Cyclists don’t shop, I guess

I’ve had occasion to cycle up to the Rideau Centre several times in the last two weeks.

I noticed that there is exactly one small bike rack, on the south side, by DND. It’s not attractive for me to use because a)it’s already full, b) it’s on the far south of the street, and the bike lane is in the middle, so I’d have to cross the bus lanes, park, then cross both sets of lanes again. This is long and boring and slightly dangerous.

On the north side, close by the mall: nothing.

And this is on a busy street with bike lane. While there may be some racks at other entrances, the building complex is huge, and I for one don’t want to cycle through Confederation Square and down Rideau Street to find a rack. Unghh unghh. I’ll avoid Rideau Street, thank you very much.

There used to be a rack there, though. A big one. It was there last year at this time; now it’s gone.

Cyclists do use the heavy iron railings to lock bikes to. But the bars are thick, requiring one to snuggle the bike up very close to the palings or to insert the handle bars right through, in order to use a D-lock.

So I went in search of the customer service desk at the Rideau Centre. And I got a very quick and well-rehearsed answer. The apron or bridge deck on the Mackenzie King bridge is City property and it’s up to them to put in a bike rack.

I pointed out to the nice lady that there were a lot of bikes there, which suggests there are cyclist shoppers, and the Rideau Centre management itself might want to see that some racks got installed since they were, you know, $orta like their cu$tomers? 

No dice. Just got the “call the city” reply.

So I emailed the cycling folks at City Hall, and got a prompt reply, that they’ll see about getting some of those small metal racks with advertising on them installed there.

I wonder if the Rideau Centre would be so sanguine about having no car parking spaces?

6 thoughts on “Cyclists don’t shop, I guess

  1. There used to be a bike rack a couple dozen metres to the east of the Sussex/Rideau intersection, on the south side of the street. Has it been removed due to the construction on Rideau?

    In any case, your final (rhetorical) question is bang on; obviously, the Rideau Centre does not feel that cycling is an important means for customers to access the mall.

  2. There used to be a rack (or two?) at the DND end but it was removed during the Convention Centre rebuild. There are two large racks at the east entrance off Nicholas / Besserer, tucked in by the entrance to the surface parking lot. That’s where I tend to lock up.

    The “cyclists-dont-shop” reminds me of what was said by a certain Chinatown restauranteur when he spoke out against the proposed bike lanes (that instead went on Laurier). While I didn’t want to see those lanes either his “none of my customers are cyclists” comment made sure he no longer gets my business.

  3. I am invigorated to see people are agitating about this issue! My respect goes out to the original author for having taken such prompt and responsible action, in addition to posting the record and sounding a call to arms. I’m with ya.

    I’d like to emphasize what I take to be a crucial aspect of the parking question- indeed bike facilities more generally: facilities can be developed with a view to current cyclist behaviours and preferences. This positions new facilities to most likely achieve optimal functionality. For example, in this specific case of the Rideau centre- where is it both safe and routine for cyclists to arrive from and/or travel past the centre?

    Cycling is pro-social in a preponderance of citizen transit trips, and increasingly convenient compared to other modes. The more facilities can finesse the convenience, the more pro-social transit we can hope to see in Ottawa!

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