3. Court says:

    I agree with Jennifer. Businesses, I assume, are not allowed to block parking spots with tables and chairs, and they shouldn't block bike parking. And, to reiterate what Jen said, if we are going to invest in a bike commuter station and a Bike Master Plan, not to mention the Greenways, we have to treat bicycling as a mode of transportation with its own infrastructure needs.

  4. hixxinsoulard says:

    Many times over the past year plus, I've locked my bike on that rack. I have to move that table, but it still works. And the people at Flannery's have never given me a hard time about it. Still, your fundamental point stands.

  5. Collins Pt says:

    Some good point written.
    Work of many people on this issue of plastic, there are several plastic materials recycling organic-based view. In February, for example, Imperial College London and bioceramic drug polymer biodegradable plastic from sugar derived from the decay of lignocellulosic biomass. There is also an existing plant more corn starch and plastics based on paper, including household goods and food packaging, bioplastics toys, plastic dynamic Cereplast. Metabolix also several lines of plastic products from corn, in cooperation with partner companies.


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