Bicycle Voting

Now that biking is really picking up in my town, I’m noticing something interesting. I don’t need to check Yelp much anymore.
Bicycle Voting

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23 Responses to “Bicycle Voting”

  • That system only works if there is bicycle parking at the store in question. That doesn’t apply to where I live.

    • Neil

      I don’t see the problem. If it has no bike parking it receives a “zero bikes” rating, and will be ignored by those who care about its bike rating.

    • commuter

      Good businesses will install bicycle parking near the front door.

    • commuter, in Dallas, there is a $1000 fee payable to the city for placing ANYTHING on the sidewalk: rack, planter, table and chairs, etc. Until the law changes, you aren’t going to see any bike racks here.

  • I rode past M.I.T. in 2005 and saw that all the academic buildings were surrounded by a sea of bikes and thought to myself, “damn, this must be a real brain school!”

  • The bike corral is going to be the visual “yelp” for bicyclists soon. Knowing that it takes both the business owner, the property manager, and sometimes the building owner to come together and ask the city to put in a corral means that they really do value the business from bikers. Now let’s just see where the market forces lie!

    • KillMoto

      I’ve made it a point to stop at businesses with bike corrals. Sometimes the place is busy and I can’t say “Thanks for the corral” to the shift manager, or I get a moment of shyness… So I then try to go back again when business is quieter.

      I suppose I should just have a Thank You note, pre written in my back pack for such times.

      I really want businesses who take the time, effort and risk to put in a bike corral to know it brings in business from passionate clientele who spend money.

  • crankypants

    dramatically placing helmet on counter when fishing out money is also a good signal to business owners.

  • traffic cyclist

    here where i am, it is voting with suv’s. even in front of bike stores–they just have bike racks on them.

  • Conveniently located near my workplace – and on a segregated cycle/pedestrian way – we have a building with a Starbucks at one end and an independent swedish bakery/coffee place at the other. the starbucks has a cyclerack next to it, which is nearly always empty. The swedish place is always covered in bikes – locked to the nearby fence, left leaning against windows, stoodup outside etc. as you say, it says a lot

  • I remember stopping one night at Punjabi Dhaba in Inman Square and noticing everyone else in line had a helmet and a blinking light on their bag and thinking “hey, this place is a bikers’ joint!” It’s a good feeling

  • Tom Bowden

    We have a great store in Richmond that gives you 25 cents off your bill if you rode your bike there. It’s called Elwood Thompson’s. because it’s at the intersection of Ellwood and Thompson.

  • scott

    A couple years ago I visited Portland, Oregon and rented a bike to get around. I had to get downtown early in the a.m. in order to get the bike and after getting off the metro I wondered whether I could easily find a place for a good cup of coffee and some food. It took about a block to experience what you just described! Bikes parked/stacked outside a little shop on an otherwise empty street. That experience repeated itself as I cycled around the city the next few days. I sampled some of the coolest restaurants, bike shops, bakeries, pubs…..fantastic!

  • The more bikes parked outside(that are not delivery bikes) usually mean a place for cheap eats good beer and chill atmoshphere. It works when you know what ur looking at!

  • KillMoto

    Reminds me of how I once wrote to Yelp:
    “You have check boxes for [Parking] and [Coat check], please consider adding a check for [Bike friendly], thank you”. Sadly, I never got a reply.

  • C

    There are several shops in Cincinnati that now cater DIRECTLY to cyclists. The costs of installing bike racks and making their shops and cafes bike friendly can be easily made up by attracting a whole group of new consumers. And since ‘bike friendliness’ takes nothing away from the non-bike consumer, it’s definitely a worth-while investment. Cincinnati advocacy groups have been doing a very good job of educating business owners.

  • Heather

    The businesses in question may also be of good quality which helps attract business. Not to generalize, but cyclists do tend to be a certain type of person -not meaning the same or all liking or thinking the same thing, but maybe educated about food, culture, cool stuff, by the very nature of choosing to get around by bike in a car centric society. Ethics and environmental concerns can come into play, or health and fitness. All work together. Plus, you can get mighty hungry cycling around so appreciate good eats and coffee! In the pacific northwest, my vote goes to an area with COVERED bike parking! Someone who thinks of that when they put in a bike rack is thinking about cyclists.

  • Tobias

    Where I live there is a grocery store that offers 10% off if you come by bike. Unfortunately they dont have a bike rack nearby, but there are almost always a couple of bikes leaning against the wall outside the store.

  • pecosdave

    I successfully harassed a property management company that built a new shopping district near my work using federal dollars into putting in bike racks. If they don’t put them at their new addition I think I’m going to harass them again.

  • Max Schneider

    Everyone knows what a “drive through is”. How about a “bike trough” window? If I only need some stamps from the post office or a bagel from the bagel shop, why do I need to get off the bike, lock it to something, walk in, *order*, walk out, unlock the bike, get on, cycle off,if all I really need is the *order* part?

    There was one bakery on my way home that always had something as a special deal and a little window on the street. This meant that on the way home I could just swing by, have a peek – and if there was anything I wanted just order it. So quick & easy, I spent much more than I would have if they hadn’t had that windos…

  • Shawn

    The problem at many stores/restaurants is that an inordinate number of the bike rack spaces are taken up by employees’ bikes, because the businesses pay minimum wage and a bike is all the employee can afford. You try to tell them the employees should put their bikes elsewhere – the customers should have the rack space next to the front door, but they don’t listen. (Does anyone put employee car parking right next to the store? No, they don’t). A sure way to lose business. Then there’s all the abandoned bikes on the racks…

Trackbacks & Pings

  • 30 Days of Biking: 2013 recap | Modal Mom says:

    […] 2. Voting with your bike […]

  • Not as Easy as They Say | tinlizzieridesagain says:

    […] There are plenty of studies out that there prove that bicycle infrastructure leads to improved local economy because people traveling on bicycles tend to shop more locally. The bottom line tends to be that people on bicycles buy more locally, shop more often, and, if they are not spending money on cars and car things, have more to spend. One of the arguments says that it is easier for people on bikes to make spontaneous stops for things. I guess not having to hunt for a parking spot, and the ease in maneuvering for a spot to lock a bike makes it easier. And people on bikes apparently eat alot. […]

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