Oct 5, 2011

What is it Going to Take?

Faithful Readers will know that I have been badgering the merchants at the 48th St. and Chicago Ave. node for improved bike parking for almost a year now. As of this writing, exactly zero new bike racks have been installed.

EVERY TIME that I go to Townhall Tap I leave a "I arrived here by bicycle" card with my check and harangue the staff about bike parking (or lack thereof). Every time I get the same response - concern, empathy and no action. In fact, tonight they deleted my post on their Facebook page asking about bike parking with no response.


Nobody at Townhall Tap has authority to address the issue. It's the only place I have ever seen without a manager (I should apply for a job there, not that I think of it). The "decision-maker" is never around. Sometimes I get the story that they talked about it and are going to do something, but the details are sketchy. Tonight I got a lot less than that.

I even led a group ride down to 48th and Chicago this summer to petition for improved parking. That got some "results" - Bike and Pieces took up a collection for more bike racks at the intersection during the Southside Sprints race. They got about $100 (which buys slightly less than one Dero hitching post, BTW). So far nothing has happened with that, either.

Townhall is not the only bad actor - Turtle Bread is not much better. There are two hitching posts at Turtle, but they are used by staff most of the time. The other racks are in front of the Sword Club. I have talked to Harvey (the owner) about this and pretty much got the stiff-arm treatment from him as well.

Help me out here - go to the MPLS Bike Coalition blog and print out a handful of "I Arrived By Bike" cards and leave them if you go to Turtle Bread, Townhall Tap, Pepito's or any of the other merchants on 48th and Chicago. If you are feeling bold, talk to the staff, and better still, the manager, and let them know that you are cyclist and demand adequate parking facilities. It's good business - every cyclists is a customer and you can fit 10 paying customers in the space it takes to park ONE car (duh).

Do me another favor and post on Townhal''s FB page, too. Tell them that bike parking is important and that they need to make some simple accommodations to those customers as well.

If that's not your cup of tea, ride over to Baker's Wife/Buster's/Angry Catfish. Lock up easliy, enjoy the coffee, bakery and beer. It's just about as close as 48th and Chicago and they have ample parking, so it makes sense to spend your money over there and let 48th and Chicago figure it out.

I need to go walk around the block now...


  1. Go straight to public works and the Mayor's office.

  2. Would you want to do a door-to-door effort like we did in Lowry Hill and Lowry Hill East (i.e. the wedge)? If you can get the neighborhood association or business association on board for $1000 or $2000, I'm pretty sure the City would be in, and then owners only need to come up with a "yes, I'll pay a $100 invoice" - they don't need to act, just say they'll pay. I've got all the materials to make it easy. It will take some of your time, but probably less than you've already put in...