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CityTarget opens with bikes on billboards, but access an afterthought (UPDATED)

Posted by on July 26th, 2013 at 10:23 am

City Target billboard
City Target is using bikes to market their new downtown Portland store.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The nation’s smallest Target, which opened its doors on the west end of Portland’s downtown Wednesday, was happy to use bikes in their marketing campaign.

“I’m all for Target jumping on the bike bandwagon, but you’d think they’d put some parking in.”
— David Backes, customer

That makes sense — the store’s urban location and lack of free auto parking mean that the retail giant is banking on bikes to bring in plenty of its customers.

But making it easy to park a bike nearby? Maybe the site managers never got the memo.

Three days before its grand opening Sunday is expected to swamp the joint with bargain-hunters, bikes had already filled the three bike staples and all the sidewalk fixtures outside the new store at Southwest 10th Avenue and Morrison.

David Backes, who works nearby, stopped by Thursday afternoon to check the place out. He ended up wheeling his bike up and down the sidewalk outside.

“I’m all for Target jumping on the bike bandwagon, but you’d think they’d put some parking in,” Backes said.


Looking for parking.
(Photos © M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The two-floor discount store, which the retailer calls a “CityTarget” for its compact urban feel and neighborhood-oriented product selection, is big news for Portland’s already-bustling downtown, the city’s most prosperous retail area. Portland Monthly reported this month that former Mayor Sam Adams “once described practically stalking company execs” in order to land the tenant, which has signed a 15-year lease for the space and is expected to serve as an anchor for the string of smaller retailers on 10th Avenue.

And there is, in fact, bike parking near the new site. It just happens to be down the ramp into an underground parking garage on the other side of the block. It’s not marked — the parking attendant I talked to was confused when I asked him about it — but it is there. There’s a pair of elevators nearby — but they don’t currently stop at Target’s floors, so the only way to reach the store after parking a bike there is to walk up the parking ramp, which includes a painted stripe that seems to be intended for pedestrians, and back around the block.

Here’s the bike parking entrance:

And here’s the bike parking (presumably intended for employees):

It’s possible that there are big plans in the works for bike parking near CityTarget. Like any business in Portland, Target can request an on-street bike corral and would almost certainly get one if it asked; maybe they’re on the waiting list. It’s also possible that there are unusual restrictions on the sidewalks surrounding the Galleria that somehow prevent more than the three existing staples from being installed outside this major new retailer.

Or maybe not. Three days ago, Target’s lead spokeswoman for the launch said she’d need to “gather some bike-specific details” before answering any questions about parking. If she ever gets back in touch, we’ll let you know.

Update: Target spokeswoman Erika Winkels did get in touch this morning with an apology for the delay to clarify that there’s no bike parking on the site. “What is available is what the city has provided,” she said. “Given the location of the store, we recognize that many of our guests will arrive on foot or via mass transit.”

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Comments
  • Todd Boulanger July 26, 2013 at 10:43 am

    {Bike} Parking, parking, parking…Portland [and Target] still do not get it.

    Great secure bike parking and work zone access are among the last two areas that are far from platinum standard here…perhaps not even silver.

    And shame on Target, as Target likes to plaster its urban City stores with images of bikes…but then their bike parking is often currently poorly implemented, East Liberty Pittsburgh (PA) Target is one that comes to my mind from a recent visit.

    1) Who at the City still allows “wave racks” in high exposure city center projects?

    2) Bike parking access via a garage ramp to a lower level without elevator access, please who thought that through during the circulation plan review?

    3) And please u-lock any architect to this rack who still spec’s wave racks in any urban development in the US. Then they can see how functional they are in daily use. (Yes, this architect might be based in Cleveland or some far away back office…100s of miles from the nearest bike lane with bicyclists…but this is no longer the 1990s, we know better.).

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    • Paul Cone July 26, 2013 at 11:45 am

      My guess is that they install wave racks because it’s cheaper to install with just two anchor points for one giant rack.

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  • Alexis July 26, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Pioneer Square mall doesn’t have much bike parking either. I ended up going around three sides of the block last time I was there before I found more than a staple (all full). And most of the downtown garages don’t really advertise having bike parking. So I don’t think I’d fry Target on this really. It’s more that they’re typical. I figure the bikes-in-marketing-material is just that…marketing, not a sign of sincere interest.

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  • sean July 26, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Went there yesterday and was aghast by the lack of bike parking. It would be very helpful for a corral to be placed outside the carts around 10th and Alder, perhaps on the other side of the street to avoid the streetcar tracks.

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  • Alan 1.0 July 26, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Does the SmartPark garage right across the street offer bike parking?

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    • Oliver July 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      I was thinking that here might be an opportunity for a company to offer a fee-for bike parking like for cars. Though with the great big, “operator not responsible for theft” signs on their garages I can’t see paying to store my bike in an insecure, dark, sub basement away from the eyes of the general public.

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    • gl. July 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      boy do i wish all smartparks offered good bike parking!

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  • Spiffy July 26, 2013 at 10:50 am

    in 4/2011 you published a list of the businesses on the bicycle parking corral installation list… maybe you can update that list? and then we can see if any places have been waiting 2 years as the article had stated they likely would…

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor) July 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Spiffy, based on what I’ve been told by the city, “waiting list” probably isn’t the right term for this; it’s more of a request list. The city’s bike parking staff (which was, as of this spring, half of Scott Cohen’s time) assesses each request and puts a corral in fairly promptly if they think it makes sense. In any case, a retailer or landlord can split the cost of the corral with the city to jump the queue completely — chump change for Target, if they or their property managers had prioritized it.

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  • gutterbunnybikes July 26, 2013 at 10:55 am

    First signs of yet another failed enterprise in The Galleria?

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    • pixelgate July 26, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      I think that’s a stretch. This Target is a huge benefit for those of us who live nearby. I’m sure they’ll get the bike parking situation ironed out soon enough.

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  • Todd Hudson July 26, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Putting those wave racks so close to walls is my pet peeve. That makes it unfriendly for parking/locking a cargobike.

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    • Adron Hall July 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Cargo bikes! Hell, when those astronaut architects put in wave racks they don’t even work for regular bikes… They’re pretty much a joke. :(

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      • Opus the Poet July 27, 2013 at 7:50 pm

        The wave rack at my local Target is too close to the wall to lock up anything bigger than a BMX bike and has walls on either side that prevent locking an adult sized bike across the wave like a large staple rack. It’s just a poorly planned fuster cluck from one end to the other. Both of the racks at that store are placed identically close to the wall in a narrow nook.

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  • JJJJ July 26, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Youd think theyd roll out the red carpet for cargo bikes.

    But no, we’re told that corporations like Target are the epitome of efficiency. They know what their customers want, when they want it, and how to do it. They’re finely oiled machines that will pull out all the stops (within cost reason) to ensure there’s no barrier between the customers and the cash register.

    And yet time and time again, they stumble at even the simplest, most common-sense steps, like ensuring their customers are able to arrive and secure their bike.

    I once emailed Target about a concern with a rack at a suburban store – bad design, out of the way, no cameras, and the target of theft (I witnessed the aftermath of a theft). I never got a reply.

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  • Dave July 26, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Seems like the bigger the company, the worse the bike parking.

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  • Nathan Alan July 26, 2013 at 11:25 am

    The Mall 205 location has reasonable bike parking, partially covered if I’m not mistaken; unfortunately it’s also where employees like to smoke.

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  • Kiel Johnson July 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I’d be happy to talk to someone at Target about bicycle valet or setting up another bicycle parking system!

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    • KYouell July 26, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      This bakfiets mama would use it, Kiel! How can I help get that? I’d much rather ride to this one than around Mt Tabor to the 205 location, but I need a place to park. And if they think that my kids + toilet paper + paper towels doesn’t require a bike with a big parking foot print, they are very wrong. I’d be happy to tell them so.

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  • PC July 26, 2013 at 11:41 am

    This is pretty shitty, no question about it, particularly for what’s clearly (and reasonably) intended to be something of a flagship retailer for downtown. Logically, it seems like there ought to be corrals in multiple spots — near each major entrance, to accommodate riders coming from different directions, as well as in the basement parking (for both employees and overflow, with ample cameras and accompanying signage). I have no idea if there’s bike parking in the Smart Park across the street, but it should be there, too. Particularly since there’s a sky bridge linking City Target to that garage on the second floor, if I remember correctly. Also, yes, fuck wave racks.

    That said, I’m with Alexis: this is symptomatic of downtown in general, where not only is bike parking rather poor, so is bike transportation in general. Given Portland’s reputation, that the connectivity is so bad in our city center is really pretty pathetic. The inner east side and north Portland both seem a lot easier to me to navigate on bike than downtown. The Pearl and the Alphabet Districts are okay, but south of Burnside, shit really breaks down. Broadway is at least a decent North to South route, but woe be unto the person trying to go from South to North.

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    • wsbob July 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      “…I have no idea if there’s bike parking in the Smart Park across the street, but it should be there, too. Particularly since there’s a sky bridge linking City Target to that garage on the second floor, if I remember correctly. …” PC

      The Smart Park parking structure, directly across the street from City Target, indeed connected as you thought, by a very convenient skybridge, seems like the perfect place for bike parking, even large scale bike parking, either in terms of numbers of bikes, or in types of bikes such as the longer wheelbase bikes and and bikes with trailers.

      Climbing the ramps to get to the upper levels near the skybridge may be an issue for some, but there are elevators for ascending/descending.

      Just to pick up a few things, as long as it, and I was fairly clean and dry, I’d probably roll the bike right into the store with me for shopping. I’ve done this out in Beaverton, numerous times. Never been questioned once about it.

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  • kittens July 26, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Target’s newest locations at Cascade Station and Jantzen Beach both roll out the red carpet for bikes. They have six covered custom-designed staples prominently located right next to the front door. Surprised and disappointed that their new City concept has absolutely nothing innovative in this arena. Apparently they did their market research; they have a little bird perched on a giant “HI Portland” sign in the entry. Knowing that the city was very involved with luring them to dtp, it is shocking they have added zero on-street upgrades.

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    • Champs July 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      None of that Jantzen Beach parking is covered, though. It’s a huge disappointment.

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  • meh July 26, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Why are you shopping at Target?

    Cheap products from third world countries where the labor force is being abused.

    Just another big box killer of local small business.

    Just a red version of Walmart blue.

    No need for bike parking if you boycott them.

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  • Jessica Roberts July 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    This comment has nothing to do with bikes.

    meh
    Why are you shopping at Target?
    Cheap products from third world countries where the labor force is being abused.
    Just another big box killer of local small business.
    Just a red version of Walmart blue.
    No need for bike parking if you boycott them.
    Recommended 0

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    • captainkarma July 26, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Seems like meh is directly addressing the issue of “can’t find a place to bike-park” by suggesting a way to eliminate the issue which shouldn’t even be a problem from a company that puts bikes on their billboards. Thumbs up.

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    • are July 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      it has everything “to do with bikes” as an alternative to cars for daily transportational needs, if that choice is being made with any reference to reducing the so-called carbon footprint, etc. consistent, clear, critical thinking on these subjects would fairly quickly lead one to avoiding the big box retailers.

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  • Ted Buehler July 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    If you stop by, be sure to fill out a customer comment card and request more bike parking.

    (This goes for any merchant, but especially useful for Wall St. traded companies, as they’re don’t have “owners” let alone local owners who can see the obvious).

    Ted Buehler

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  • Ted Buehler July 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    If you don’t stop by, you can email their customer service line and suggest that they pay the full price (to jump the 2 yr waiting queue) for a bike corral and get it installed pronto. Maybe make it a double corral.

    Here’s the link you want to feed to them:
    http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/270766

    & this seems to be the best customer service form. Most fields are optional. Just give them your email, click “other questions and comments” and a request bike parking.
    https://www-secure.target.com/HelpFormLinkPageView?catalogId=10051&langId=-1&storeId=10151&krypto=YlViooHjPKGi%2BMFLQz43%2BCt2dE3vGVtI8qWb2R1vv80k1zXpHe66TseDRg7hqrouWkSPto%2BnVGTUc0yeWYhvKoNThLxO8qcR%2Fa%2FKlchtlraHqz8WMmeTa2srCcHB8DrCvgU%2BiXZjHUWkZcEqvFC2v70ZNYdeYI0Uz6RHeO%2FCq4tcCbYeu2bxCQ%3D%3D&ddkey=http:HelpFormLinkPageView

    With trailers, bakfeits, recumbents, etc. too.

    Ted Buehler

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  • Ted Buehler July 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    BTW, Target opened in Davis, CA about 5 years ago, and made a show of adding decent bike parking. So, kinda surprising it was an oversight here.

    Ted Buehler

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  • Dan July 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Why so hard to put bike parking indoors? Sheesh.

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  • Babygorilla July 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    It’s an urban store in a leased building located on the max and streetcar lines in a relatively compact downtown primarily targeting downtown workers as its customer base. That doesn’t have its own dedicated parking for private vehicles seems to be part of the point of the concept.

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    • Chris I July 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      And if they don’t apply for a few bike corrals (about $5000 total; pocket change), they aren’t going to attract many shoppers by bike. Doesn’t seem like good policy.

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      • Ted Buehler July 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

        Exactly — it’s not like we need to be harassing them or anything, just leave some helpful customer feedback on how they can better get us to shop at their facility.

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  • Ted Buehler July 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Can anyone pull up the city code on this? Seems like its something we should ask the Bureau of Development Services and Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to keep closer tabs on.

    I’ll find it and post it tonight if nobody has found it in the meantime.

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  • Spiffy July 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    “Update: Target spokeswoman Erika Winkels did get in touch this morning with an apology for the delay to clarify that there’s no bike parking on the site.”

    Flagship store opens in Bike City USA without bike parking? I’m kind of ashamed to be a Target customer right now…

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  • Hart Noecker July 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Why would anyone in their right mind shop at a Target ever? Their agenda of promoting bigoted homophobic politicians and paying out slave wages puts them on par with Wal-Mart. I’m disgusted that Sam Adams fought to get a big box chain like this downtown after rightfully fighting to keep Wal-Mart out. Boycott Target not because of bikes, boycott Target because they are antithetical to Portland’s values.

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    • kittens July 27, 2013 at 5:00 am

      You know, not every purchase has to local-organic-coop-handmade. Sometimes you just need a vacuum cleaner bag.

      Almost all major retailers have negative political downsides. This store is going to eliminate a lot of unnecessary travel which people living in downtown were doing anyway. It makes downtown more livable to average people. Target is a meticulously well-designed store and trades in a certain aesthetic which is both cohesive and affordable. The fact that they overlooked such an essential thing like parking in Portland Oregon of all places, is more a testament the bar they have set for themselves.

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  • Joe July 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Do they even sell the bike that is advertised?

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  • PC July 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    “What is available is what the city has provided,” she said.”

    Wow, that is lame. God forbid you foot 1/2 the modest bill for some halfways decent bike parking.

    I got a piece of direct mail advertising the opening of this store — color, nice, thick card stock, coupons — at my apartment in NE Portland about a week ago. They clearly want this launch to be a big deal. Given that, way to drop a really obvious, not-especially-expensive ball.

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  • KJ July 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Just gonna say, Ikea has bike parking, and they are way out in the boonies (near a Target) where it is probably more unlikely that people will bike to them. Unlike a downtown location. It was great. Kudos to Ikea. I think we were the only bikes there, but I was happy to have ample (room for our trailer) covered parking.

    Hey Target, really… mostly on foot and via transit? I guess *all* those people that commute by BIKE downtown *everyday* aren’t going to bike to your store… yup. yup. Smart planning.

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    • Reza July 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      I’m not defending Target for their shortsightedness, but maybe “*all* those people that commute by BIKE downtown *everyday*” could make a trip during lunch? Just a thought…

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      • KJ July 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm

        Downtown is big, not everywhere is within convenient walking distance. But, sure, they could. It would be less time out their lunch if they bike though. Not how I prefer to spend my lunch…running errands…but I only get 30 min. ;)

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    • maxadders July 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      Target’s got bike racks at the Cascade Station store (out by IKEA) and I frequently see bikes using ‘em. Though I wonder if they belong to employees. And I’ve yet to see a “I live in a desirable inner Portland neighborhood and have tons of disposable income” style cargo bike out there.

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      • KJ July 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm

        It’s not much fun to bike to for some parts, I am impressed with the bike infrastructure that is out there. Having done it from NoPo, some was pleasant some wasn’t. It’s a trip for sure. So I can kinda understand why… But totally doable for stuff you can’t carry onto the max! Adventure!

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    • Spiffy July 27, 2013 at 11:34 am

      the covered bike parking at Ikea is roomy and right next to the door in its own alcove… bikes aren’t always there when I go, but often enough that I smile when I see them… one time another cyclist left a note on my bike and kid trailer complimenting me for family riding… it’s a nine mile one hour long trip there from my house…

      down the street from there at Target it’s a couple wave racks on the front of the building near the entrance… it’s your typical big-box style gimme to bikes… I usually see at least one other bike there… but I usually go to the Mall 205 Target when needed…

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  • Anne Hawley July 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I really hope Target isn’t done with this subject, the way the spokesperson makes it sound.

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  • Reza July 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I, for one (of many), love having a Target downtown. No longer do I have to DRIVE out to Mall 205, or Jantzen Beach, or Cascade Station, to buy T-shirts or socks. I can also buy appliances if I don’t feel like waiting 2 days for Amazon to ship. I haven’t compared prices yet, but I bet a lot of the everyday stuff I buy often at Safeway will be cheaper at Target as well.

    Two thumbs down for the lack of parking though. I didn’t even notice this when I went yesterday during lunch to check it out. There seems to be enough space on the ground floor by the elevators next to Starbucks to install a row of staple racks? I’d rather have the parking indoors than as part of an on-street corral in downtown.

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  • David July 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I’m confused about what this update means. Does it mean that Target has no plans to add more parking? Or is she just saying that’s the situation as it stands now?

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor) July 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      The latter, David. I said we’d let folks know if we ever heard from her, so I did.

      We may be working on a follow-up about the city’s role in cases like this.

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  • Andrew K July 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    This just seems like bad economic policy on the part of Target and is a sign they don’t really understand the urban market they are trying to get into. True, a lot of people will more than likely walk or take MAX to this store, but there are a TON of people in the downtown core who live and travel by bike.

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  • Christopher DeLaney July 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Just for comparison, I live in Casper, WY, and our Target is one of the only places in the city with a bike rack. I was so impressed, I spoke to the manager and thanked her for the provision. As a former Portlander, I agree that we should expect more from city development, but you live in Portland for god’s sake. Count your blessings!

    (On another note, what are you doing shopping at a big box when there are more than adequate local options?!?)

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    • Reza July 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      “(On another note, what are you doing shopping at a big box when there are more than adequate local options?!?)”

      Because there aren’t.

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  • Babygorilla July 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Ross – No private vehicle parking. Office Depot – No private vehicle parking. TJ Maxx – No private vehicle parking. Nordstrom Rack – No private vehicle parking. Rite Aid – No private vehicle parking. Brooks Brothers – No private vehicle parking.

    Larger retailers willing to have stores downtown in leased spaces with existing physical building footprints can’t practically and physically provide private vehicle parking and, instead, rely on existing public or private parking facilities for those customers who access the store by private vehicle.

    Yeah, Target might be able to work with the city to get some additional public space allocated for bike’s near store, but Target doesn’t control the public sidewalks or parking spaces around its premise.

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    • Paikikala July 26, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Maybe not ‘control’, but any business in Portland can request changes to the parking along their frontage, timing, size, type, and those requests are usually granted.

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  • Chris K July 26, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Like others, I don’t excuse Target for not including a more thought out bike parking situation, but should they be singled out? Will there be a similar campaign to ask Macy’s, Nordstrom, et al to do what the city should be doing? It’s been a few years since I worked (and commuted via bike) downtown and my perspective may be off, and simply based on my own bubble, but I have to believe that most Target shoppers are parked, whether by bike or car–or TriMet, elsewhere and that the number of people whose biked-to destination is Target for a shopping trip is relatively small. Now, could they have created an opportunity for themselves? Sure. Many of the comments here are helping them design a good marketing campaign.

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    • Ted Buehler July 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Target is brand new. Designed and built after the 2030 Bike Plan in 2010, after the city’s Platinum status award in 2008, after bike corrals became the norm for Pearl District trendy destinations, after $4/gallon gas, after endless commitments by Mayor Adams to make Portland a great place to bike.

      I’m not sure when Macys or Nordstroms last remodeled, but I’m thinking it was over 10 years ago.

      & Target caters to low budget consumers, unlike Nordstroms or Macys. & folks tend to associate bicycling with low budget folks.

      If Macys, WalMart, New Seasons, or an other big retailer opened a downtown store with zero bike parking I’d think there’d be a similar outcry — because if you want to get more people biking and fewer driving, one of the very most basic elements is a decent place to park your bike at your destination.

      Ted Buehler

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    • Spiffy July 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

      I think that new stores should put some thought into bicycle parking… it’s not just reserved vehicle parking, it’s healthier customers who will live longer to keep buying your products…

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  • dwainedibbly July 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Anyone who goes to this store should complain to the manager. I’ll be there tomorrow, doing exactly that. My impression is that Target and the City want to make this store work, so I’m hopeful that they’ll listen. Central cities are one part of the market that isn’t saturated, so if a retailer wants to grow their company, they need to figure out how to make their business model work in this kind of location.

    Mrs Dibbly & I live within a short walk from the store, so we probably won’t bike anyway, but the manager doesn’t have to know that. :) A couple of bike corrals would be great.

    Target: are you listening?

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    • Reza July 26, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      So where should these corrals go? On 10th next to the streetcar tracks? People here would surely complain about that (or the city might raise it as a safety issue). All the way around the block on Alder? Maybe, but a lot of people may miss those since they wouldn’t be visible from the entrance. So you either have to put them across the street, or just install racks inside the store. I’d choose the latter, and that way they are somewhat exclusive to Target shoppers.

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  • Babygorilla July 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Paikikala
    Maybe not ‘control’, but any business in Portland can request changes to the parking along their frontage, timing, size, type, and those requests are usually granted.
    Recommended 0

    The store’s frontage is on 10th Avenue, which has a street car stop and street car line and SW Morrison and SW Alder (shown above) which has loading and unloading areas. I’m not sure if there is any remnant auto parking spaces to convert to corrals along the stores frontage.

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    • Michael Andersen July 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

      There are four paid auto parking spaces between the streetcar stop and pedestrian bumpout; auto parking is definitely scarce in the area, but there’s room for a bike corral (2 spaces, tops) if that were a priority.

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      • Reza July 28, 2013 at 1:09 am

        I think this is deserving of its own headline — “BikePortland: Streetcar tracks no longer a bicycle hazard”

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  • Michael July 26, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Why is this an issue.

    Ride bike. Chose retail establishment…exchange dollars for goods or services. Lock bike to nearest secure spot. Pay for goods or services. Pedal bike home.

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  • Prattle On, Boyo July 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    LMAO. Target is clearly run by buffoons who listen to the marketing dept as to what constitutes good PR, and, then ::FAIL:: to consider the realities. I bet the next idea Target marketing comes up with is to put a city store on Mars without realizing the logistical problems.

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  • Ted Buehler July 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Here’s why I see its an issue:

    1) Biking solves a host of environmental, social, socioeconomic, and public health issues that are dragging down our society.
    2) The city of Portland has pledged many times in many ways to provide excellent bicycle facilities, to favor bicycling and help solve these problems.
    3) These plans and policies are in place so that bicycle-friendliness happens automatically. It’s not feasible or practical to have advocates or advocrats shepherding each new development and pushing for facilities. To be successful on a mass scale, it has to happen automatically. Just like fire escapes, ADA access, building code compliance, etc.
    4) A new downtown department store, catering to lower-income shoppers, has just opened and has zero bicycle facilities.
    5) This is evidence that there are multiple big cracks in the policies and procedures. The mayor never said bikes were an issue when courting Target. The BPS review never called for bike parking. The PBOT review never called for bike parking. The Target building consultants didn’t notice that lots of folks bike downtown, and plan for it. Cracks both in the development requirements, and in the staff follow-through. & if there’s no parking, there’s probably no showers or lockers for employees, either.
    6) The existence of these cracks means many similar, but lower profile, projects are likely being built without adequate consideration for bike parking.
    7) It’s more costly to add bike facilities after a building is built — it costs next to nothing to plan it in the beginning, and finance it with the 30 yr mortgage or however they do get financing. But to hire a bunch of designers to come in afterward, get it installed, and pay for it through more expensive financing is an unnecessary waste of money.

    My $0.02,
    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Spiffy July 27, 2013 at 11:44 am

      at least the marketing department thought of it…

      if they advertise using a bicycle they should expect a lot of bicycle riders…

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Ted Buehler July 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        Good point — ya’all can mention that in your suggestion box/email comments — “It’s great your promoting bicycling on your new store ads, now just let us park them once we get here!”

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Ted Buehler July 26, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Here’s a few snippets from the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030. Renovating a major downtown department store and skipping bike parking means that compliance to the 2030 Bike Plan is lacking at city hall.
    See the whole plan here: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/289122

    Executive Summary: A VISION for Portland in the year 2030

    “Our intentions are to be as sustainable a city as possible. That means socially, that means environmentally and that means economically. The bike is great on all three of those factors. You just can’t get a better transportation return on your investment than you get with promoting bicycling.”
    – Mayor Sam Adams
    (Executive Summary, p. 1)

    *********

    3.3 BICYCLE PARKING

    3.3.1 Bicycle parking is a key component of creating an attractive and functional bicycling netowkr. Parking shoulw be ubiquitous, conventient and secure…

    Portland’s code requires that new developments procide both short and long term bicycle parking (Title 33.266.200) The code also requires that buildings out of compliance with current code come into compliance with short-term requirements when they initiate a moderate improvement to the property (Title 33.258.070.D.1.d & 33.258.070.D.2.b.3)

    (lots more content and specifics in the plan)
    (p. 69 – 70)

    ********

    3.7 BIKEWAYS IN PORTLAND’S CENTRAL CITY
    As the Central City increasingly becomes a place where people live, work and play, there will be more bicycle trips within it – increasing the demand for safer and more comfortable bicycle facilities.

    3.7.3 Central City recommendations
    3.7 A Make Portland’s Central City superlatively bicycle-friendly.
    Specifically:
    • Use existing and innovative engineering tools to create conditions welcoming to bicyclists throughout the Central City…
    (p. 89 – 09)

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Champs July 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    FWIW I biked to CityTarget on the day of this article’s posting, and found an open staple right away by the SW entrance on 10th & Morrison…

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Ted Buehler July 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Got this email today —

    guest.service@target.com
    Sat, Jul 27, 2013 at 2:23 PM
    To: ted101@gmail.com

    Dear Ted Buehler,

    I’m sorry your recent trip to our Portland Target store didn’t meet your expectations.

    We’re always looking for ways to improve your shopping experience. Hearing about installing a bike rack is important to us. I’ve documented your thoughts and comments, which will be shared with our Store Operations team for further review. It’s just one way we can keep working to provide you with the experience you’ve come to expect at Target.

    If you ever have concerns during your visit, please visit the Guest Service Desk and ask to speak with the Guest Service Team Leader. They’ll make every attempt to resolve the issue during your visit.

    We appreciate your feedback because it helps make Target even better.

    Sincerely,

    Nancy
    Target Guest Relations
    http://www.target.com
    (800) 440-0680

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • are July 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      that’s a madlib

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Donna July 27, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Facebook people – posting things on companies’ Facebook pages has a tendency to embarrass them and make them more motivated to fix the problem.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • BIKELEPTIC July 28, 2013 at 11:24 am

      The companies also delete them. Sometime Yelp is better.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Scott Batchelar July 28, 2013 at 1:00 am

    As a regular downtown biker – I think that Target is a convenient “Target” when it comes to complaining about Bike Parking but a closer look at the state of Bike Parking in the Downtown Core shows that what Target did is totally in keeping with the complete lack of any bike parking in the retail core of downtown.

    Sure, there are plenty of bike parking spaces at PSU, The Art Museum, and other government offices or along the Transit Mall – in other words places that are REQUIRED to have them but once you get into the downtown retail core there’s 2-3 racks per street and until Downtown becomes serious about this we will not achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.

    Here’s an idea – there are NUMEROUS surface parking lots scattered throughout Downtown Portland – if the city was really serious about this it could institute a program to work with these lots to set up bike corrals against any building facing lots.

    The city could offer a tax incentive that these parking lots to set up bike corrals against the walls by erecting bumpers about 5′ fro the walls then request that the city installs the bike racks.

    To be honest it doesn’t really surprise me that Target didn’t install bike racks – they didn’t need to and a business is not going to do something if it is not required.

    So – let’s step up and make our elected representatives understand and the businesses in Downtown understand that this is something that we expect and require them to do if they want our patronage.

    As Ted Buehler said – let’s complain at Target but let’s not stop there let’s hit up EVERY SINGLE BUSINESS with this until the situation is better.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • i ride my bike July 28, 2013 at 8:19 am

    One is to show them a need for bike parking. Shop there, keep filling the racks that do exist and tell them as a customer face to face you want better bike parking. Its a no brainer for them as this is an urban store and is dirt cheap even if they paid to install.

    I was noticing that they have a big bulb out curb extension on SW 10th right at Morrison directly in front of their store entrance with nothing there now which would be ideal for a bike corral.

    You got to give them a lot of credit to build a truly urban store in the first place not built around the car. There is no customer parking, even the store in Seattle has it. They also didn’t even use the existing skybridge to the SmartPark which would link the 3rd floor of the store to the 3rd floor of the garage. That’s amazing and awesome.

    But you guys do also realize there are other ways to travel than just by bike, sometimes cyclists can sound an awful lot like suburban motorists who cant comprehend life more than 5′ from their precious and sacred motor vehicle.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • BIKELEPTIC July 28, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Soooooo. . . I emailed Target regarding the parking issue, saying that I had to walk around for two blocks looking for bike parking to enter their new store (haha *snark*) unable to find any before giving up. The response I got was This very nice form letter:

    ” Dear Target Guest,

    I’m sorry your recent trip to our Portland Target store didn’t meet your expectations.

    We’re always looking for ways to improve your shopping experience. Hearing about your feedback that there were no bike parking at our new store is important to us. I’ve documented your thoughts and comments, which will be shared with our Store Operations team for further review. It’s just one way we can keep working to provide you with the experience you’ve come to expect at Target.

    If you ever have concerns during your visit, please visit the Guest Service Desk and ask to speak with the Guest Service Team Leader. They’ll make every attempt to resolve the issue during your visit.

    We appreciate your feedback because it helps make Target even better.

    Sincerely,

    Mary
    Target Guest Relations”

    But what it means to me is that you can bring your bike INTO the store and park it at Customer service, because there’s no other available parking. That’s what I do at Plaid Pantry and sometimes at Fred Meyer.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • jim July 29, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      People driving their car might also have to park a couple or more blocks away. This is nothing new down town. You can always pay the meter and put it in a car spot.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • wsbob July 30, 2013 at 12:41 am

      “…But what it means to me is that you can bring your bike INTO the store and park it at Customer service, because there’s no other available parking. …” BIKELEPTIC

      I’m curious how the issue of minimal bike parking provided for CityTarget customers would progress if a number of people with their bikes alongside them, began coming into the store throughout the day to do their shopping. With the presence of customers bikes still alongside them at the check-stand as the sales were rung up, I imagine Target management would get the message.

      Before investing in providing bike parking racks, corrals or whatever, management, would probably appreciate some sense of how much of their daily sales actually could come from people that travel by bike, if customers had convenient places to park their bike near the store.

      A lot of attitude isn’t going to help here; civil, respectful, clean people with clean bikes will do. Summer, dry weather is a perfect time of year for people that bike to make a presence with their bike as they shop in the store. Buy enough to make it worth the stores effort to work out a better bike parking arrangement.

      And here’s a tip for Target: The stores plastic carry baskets are nice for shopping, but I’d like to see them offer as an alternative, a net, see through shoulder bag counterpart that would hold about the same amount as the baskets do. Easier to shop with, especially when strolling the bike around the store.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • K'Tesh July 29, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I’d never park my bike to that bike rack… I HATE waveform racks (my bike was damaged ($150.00USD) at one). Also, I’d hope that they’d have that area well covered by cameras to get a look at the color of the hoodie that the bike thieves are going to be using as they do their “shopping”.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Al from PA July 31, 2013 at 3:49 am

    If you have a Brompton just fold it up except for the handlebars and wheel it in on the small back wheels. If you have a bag on the front leave it open… voila, instant shopping cart! Never a problem with a Brompton. btw–if they don’t like it, tell em you’ll take your business elsewhere.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

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