You may remember the posts about the bicycle parking woes at Trader Joe’s from last month.

The basic gist was the store at Campbell Avenue and Limberlost Road had made it a pain to park bicycles because their pumpkin patch was located in the bicycle parking area. The patch also covered one of the racks the store had added themselves because there wasn’t enough bike parking.

The second rack they covered was a type of rack wasn’t very useful for most modern bikes because it prevented people from locking their frames to it.

After a phone call and a few posts, I’m happy to report the pumpkin patch won’t be coming back next year and the poorly designed rack has been replaced with inverted U racks from a local company.

Before you get the idea that bicyclists wield a lot of power, it turns out the pumpkin patch will be relocating next year in part because it was a pain for bike parking, but primarily because they didn’t sell very many pumpkins with it tucked over in the corner.

The store’s manager said they are going to try to put them along the front of the store.

Our comments, phone calls and emails did get the management to change the rack, however.

If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see the outside two racks are actually part of the original rack that held up vertical slats on the old bike rack.

The store disassembled the rack, but left the two inverted U shaped racks on the end and added two more new inverted U racks.

Now the shopping center has space for 16 bicycles.

Trader Joe’s paid for the racks despite the fact that the shopping complex isn’t owned by them.


21 thoughts on “Local Trader Joe’s upgrades their bike parking”
  1. Retailing 101: If you’re selling a seasonal item, make sure it’s where shoppers can easily see it. In other words, don’t stow the pumpkins in a corner that’s far away from the store entrance.

  2. Yes, it looks like the pumpkins are more intelligently merchandised.

    It would be interesting to know the identity of the “local company” that made the inverted U racks. It’s relatively simple fabrication and they probably brought the job in at lower total cost: good shopping by the Trader Joe’s local store manager. Other retailers in the Old Pueblo might like to know more about this local resource.

    As for bike racks in general, bring a couple of old washcloths or hand towels to buffer the beloved bike’s paint from scratches and nicks.

  3. Nope and I doubt it will happen. The owner of the complex seems to be pretty protective of the parking lot. It wouldn’t be hard to do and I could see it just appearing one night.

    The county put a little crushed granite path leading to the lot. the drawback is it leads to a parking spot and it occasionally has a car in it.

    The path does actually connect to the sidewalk, which connects to the entrance of the Trader Joe’s. You are on the sidewalk for about 5 feet. Aside from it being illegal to ride on it for the 5 feet, it is also a pretty sketchy place to try to ride because you have people walking and drivers pulling in and out of the complex.

  4. Saw the new rack when I stopped on Saturday, but I still used the old one. I like how it’s tucked back a little further so less people see the bike and hopefully less people are enticed to mess with it.

  5. Actually, the more people that see it the less likely it is to be messed with.  The concept is called “eyes on the street” and the premise (regarding bike parking) is higher visibility = safer bike parking.  

  6. I saw it on Sunday, good job Mike! The first thing I did when I went inside was walk to the manger’s station to thank them for the improvement.  I too had noticed that the outer U’s are the remnants of the previous rack.  Too bad they aren’t particularly well fastened to the ground.  The tabs are weak too.  The centre ones are nice enough though and overall this is a huge improvement.

  7. Daniel, I hear what you’re saying but there’s a video on youtube showing a guy “stealing” his own bike on a busy sidewalk in NY city.  He did this in a few different crowded locations.  Nobody said boo to him.  Oh, one guy stopped to give him advice on how to use the bolt cutters!
    Personally, I prefer a lock with a pepper spray/dye bomb.  hehe

  8. I’ll have to go look at the place and see if there’s a decent place for a ramp that doesn’t lead into a parking space.
    I noticed a week ago that there’s also no path going into the back of the WalMart & Best Buy.  That’s just stupid.  If I owned that place I’d make sure customers could get to my door as easily as possible by every means there is.  (I’ve set myself up for comments about about runways and heli-pads, haven’t I?)

  9. Good for Trader Joes.

    I’m not sure what the law says about who can add a paved path (or similar) from the Bike Path to their business.  It may not be simply an issue of a business making it so.

  10. For two reasons: to point out that it may not be as simple as people suggest to put in such a path, and to leave it as an open question so that perhaps someone that knows will say what such a process involves or requires.  That would be much more preferable than uninformed suggestions about what businesses should or should not do.

    Is there a reason for your post?  What did it contribute?

  11. PSI, if a property owner came to the county and said they wanted a path to connect their land to the bike path and they were willing to pay for it, don’t you think the county would agree to that?  I admit that I don’t know what the “law” is regarding this, but I can’t imagine the hurdles would be enormous.  Are you for or against having paths to businesses along the major MUPs?  Maybe Matt Zoll could provide some incite.  On a related subject, my comments seem to really irritate you.  May I ask, are you an attorney, or a police officer?  You have a strong regard for the law. 

  12. I don’t know what the county or city would do.  I can see where there might be problems re: drainage or other complications that such path could cause.  I’m not opposed to businesses having access to the bike path, but I am opposed to these paths appearing willy nilly.  Without some sort of regulation I could see safety being compromised by too many access paths, and I could likewise see erosion becoming a problem.  Already, drainage is poorly controlled along the path w/ respect to erosion.  

    I’m neither an attorney nor am I involved at all in law enforcement.  I’m a scientist.  

  13. Pulse and a keyboard.  Not exactly rigorous is it?  A suggestion about what a business should/should not do makes a lot of sense in the context of consumers wanting access and safety.  Looking at the other connections all along this path it would seem that there isn’t a prohibition on their installation.  St Phillips on the opposite side and the office complex both have connecting ramps.  If you just look at the previous posts as questions then your answer really doesn’t make sense because you do not in fact have an answer so again what’s the point?  You don’t know so why say it?  

  14. It’s not entirely clear, but maybe the bicycle request served as the eventual motivation to move the pumpkin patch that had not been doing well for some time. The additional result was improved bike-parking accommodation.
    So, what’s next….the ramp access into the parking lot from the bike path?
    I figure it’s the tenants who make requests to property owners for improvements they deem beneficial to their businesses.

  15. What process did St. Phillips plaza owners/tenants go through to create that access?  Obviously you don’t know for sure, and neither do I.  I think that knowledge is germane to the topic since whatever process is required is part of any potential “solution.”  I’m not sure how your indirect insults add to the discussion.

  16. Contention is not insulting.  Reading back through some of your past posts I do see an emerging pattern.  The assumption presented as fact and ad hominem fallacy and pejorative wielded as weapons.  I can quote, “some idiot, simpleton insults, nonsensical ideas, ignoramus riders, complete lack of respect.”

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