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Soap Box Gets Its Due

8:16 AM PDT on June 8, 2010

Hollywood_Trader_Joes_2_300x225.jpgProper bike
racks: it’s really so simple. (Photo: Illuminate

This morning on the Streetsblog Network, a bike parking success story
from Los Angeles.

Network member Soap
Box LA
reports on how the organized efforts of bike advocates
forced a new branch of Trader Joe’s in Hollywood to install bike parking
— just weeks after it opened with no such facilities.

The new Trader Joe’s is part of a major transit-oriented development
(TOD) project at the fabled corner of Hollywood and Vine. But when it
opened, people who wanted to do their shopping by bike found an absence
of bike parking, and a lot of excuses from the chain store.

A boycott
ensued, fueled by Facebook and Twitter. Many phone calls were made to
corporate and government officials. And after some dithering, the store
installed appropriate racks.

As Stephen Box points out on Soap
Box LA
, it’s mystifying that a redevelopment project touted
as progressive design
failed to include bike parking in the first
place. But quick action by a network of engaged citizens was very
effective in this case. Box writes:

It’s been two weeks since the TJ’s in Hollywood opened, It’s been two
days since the director of construction installed the bike racks. They
look great and they are a victory for a few reasons.

*We’ve got bike racks and can lift the boycott! Now we can shop at
Trader Joe’s!

*We’ve established a bike parking standard for the Trader Joe’s
corporation! No wave or wheelbender bike racks, simple inverted-U racks
that are properly installed and spaced and protected and accessible and
visible and convenient and effective. This is the bike rack standard for
Trader Joe’s.

*We’ve established a bike parking standard for the Metro and for the
[Community Redeveloment Agency]. Transit-oriented development must have a
bike parking standard for the project as a whole and for the tenants.…

*We’ve established a bike parking standard for the neighborhood.

Maybe next time, they’ll put the bike racks in first and save
themselves the headache.

More from around the network: Transit
on the deadly nature of Florida’s highways. Hugh Bartling on the potential
for waterborne transit in Chicago. And Half
Mile Circles
on an upcoming US DOT webinar about the role of
transportation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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