How to approach an employer about bike parking?

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dwillen
Participant
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I work at Pitt (in BST3). I pay $40 a semester for a bike locker (a 15 minute walk from my building), but I’d be just as happy with some space inside the building for me to park my bike. There are lots unused and empty areas under stairways and so forth where I could imagine a bike rack.

There are plenty of people in the building who ride to work, judging by all the bikes locked up to the dead trees outside (maybe all the bark scraped off by bike locks killed them?) and someone recently installed a bike rack outside with room for 6 or so of the 20 odd bikes out there on a nice day.

My question is, what is the best way to approach the building management about this? Should I write up a little petition and have the other cyclists sign it or is this too confrontational? Anyone have luck doing something along these lines?

Thanks!


sloaps
Participant
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Would this within the purview of an Ombudsman? When I was there those people were like an alderman of sorts.

or just call 4-FACT from a campus phone, or 624-FACT if off campus.


scott
Keymaster
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Actually BikePGH was able to get the bike rack put out there for you. I was hoping it would have had more spaces to park, but they needed to provide enough room for pedestrians and wheel chair users. After they put the rack in, bike ridership doubled or tripled. I count 13 – 20 bikes there every day now when I used to cosistently count only 6 or 7. I will pm you the contacts’ email addresses so you can ask them to put in more racks. I already sent them a follow-up but never heard back. Be nice and thank them for the rack they put out there.


dwillen
Participant
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Thanks for the contacts Scott. Yea, I think it is awesome that they put a rack in. I was stoked when I saw it. Unfortunately it is full everyday by 9 am and still looking quite crowded by 6 pm when I go home.


dwillen
Participant
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They haven’t responded to my requests. Not a peep.

Today they cut down all the trees in front of the building, so we lost about 10 half-ass bike parking spots. It appears all the bikes that were locked to the trees are inside the BST3 lobby.

As I was walking back from lunch the maintenance guys were manhandling all the bikes parked in the bonafied bike parking rack, trying to get at the metal grate underneath the rack. If anyone reading this has or knows someone who has their bike parked out there, go grab it now, or you could very well end up with a broken derailleur or some messed up wheels. They were not being any kind of gentle with them.


rsprake
Participant
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Keep trying, following up. Maybe print out some flyers asking the other cyclists to do the same.


sloaps
Participant
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Isn’t there a parking garage at BST3? Why cant the racks go in there?

Remove two car spaces, install public locking facilities with surveillance and charge users fiddy cent.


brian j
Participant
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Did they move the bike racks in the garage off Lothrop? Granted, it’s been a few years, but my wife was able to lock up in the garage when she worked in BST….


dwillen
Participant
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I don’t know about the racks in Lothrop. You are talking about the UPMC garage? I’ve never actually parked at work so I had no reason to go in the garage.


rsprake
Participant
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REMOVE car spaces? How could even think of such a thing!?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Perhaps they would prefer the 10 bikes chained up in the lobby since the trees they were previously chained to were taken out. Add another 10 and I guarantee dwillen’s requests will bring forth at least a peep of interest.


brian j
Participant
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You are talking about the UPMC garage?

Yep. Again, my wife used them six or seven years ago, but they were there, sheltered from the elements.


sloaps
Participant
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REMOVE car spaces? How could even think of such a thing!?

How about charging bikers for parking: that’s down right cosmopolitan :D

we burghers would be hailed the pedalcycle sophisticants of the east mid west u.s.


dwillen
Participant
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I poked the coals and got a reply. Parking inside the building is not an option (even though they have giant useless, empty spaces blocked off by railings). They told me I should find a bike parking spot in front of another building, because just like cars, bikes are not guaranteed a parking spot near the building they work in. If people were stealing the wheels off this guys car everyday, I bet the parking situation would change in a hurry.

Anyway, I’ll check out Lothrop and see what it looks like in there. Thanks.


rsprake
Participant
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There was an article about a parking facility somewhere converting an old tire storage room to bike parking. The facility charges 50c per day to use the locked room with bike racks to lock your bike up in. Maybe someone here posted it?


rsprake
Participant
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dwillen, that’s a terrible response. You need to go up the ladder with this one.

What annoys me nuts is that this is Pitt. UPMC, health… biking is healthy… they should be encouraging a healthy life style to their employees and students.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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+1 rsprake

Seriously, document everything. Names, dates, exact quotes. Somebody, somewhere up the line, will agree with you, and when you find that person, all those down the chain will get their minds changed, probably by official order.


NCBT
Participant
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Even the “leaders” were addicted to oil,….epitaph.


netviln
Participant
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Would it help to remind them of the new bill or referendum or whatever going before city council?

Also, there is a difference between an assured spot and not bike parking at all.


dwillen
Participant
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The problem is, they put in a bike rack already. One designed to hold 6 bikes. Before they put the rack in, there were 8-10 bikes locked to trees/lamp posts, after they put the rack in, there were 15-16 bikes locked to the rack, trees, and lamp posts. There is obviously a demand. I don’t even park my bike in front of the building, I park 8 blocks away! I just want a secure parking area closer than 8 blocks. My walking commute should not take as long as my biking commute.

I think I’ll write up a thoughtful petition and give the other cyclists a voice too.


dwillen
Participant
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Scratch that, they removed the bike rack sometime last night/this morning. Nothing at all to lock to anymore, unless you have a big cable lock to wrap around a light post.

Lame, lame, lame.


sloaps
Participant
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See what happens when you poke the coals .

Maybe they’re installing a larger, more luxurious bike rack?


netviln
Participant
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Or maybe one of the really sucky ones that you cant use with a ulock.


dwillen
Participant
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They pulled out all the dead trees and filled the tree holes with wood mulch (how ironic?) to presumably prevent people from stepping in the holes. There was one of these holes under the bike rack, which they were trying to get at yesterday. I guess they removed the rack to fill the hole with bark (which seems to be done). Not sure if they are going to put it back now. The way the one email read yesterday, there was no way additional parking would be added in front of BST3, they would add additional racks in front of Trees Hall (or some other facility) if I couldn’t find a spot somewhere on campus. How convenient!


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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If they wanted to be proactive, with boasting rights after the fact, they would be scrambling to put in a U-lock-able bike capacity of about 50 to 100, in or adjacent to that one building, this week. And 50 to 100 more before month’s end, somewhere nearby. And 50 to 100 more before year’s end. Situated such that said racks won’t be dragged around to get at some access grate or pipe cleanout or whatever.

As to moving the bikes yesterday, this scene popped into mind:

Worker: “Hey Boss, Chancellor Nordenberg’s Caddy/Mercedes/Nissan Armada is double parked and we have to get at that drain grate under it.” Boss: “OK Charlie, can you bring that front-end loader around and get the bucket under the front wheels?”


dwillen
Participant
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I got ahold of an email that seems to explain what happened, apparently the bike parking was a security risk? Who knew, chained up bikes are dangerous?

Hello All – Slight problem this am..

Facilities Mgmt is working on the front of the building in preparation for G-20 week, and one of the things they are doing is removing the “dead” trees from the front of the building.. Unfortunately there are some bikes attached to these trees – we’ll bring the bikes inside the building downstairs, but I’ll need to owners to pick them up and take them to another secure area (they cant stay in the lobby) – can you let your staff know to stop down and get their bike if they have attached it to a tree out front.

Also for next week, the Bike rack may be removed from out front for security reasons, it will however be replaced as soon as can be done.


erok
Keymaster
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total bs. how many car bombs have there been in the world?

the scariest “threat” that’s ever happened with a bike is a “this bike is a pipe bomb” sticker on it


buzz1980
Participant
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I noticed that the bike rack was removed from outside of PNC’s First Side building also.

It looks like not only will you be unable to drive into downtown and park next week, commuting by bike won’t be feasible either.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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What next, briefcases and lunchboxes? Large hats? If I worked Downtown or Oakland, I’d be seriously tempted to park my bike in my cubicle.

*makes note to fix the flat on the unicycle*


Kordite
Participant
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As for bike parking, if you work at USX you can bring the bike inside, onto the parking garage elevator, then down to the red level to chail your bike to either a railing or a chain link fence. It’s not official bike parking but it is at least a place they’ll let you put your bike.

My bike will be there as I will have to be working upstairs.


dwillen
Participant
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I was told in no uncertain terms I could not, under any circumstance, bring my bike into BST3.


Lyle
Participant
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By “security risk” they mean “I think it’s weird, and weird stuff scares me.” Conformism FTW!


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I apologize in advance for seeming to take over this thread, but am I the only one here that this sort of treatment gets under the fingernails?

I’d be sorely tempted to storm into someone’s office and demand that commuters, for these three days at least, be allowed to bring bikes into the building.


netviln
Participant
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At my building downtown, you can bring you bike in, you just have to use the freight elevator.


dwillen
Participant
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Stu,

It is not just for three days. They removed the bike rack last Tuesday or Wednesday. The G20 isn’t until what, the 24th?

And since it is a Thursday/Friday thing, I’m guessing they won’t reinstall it until the week after the G20? That is at the very minimum two weeks with no bike parking. This, for the 15+ bikes I saw out there everyday.

On the plus side, I guess I wouldn’t want to have my bike parked out there if protesters show up anyway, but not allowing them in the building seems lame. At the last university I worked at I brought my bike in everyday and parked it right next to my desk. The only questions or comments I ever got were from other cyclists that wanted to talk about the bike.


erok
Keymaster
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protesters won’t mess with your bike


greenbike
Participant
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My guess is that they removed the bike rack out of fear that a group of unrulies would use it as a projectile.

That aside, this kind of treatment is ridiculous, and that email response from them just smacks of grade school…you know that “well, if we gave it to you, we’d have to give it to everyone.” Which, as someone already pointed out, is not the case here..the bikes have no place to go!

I was down at Mellon Center last week and noticed that in the parking garage, there’s a protected unused area where they let bikes lock to the metal railing. I can’t recall if there were actual bike racks (like those Three Rivers circle kind) or not, but I thought it was good of them to allow people to do that. In fact, as I was leaving the garage, a guy on a bike was right in front of me.

I find it strange for UPMC (I’m assuming this is who this is) to be so behind the curve with this….just look at all the bikes that have nice places to park at Alcoa! There are at least 8-10 bikes nicely locked to racks and things outside that building on a daily basis.


erok
Keymaster
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if they are worried about projectiles, everyone knows that parking meters are only secured by one bolt instead of four.

the steelers fans knew this after they won. they didn’t mess with any bike racks, and i’d go out on a limb and say that they are 1000 times more ignorant than any protester that’s coming.


pistat
Participant
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Maybe the difficulty of rack removal is the reason they’re removing them. If people chain themselves to it, it would be harder for law enforcement to deal with versus the one-bolt parking meter. The better-designed the rack -especially the 3 Rivers ones – the better the anchor.

Still, it serves as a reminder of how low on the totem poll bicycle commuters are: in the eyes of Audi-driving, liability-conscious executives, we’re still a bunch of children riding a toy to work. We can just drive, like them, or take the bus for a week, right? …


Kordite
Participant
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The bike racks that they removed from Grant Street at the end of the Eliza Furnace Trail were not bolted down. They were just sitting there. If they were actually bolted down, I would think that they would still be in place. The city is hiding everything that isn’t bolted down for fear these things will be used as barricades or battering rams.

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