As a year round commuting cyclist, poor winter maintenance of bike parking locations is something I should probably be annoyed about. It’s true that a lot of businesses seem to regard the bike rack as the logical place to dump the snow they shovel from walkways. After all, nobody cycles in winter. If they do, they’re probably crazy enough that you don’t want them wandering into your retail establishment.
In practice, it doesn’t usually bother me. There actually are less cyclists competing for rack space in the winter so I can usually manage to find a spot.
There should be no expectation of finding statistical significance in the contents of this blog post. My sample size is a whopping four parking locations that correspond to the times that I actually had my camera with me and I remembered to take a photo.
Save-On Foods (112 Ave and 82 St.) This is a hilariously perfect example. A completely snow free walkway and a buried rack. It actually hasn’t been a problem, as there is enough room for two bikes at the rack, and I’ve never seen even one other.
Strathcona Farmer’s Market. This one is a bit disappointing. I expect better of Farmer’s Market. Even in the winter there are usually a number of bikes parked outside (such as the nifty Peugeot and Kuwahara seen here in the front). They should do a better job of keeping this rack free of snow.
Value Village (Whyte Ave location). This one is pretty bad. The rack is one of the low ones and it’s been covered almost completely. I locked my bike to the pole. On the other hand, at least they have a rack, unlike the northside location.
Safeway (118th Ave & 82 St.) My local grocery store is the surprise winner in my small survey. The bike rack is always free of snow and has the bonus of being well lit and close to the doors. Congrats Safeway! You get the Tuckamoredew Bike Parking Seal of Approval.