Good bike parking makes for a more bike-friendly community. Are there enough bike racks where you work? Or at your favorite local businesses? With help from Move Minnesota, dozens of Saint Paul businesses, schools, churches, and other workplaces large and small have added biking parking in recent years. And new bike parking has been an overwhelming success with positive responses from customers, employees, and neighbors.
The local establishments we’ve worked with this past year—including Can Can Wonderland and Groundswell–are already seeing the benefits of their brand new bike parking. As a Can Can Wonderland patron shared with us, before their bike racks were installed he used to “chain [his] bike to the fence”—leaving it up to chance if his bike was secure and still going to be there when he returned. When asked if the new racks would make him frequent the business more, he agreed, “Yeah, it’s nice to finally have them here!”
Similarly, before Groundswell could even cut the celebratory ribbon on their inaugural bike corral, it was already filled with bikes. “This just speaks to the need for bike parking in this neighborhood,” said Ian Buck of the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition, gesturing at the dozen or so bikes parked against the curb. “What used to be a space for only one car can now fit up to 10 bikes plus more with kids’ bikes!”
Employees of the Saint Paul & Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (SPIP) were ecstatic to discover that bike parking had been installed at their location. One staff member exclaimed “[I] love these new bike racks! They are beautiful.” The bike racks are being utilized by staffers and by Saint Paul Intervention Project program participants. The racks also serve as a community resource for neighboring businesses, organizations, and residents to use while exploring the Cathedral Hill area.
Pastor Bart Moseman of CityLife Church is excited to encourage biking in his community. He tells us, “It’s been great to have the new bike rack and to encourage that mode of transportation in our neighborhood and among the people who participate in our church community life. Just this past Sunday I saw [a] teenage girl, who is a part of our community and whom we pay to do some of the cleanup after our worship service, and her little brother unlock their bikes and head home together after her work was done!”
These businesses and organizations mentioned are just a few of Move Minnesota’s Bike Parking Cost-Share Program participants. They worked closely with Move Minnesota to select the best bike parking options for them, and we covered 50 percent of costs toward the installation of the racks or corral. As the season for bike parking installation is coming to an end this year, we want to say thank you to the all the businesses and organizations who have partnered with us and the City of Saint Paul to make these positive changes that will not only benefit their businesses and their employees, but also make a lasting impact in their neighborhoods. Because when you install bike parking you are offering a sustainable solution for people who want to frequent your location. You help promote the idea that people don’t need to drive to your business, and make it more convenient and welcoming to all staff and guests to walk, bike, and take transit to you.
As more and more people are getting around by bike and as the City of Saint Paul shifts toward becoming more and more bike-friendly, we urge all Saint Paul businesses to think strategically about how to accommodate and influence these changes. Luke Hanson from Saint Paul Public Works summed this up quite well at Groundswell’s ribbon cutting ceremony, noting, “If we are going to advocate for more biking around the Twin Cities, then we need to make sure that we also support an infrastructure that provides bike parking.”