bike racks and safe streets

In the interest of encouraging more people to ride their bicycles (even in the winter months — more to come on that), and in the hope of contributing to increased activity in downtown Adrian and to the success of locally owned businesses in that area, I’m asking for your help in identifying (1) existing bike racks, and (2) bike-friendly streets.

There is a bike rack located behind the Library on Maumee, and Adrian Locksmith and Cyclery has a bike rack. Does anyone know of others? Can you believe there isn’t even a bike rack at the mall (at least none that I’m aware of — see Cyclist’s comment below)? Not that I necessarily want to see more people visiting the mall, or that I’d recommend riding in that area. I have yet to discover a bike rack on the campus of Adrian College, save for the one outside the entrance to the Merillat Sport and Fitness Center. Once we’ve identified where bike racks are, we can identify places where they might be added and begin petitioning the city to provide them. FixCity.org is a great resource to help us figure out how best to go about doing so in a manner that increases our chances of success. We can also make a point to support businesses that encourage bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

With regard to bike-friendly streets, those of us who ride regularly are in the best position to make others aware of ideal routes and to keeps folks abreast of any troublesome road or traffic conditions. This, in turn, will also equip us with data we can use to advocate bike-friendly infrastructure. Moreover (and perhaps even more importantly), in conjunction with things like the Clif Bar 2-Mile Challenge, it might encourage more people to give bicycles a try.

I’m not sure how best to go about creating a safe routes map of our city, but I don’t want presentation and organization concerns to hold up the effort. Hence, I suggest we start with a simple bike-friendly streets list. I invite anyone who rides to contribute. Provide whatever information you see fit. Following is one example of how we might go about it. (Obviously, it needs some work. I welcome suggestions on how to do it better.)

+ COLLEGE AVE. between CHURCH ST. and MADISON ST. (distance = 1mi.)

  • Comments: Wide street with light traffic (a 2 on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the heaviest, e.g., the south end of MAIN ST/M-52). The road inclines slightly as you head west, with steeper grades at the far east and far west end. My travel on this road is primarily in the early morning (between 7a-9a), late afternoon (between 3p-5p), and late evening (9p-10p).
  • Connections and Destinations: Kiwanis Trail, Lenawee Recreation Bowling Center, Cutler-Dickerson, Lincoln Elementary School (via SCOTT ST.), and Adrian College.
  • Trouble Spots: The intersection at SCOTT ST. is pretty busy when school is letting out, but the four-way stop helps. Be alert at the intersection of PARK ST. It’s a two-way stop for traffic on PARK ST., and people frequently pull out expecting you to stop (or because they don’t see you).

If we can start collecting these safe street snapshots, I’ll set up a separate page and index them. Eventually, we can see about creating our own local bike map.

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7 responses to “bike racks and safe streets

  1. Actually Adrian Mall has two bike racks. the first one is out front just to the right of the main entrance before you get to the first front ‘loading dock’ and the second is at the back of the mall located at the ‘breezeway’ section between the ‘mall’ and Sears. The rear bike rack is painted red while the one out front is black, both are in good shape and during the cycling season (later spring, summer and early fall) I’ve seen 2 bikes locked out back before as well as about 4 on the front, sometimes mine included. Also Meijers has a decent sized rack out front by the bakery section, but that’s the only one I’ve seen there, though it can hold maybe 20 so..

    I never noticed the rack behind the library on Maumee, otherwise I’d use it when at city hall to pay bills, normally I locked up to the green post/lamps or whatever else I can that is secure; sometimes even the shopping cart racks.

    Those are all I can come up with from where I travel, hope it helps.

  2. though I just remembered one more, sometimes the aha moment hits after I’ve clicked post. Anyway there is a bike rack at the Lenawee County Library as well.

  3. Ah! Thanks, Cyclist, for the tip on the racks at the mall. Your comments raises two questions: (1) I wonder whether the bikes you’ve seen there belong to employees or shoppers, and (2) why don’t we invest more into making bikes racks both visible (thus encouraging use) and aesthetically interesting (indicating that we want bikes rather than simply tolerate them)? Has anyone noticed the cool bike rack on the sidewalk in front of Aberdeen Bike & Fitness in Chelsea?

    The rack at the city library is in a nice location, in some respects, but I suppose there are security issues. It’s semi-secluded, and I don’t know how well it’s lighted in the evenings.

    Good reminder about the rack at the county library, but what route would one take to get there? It’s in such a bad location. That would be a good place to advocate for protected bike lanes on the basis of the library being a primary destination.

    I’ll add one more that I had forgotten about: the Post Office at Maumee and Locust.

  4. I just recently noticed one on the walkway between K-Mart and the store next door to the south (not sure the name). The only reason I noticed it is because it had a bike locked to it the last time I was in there a week or so ago. My employer (Bixby Medical Center) does not even have one and you would think with them promoting healthy employees big time there would certainly be one there of all places. I have ridden my bike to work several times in the past year and had to put it in an inconspicuous place. Another employee rode his bike to work and put it in the men’s locker area and was told not to do this again and the next day there were signs on the doors stating no bikes allowed in the building. I was a little offended by that sign to say the least.

  5. Again, a bike rack at a store that is virtually inaccessible by bike. And then, like you said, a company in the HEALTH industry not only failing to provide for those who ride, but actually discouraging them from doing so. I’d be offended, too.

    If I thought we could pull it off, I’d recommend we rally about a hundred riders or so to descend upon Bixby, lock their bikes to every available fixed object, and leave them there for 24 hours with notes kindly requesting a bike rack.

  6. for me to get to the county library I use west maumee past the scott st. intersection. it’s definitely a rough place to try and bike to/from. I’m still working on other places I might’ve seen racks. I’m not sure if it’s still there but Country Market by the county library might have one, they did last time I was there but it’s been quite a while. I too find it sad that the health center wouldn’t have racks considering the movement for health as LuAnn said.

  7. There is a bike rack at Kmart too.