Bicycle Discrimination – Boycott Ross Park Mall

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This is the complaint I summited to the Simon property group that owns the complex:

“I am college educated, I dress nice, am low key, and polite. I am an environmentalist, a vegan, and for the most part, a pacifist. Those qualities aren’t typically the kind of qualities you would find in somebody who was kicked off a mall’s premise, but today I was.

Was I loud and rowdy? Stealing, making shoppers and sales associates feel uncomfortable? No, I wasn’t even let in the building! On the way up the hill to the complex I saw a sign posting rules and regulations.” No pedestrians, no skateboards, etc.” I wasn’t any of those, so what did I have to worry?

I rode around the complex once to find a good place to park. I passed the security truck twice. I pulled up to the Cheesecake Factory and saw a bicycle mounted security guard. I went up to talk to him and he said…

“No bicycles are allowed on the premise.” At least he was nice enough to see if I could stay since I had already ridden up to the complex. Unfortunately, whoever was in charge was not sympathetic at all. Her reply over the radio was “No, no bicycles are allowed on the premise. The mall manager will be back on Tuesday if he wants to make a complaint.”

I cycled sixteen miles from Swickley to the mall, only to be turned away because of the type of vehicle I arrived in. Under PA State Driving Law, I have same rights as any other vehicle on the road, but according to Ross Park Mall’s policy, I have no rights.

I don’t know why I’m being discriminated against. Do cyclists cause more trouble than drivers? I highly doubt it if you look at the ratio to cyclists thrown out of the mall to people who arrived at the mall via motorized transport. We take up a lot less parking space, we cause literally no damage to roads due to our lightweight, and we do not contribute to pollution, which is especially important considering Pittsburgh’s recent designation as the second most polluted city in the US.

I guess none of that matters though, policy is policy. I actually looked on your website to see if this anti-cycling policy was listed. I could only find this:

“Conduct that is disorderly, disruptive, or which endangers others is prohibited. Such conduct might include running, use of skateboards, rollerblades, bicycles, radios, etc.”

I was not disorderly, disruptive, or endangering others. What is more likely to endanger others? A cyclist… or a Hummer, Envoy, or Escalade backing out of a parking space? Furthermore, if it is so dangerous to shoppers, then why are there bicycle-mounted security guards? Who is better at operating a bicycle? Some teenager just working a minimum wage job, or somebody who cycles in excess of 200 miles a week, in all weather conditions, and frequently in traffic.

For a company that is supposed to be so innovative, your policy against cyclists is quite retroactive. Gas is rising in price, pollution and C02 are rising in output, and heart attacks are rising in occurrence. Cycling can help reduce these societal problems, but denying us even access to your shopping centers is not making that smart and desperately needed transition any easier. Hopefully, that policy can change in the future.

Pierce Johnson”

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