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Railings on ADA Ramps Aren’t Bike Racks

March 17, 2011 Accessibility, Bicycling 19 Comments
ABOVE: Bike locked to railing on ADA ramp at the Chase Park Plaza
ABOVE: Bike locked to railing on ADA ramp at the Chase Park Plaza

I’m not upset with the owner of this bike, they had nowhere else to safely secure their vehicle.  It is the lack of bike parking at the Chase Park Plaza that upsets me.

Most likely a “dish drainer” bike rack is stuffed in a dark corner of the parking garage, completely out of sight to the transportation cyclist. I was able to get past this bike in my power chair, but I’ve encountered times where I had less room.  But the continuous railings are there for a reason, so someone can make their way along the ramp while always holding the railing.  Break the railing with a bike and suddenly you can present a major problem for someone that needs to hold the railing.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "19 comments" on this Article:

  1. Justin Shire says:

    After spending many many Millions on a beautiful revitalization of the Chase Park Building why would a couple of visible $150 bike racks make any sense – I think a consorted community effort could get this issue resolved. Write the letter I'll sign it.

  2. well there's a reaaaaaaalllly nice (and arguably safer) bike rack about 60 second from that spot, right outside the public library

  3. JZ71 says:

    You may not blame the cyclist, but I do. While there may not be many specific bike racks in the vicinity (supply vs. demand?), there are numerous hard permamnent objects, other than this railing, that will work. This cyclist is being selfish. If nothing else, find a place where the bike can be parked and locked outside the railing, not on the pedestrian side. This is just another example of all-about-me, don't-need-to-play-by-the-rules thinking that creates unneeded friction with non-cyclists in St. Louis.

    • Wqcuncleden says:

      I'm with you on this one JZ71. And I'd just like to add to your last sentence – typical St. Louis!

  4. Matt McLaughlin says:

    Yes, a cyclist could walk from the library in Clayton but it's not a practical solution. This issue seems like a no-brainer to me. Particularly in a bike/ped friendly place like Clayton there needs to be more bike racks. There are a lot of interesting designs today that would fit well at the Chase and around Clayton. In case you haven't seen these already, check out David Byrne's designs: http://www.davidbyrne.com/art/… The coffee cup in front of Kaldi's would be perfect.

    • JZ71 says:

      A couple of things. One, the Chase Park Plaza is in the Central West End, not Clayton. And two why can't a cyclist walk from the library, why isn't it a practical solution? There's an expectation that drivers should walk, why not cyclists?!

      • Matt McLaughlin says:

        Oops. My bad. For some reason I was thinking of the Ritz-Carlton. Obviously, the library on Lindell is very close to the Chase. That said, I do not mean that cyclists shouldn't walk. However, I suspect that many people will choose to get closer if they can, leading to similar problems as represented by these pictures. So, one solution would be to have more bike racks.

        • JZ71 says:

          Agree that more bike racks would be good. And my point about not excusing the cyclist for being selfish or clueless is no different than if they had parked their car, truck, scooter or motorcycle on the sidewalk. Yeah, most of us “will choose to get closer if [we] can”, but we live, in theory, live in a civilized city, and making up our own rules as we go along creates just this sort of conflict. Sidewalks are, first and foremost, for walking. Other things and activities (bike parking, dining, vendors, street furniture) are fine as long as the pedestrians receive priority and are unobstructed.

      • Dr. Valente says:

        To Stacey: Thank you for responding and looking into getting bike racks.

        To JZ71: It seems that you are upset about the possibility of cyclists having bike parking available at the location of every business. Why does this upset you? It's not like bike parking takes away from automobile parking or blocks pedestrian ways.

        • JZ71 says:

          Not upset, at all, as long as it's done properly. In fact, I have no problem with stores receiving credit for providing bike parking instead of vehicular parking. The whole point of this post is that a clueless or selfish cyclist parked their bike somewhere it didn't belong, somewhere it obstructed access for people with disabilities (“blocks pedestrian ways”). I don't care if they're riding a bike or driving a car, they shouldn't be blocking the sidewalk, period! If cyclists want to be treated with respect, as vehicles with equal rights to our streets, we/they either need to be educated (if clueless) or sanctioned (if selfish), just like motorists are. And in all my years of cycling, there have been many, many times when there wasn't a specific bike rack available. Guess what? It wasn't a problem! I've ALWAYS been able to find a solid place, out of everyone's path of travel, to secure my bike. Maybe not right in front of the door, but within a half block, at most. Yes, bike racks are a good addition, but too many times, they're either poorly located or poorly constructed (flimsy). With my U lock and non-flashy commuter bike, any street sign post is good enough for me (and there are plenty to pick from).

          • Dr. Valente says:

            Thank you for clarifying. I agree that the bike was stored improperly. I disagree that this post was simply about pointing out an ignorant cyclist storing his bike on an ADA railing and blocking it, preventing those who need it from using it.

            If all we do is go around pointing out errors and do nothing to address the reasons for why it is occurring or attempt to change it, there will be no change. Seeing that you know credits are available for stores to get bike parking, the focus should be on getting management to become aware of the problem and to address it with available solutions. The lack of parking is the first (minor) affront.

  5. Stacey Howlett says:

    I appreciate one of your readers forwarding this blog link to me. This is one of those instances where something as obvious as the need for a bike rack goes unnoticed by us and it isn't until someone not only takes notice, but provides us with valuable feedback that we can move forward on a solution. We are now looking into purchasing bike racks, and have discussed how important it is to keep ADA ramps free and clear of all obstacles, with all of our employees.

    I am always happy to receive suggestions that make sense for the community and The Chase. Thank you for taking the time to make us all aware of this situation. (And, thank you to Matt M. for the cool link on custom bike racks.) If you should need to contact me, my information is:

    Stacey Howlett
    Director of Sales & Marketing
    The Chase Park Plaza
    Direct: 314.633.3012

    Very best,

  6. Scott Holifield says:

    This is great news and thank you to Stacey for the prompt attention being paid to this matter. As a resident of the West End and a member of Sante, being able to ride a bike and stow it properly at the Chase will be fantastic. The more options for stowing bikes at someones destination (movie theater, gym, restaurant at the Chase) the more people will use riding a bicycle as an option.

  7. michi says:

    I live in Belgium. We have bikes all over the place and we have more bikes than cars on the road. It’s completely normal to park your bike anywhere you can find room. It’s actually very funny for me to read this article about one bike that was parked in the wrong spot.

  8. michi says:

    I live in Belgium. We have bikes all over the place and we have more bikes than cars on the road. It’s completely normal to park your bike anywhere you can find room. It’s actually very funny for me to read this article about one bike that was parked in the wrong spot.


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