The bicycle parking project

As a regular bicycle commuter in the Scottsbluff-Gering area, I’ve been alternately pleased or dismayed with bicycle parking options at my destinations. Everywhere you go there is ample vehicle parking, but rarely is there a decent place to securely park a bicycle. A lack of basic infrastructure such as parking facilities implies that bicycles are not a welcomed or important mode of transportation – an assumption with which I wholeheartedly disagree!

To recognize businesses and institutions that are doing a good job, to suggest improvements, to encourage other entities to join in, and to show other potential bicyclists where they can park their rides, I’m embarking on this ongoing project to document and critique what’s available. Suggestions, contributions and updates welcomed!

The parking facilities below are listed in alphabetical order by city and are also linked on a Google map.

Added June 6: Here’s a simple design guide for bike parking that provides good suggestions for adding or upgrading bike parking.

Gering

Gering City Hall / Police Department

gering library PD

This rack, which gets a lot of shade, is located between the Gering City Hall / Police Department building and the Gering Public Library.

Gering Post Office

img_9462

It’s a short little wheel-bender rack, but sufficient for a quick trip to the post office.

Gering Public Library

gering library 1

Fish and seahorse. The Gering Public Library has some of my all-time favorite bike racks – they were made from scrapped bike parts and decorated by local artists. The only quibble would be that cyclists may not know the decorative racks are functional rather than simply decorative.

gering library 2

Shark!

gering library 3

Rainbow trout

gering library 4

Lobster

Heritage Estates

IMG_2903

It’s a tiny, non-secured bike rack that could be picked up and moved, but it was there on a day I needed it.

Legacy of the Plains Museum

IMG_7273

Apologies for the busy picture, but it was a busy day at Legacy of the Plains Museum when this photo was taken. The bike rack is very conveniently located just outside the front door.

Monument Shadows Golf Course

IMG_0894

The bike rack at the Gering golf course is over by the maintenance / golf cart building

Scotts Bluff County Administration Building

IMG_8901

The bike rack at the Scotts Bluff County Administration Building is not functional, except that the end can serve as a U-rack. The height of the bottom of the rack makes it impossible for an adult-size bicycle to rest securely between the uprights. It’s placed on the north side of the building near an employee entrance and is not welcoming or particularly useful. I was only able to lock my bike to it by using the side pole.

Scottsbluff

Bluffs Middle School

BMS southwest

The bike rack on the west side of the southwest corner of Bluffs Middle school is in the blazing sun from noon on.

BMS southeast 2

Another full-sun bike rack, this one at the entrance on the southeast corner of Bluffs Middle School.

BMS southeast 1

A third rack at Bluffs Middle School, also at the southeast corner, gets some tree shade in the afternoon.

Downtown Scottsbluff

The decorative bike racks in downtown Scottsbluff are wonderful – they are out in front of businesses and creative to boot! My only quibble is that people may not know the sculptures are bike racks – I once saw a family clogging the sidewalk with their bikes in front of Runza, while the nearby french fry rack was empty.

A note to the users of downtown bike racks:
Cycling on downtown sidewalks is prohibited by ordinance. To use these bike racks, the recommended method is to:
*Arrive on the street downtown via Avenue A or 1st Avenue and turn onto the side street closest to your destination
*Signal to pull over to the curb
*Dismount and walk your bike on the sidewalk to the bike rack

NOTE: THE “FOUNTAIN” RACK AT THE 18TH STREET PLAZA HAS BEEN MISSING SINCE 18TH STREET CLOSED.

IMG_7110

The rack in front of Bluffs Bakery. West side. Closest side street: 16th Street.

IMG_7112

The rack across from the Midwest Theater. West side. Midblock, closest side streets 18th / 17th Streets.

IMG_7113

The rack in front of Cappuccino & Company. This is the rack I most often see in use. East side. Closest side street: 17th Street.

IMG_7115

The rack in front of Western Trail Sports. West side. Cosest side street: 18th Street.

IMG_7117

The french fry rack near Runza. East side. Closest side street: 19th Street.

The Emporium

emporium

I love the front-and-center location of this bike rack, but it’s a bit awkward given the width of the sidewalk. If you don’t angle your bike, you wind up kind of blocking the sidewalk.

First United Methodist Church

first united methodist church

The bike rack at First United Methodist Church is located next to the handicap parking.

Guadalupe Center

IMG_1107

A very freshly placed bike rack.

Lied Scottsbluff Public Library

IMG_8936

The Lied Scottsbluff Public Library bike racks are an A+ in my book. Cute, sturdy, and located right in front of the library near the front doors.

Main Street Market

IMG_2460

Main Street Market moved its bike rack from an awkward parking lot island to a better spot right at the front of the store. Maybe not everyone has seen it yet. (See the bike in the background, far left, parked against the ramp railing.)

Monument Mall – Carmike Theater door

img_9598

A good location for a rack outside the mall’s movie theater.

Nutters

nutters

As befits a health food store, there is a bike rack right next to the front door at Nutter’s.

Panhandle Research and Extension Center

IMG_8203

The rack at the UNL Panhandle Research & Extension Center gets points for being under the cover of a stairwell, despite being hidden out of the way near the south entrance to the building rather than the main entrance. Still, this seems geared more towards employees than visitors.

Regional West Medical Center

The only patient bike parking at the hospital complex appears to be near the Medical Plaza North entrance. However, when I had an appointment at Medical Plaza South, the valet offered to keep an eye on my bike if I parked it near his stand. RWMC facility maps do not indicate bicycle parking. (I intend to contact them to request an update.)

RWMC north plaza

Regional West Medical Center patient bike parking next to the north entrance, at the Birth & Infant Care Center. I wonder about the (abandoned?) bike locks on the rack.

RWMC staff

There is an under-cover bike rack on the north side of the Medical Plaza North building, but since it’s not near a public entrance, I assume this is for staff.

Saint Agnes Catholic Church / School

st agnes church and school

This rack is located off an alley between St. Agnes church and school. I’m not sure how useful it is here, as the ground has a significant slope that would make it very easy for a bike to tip over and bend a front wheel in the rack.

Safeway

#quaxing

The rack at Safeway would get an A+ in my book – it’s under cover and near the front door – except that it’s not bolted down and I’ve witnessed the rack migrating further and further from the door as space is used for retail displays.

Scottsbluff High School / Splash Arena

SHS splash

The rack outside the entrance to the Splash Arena also serves Scottsbluff High School. The many abandoned locks hanging from the rack look a little sketchy.

Target

IMG_8844

I’m not a fan of the bike parking at Target. The bollard-style bike lockup is sturdy, but it’s hidden on the north side of the building, away from the front doors, and . . . there’s that “no parking” sign – does that apply to bikes, too?? This seems an afterthought for employees and is not welcoming to customers.

Vertex

hidden rack

A super stealth bike rack hidden next to a fence. I wouldn’t have known it was there had someone not told me to look for it.

Walmart

walmart n

Can’t find the bike rack at Walmart? Look behind the trash can, behind the butt bin, hiding around the corner from the door. What an awful location!

walmart s

Yes, there are two racks at Walmart, one by each door, by they are not sited well. Despite being near the front doors, they are kind of hidden – not want you want in a bike rack. It’s also absolutely awful to try to ride through the chaotic parking lot.

Watering Hole

watering hole

I was surprised and pleased to spot a bike rack at a gas station.

Western Nebraska Community College – Conestoga Hall

WNCC residence hall

There’s a rack in front of Conestoga Hall. If you’re going to the WNCC multicultural center or Pioneer Hall, there are no bike racks – the Conestoga Hall rack is the closest one. On this day, I saw a bike parked next to a dumpster behind Pioneer Hall.

Western Nebraska Community College – Harms Center

HATC north

Another of my favorite bike parking spots in town, at the north entrance to the Harms Center. It’s right by the door, under cover AND not a wheel-bender-type rack.

HATC south

There’s also a bike rack by the south entrance to the Harms Center.

Western Nebraska Community College – Main Building

WNCC west main

The all-day full-sun bike rack near WNCC’s main entrance.

WNCC east door 14

There’s a bike rack at door 14 on the east side of WNCC’s main building. On this day, a bike was parked on the sidewalk nearby, in the shade. A bike seat in full sun gets pretty hot on a 102-degree day!

WNCC west door 8

There’s a “wave” bike rack outside of door 8 on the west side of WNCC.

Scottsbluff Y

img_9685

Unless you’re coming from the river pathway from the west, the Y is hard to bike to, but I’m glad it has a bike rack. Note the curious phenomenon in the background: people think that if you can park a bike there, you can park a motorcycle there, too.

Copyright 2016 by Katie Bradshaw, except as noted

3 thoughts on “The bicycle parking project

  1. Great job. Bike parking is even more important now because most people that ride on a regular basis have a good deal of money invested in their bicycles.
    Wal-Mart has good bike racks in good location.
    Hospital the only bike racks are on the north side of the building.

  2. The creative bike racks in Scottsbluff are such a hoot. I would like to see a photo book of unusual bike racks from all over the country. Perhaps a community pride competition between cities and states?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s