Support BikePortland

Williams Avenue New Seasons moves staples to improve bike parking

Posted by on August 13th, 2013 at 10:12 am

bike parking at New Seasons -8

Bike staples at the North Williams and Fremont
New Seasons were torn up so they could
be moved further from the wall.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s always nice to see a retailer going the extra mile to improve their bike-friendliness, and for us, it’s even nicer when the business was alerted to the problem by BikePortland commenters.

In this case, the action is coming from grocer New Seasons, which is tearing up and reinstalling a set of bike staples that turned out to be too close to its new building on North Williams.

“Your blog commenters were right on so we asked the architect/builder to review the install of the racks,” New Seasons spokeswoman Elizabeth Nardi wrote in an email Tuesday morning. “The person installing the staples had them too close to the building. They needed to get new hardware, but they will be reinstalled shortly at the correct distance from the building. Pretty incredible your readers were able to spot that mistake from the picture.”

Hopefully the new parking setup won’t encourage bikes to block the public sidewalk, another problem several commenters also pointed out.

Kudos to sharp-eyed commenters who publicly workshopped this problem beneath our posts in March and last week, and to New Seasons for understanding how important bike-friendliness will be to the success of their new location.

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Anne Hawley August 13, 2013 at 10:25 am

    One more great reason to shop at New Seasons as much as the budget allows. I love that store.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • El Biciclero August 13, 2013 at 10:29 am

    This is the most frequent mistake when installing any bike rack next to a building. Out in Beaverton, it is rare indeed to see racks that are usable as intended because they are all installed a foot or less from the wall. Such simple things that are overlooked because bike “amenities” are installed as window dressing by folks that haven’t ridden a bike since grade school.

    Good for New Seasons for being willing to actually tear out and re-install racks to make them more usable!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Todd Boulanger August 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      …or frequently parked a bike as a shopper/ commuter vs. in their garage at home.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Steve August 14, 2013 at 10:30 am

      I don’t know how the people that install these racks think they will be usable when they install them to close to the wall. So little forethought from the engineer to the construction worker who installs them. It makes me angry and actually a little sad.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • mikeybikey August 13, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I often encounter racks at businesses that are too close to the building, including other New Seasons locations, so it is great that they are fixing the treatment at the N. Williams store. Now, if they really want to wow me they will include a couple of cargobike specific stalls like these in Copenhagen:

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Craig Harlow August 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm


      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 14, 2013 at 10:30 am


      last year I talked at length with former NS CEO Lisa Sedlar specifically about cargo bike parking. She was very interested. I’ve followed-up to ask current management their thoughts about this possibility and will share more if/when I hear back from them.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • David August 13, 2013 at 10:40 am

    New Seasons: shut up and take my money!!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Todd Hudson August 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      I shall celebrate buy going to NS and buying some $4 tomatoes.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Granpa August 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm

        Safeway has cheap produce if you don’t account for the carbon footprint of shipping it from China or Chile. Good stuff costs

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Chris I August 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm

          Safeway is pretty expensive, unless you just buy things that are on sale. WinCo is where the budget-conscious shop. WinCo got me through college.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • spare_wheel August 14, 2013 at 12:13 am

          I have never bought tomatoes from China at Safeway or Winco. These groceries are also unionized and employee-owned respectively. I would rather shop at Walmart than New Seasons Market.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • CW August 13, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Have they thought about setting them at an angle? It might be nice…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • jim August 14, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      lets move them again

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • KYouell August 13, 2013 at 10:57 am

    As referenced in the comments on the last article, there are still problems at other New Seasons stores for those of us with larger bikes. This gives me hope that it’s possible that the Hawthorne and Seven Corners stores, which I and my children frequent in our bakfiets, will get some improved parking. The New Seasons store specifically has a scooter regularly parked at the intersection of the 2 rows of staples (must be an employee) so that I can’t back into that spot.

    A suggestion: ask for help out to your vehicle. Having such a large bike I often buy a whole cart worth of groceries and get offered help out to my car. Take them up on it, cargo bikers! Let them see that we are using the bike parking and what we have to do. Can’t hurt. Those employees are at staff meetings too, right?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • BURR August 13, 2013 at 11:23 am

      The Seven Corners store continues to lose bike parking capacity to their flower vendor, for whom they have already removed at least two staple racks and who regularly encroaches on an additional two staple racks.

      That’s lost parking capacity for at least 6 to 8 bicycles.

      I have discussed this several times with a customer service rep., but it continues to happen. Last time I suggested that, if the flower vendor needs the space, they should convert one or two motor vehicle parking spaces into bicycle parking, but I’m not sure how keen they were on that idea.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • SilkySlim August 13, 2013 at 11:38 am

        In my past ~300 trips to the Seven Corner’s New Seasons, I have never lacked for bike parking. And I enjoy the large flower selection! Agree with making it bigger by utilizing a car parking space.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • tonyt
          tonyt August 14, 2013 at 9:03 am

          Just yesterday I had to move some of the flower buckets (empty) so I could park my bike there. They really need to address this constant encroachment on bike parking.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • A.K. August 14, 2013 at 11:22 am

            “Just yesterday I had to move some of the flower buckets (empty)”


            Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Craig Harlow August 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      I”m not what I’m about to describe is ever truly secure enough even for my own peace of mind–so maybe this is more of a confession than a suggestion–but…

      Where there is no available bike rack to hitch up to, and desperation (or impatience) rules, I sometimes lock the rear wheel of my cargo bike to the frame itself, which prevents lifting the front and rolling it away. Many cargo bikes, such as old style Yuba, are heavy enough to prevent them being carried off. I admit that a truly prepared thief or thieves could hoist it into the back of a pickup, so that’s the risk I take.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • KYouell August 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm

        The bakfietsen solution. I admit it’s rare that I use my chain to lock the bike to something, but it’s 90 pounds empty… and it’s never empty.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Chris Anderson August 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm

        I typically just lock my back wheel also. First it would be hard to steal, second it would be impossible to sell. Third I have insurance.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Todd Hudson August 13, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I did what now?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR August 13, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Installing bike racks is not rocket science, yet I see racks installed too close to buildings and other obstructions all the time, and it hasn’t really improved much over the past 20 years.

    So the question is, when are the architects, engineers and contractors finally going to wake up and smell the coffee?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Editz August 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      It sounds like the architects knew it was wrong upon inspection, but how that install information gets communicated to contractor is the real question. And who pays for this change order? The contractor?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • CaptainKarma August 13, 2013 at 3:16 pm

        You pay in $4 tomatoes

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • stace August 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm

        It is the contractor’s responsibility to correct the problem on his/ her dime if the racks were not installed according to plans. Now if the plans were wrong, that’s a different story.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Kristen August 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      They’re too close to either structures, or hanging flower pots, or stinky dumpsters, or parked cars, or etc. …

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • El Biciclero August 14, 2013 at 11:19 am

      “So the question is, when are the architects, engineers and contractors finally going to wake up and smell the coffee?”

      When their coffee depends on customers who arrive by bike. Right now, I think too many bigger businesses (and by extension, the contractors they hire) dismiss bicycling customers because they believe they are such a minority that they wouldn’t miss them if they never shopped there again. Even those that pay attention to cycling customers probably don’t do so because they think a significant amount of their revenue comes from those customers, I think many think they are “doing a favor” for those cute little Portland cyclists and looking “green” or “neighborhood-friendly” at the same time. Or else just shoddily complying with murky building codes related to bike parking. But I’ve admitted to being cynical before…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Allan August 13, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Maybe they can put them at an angle so that tandems & trailers aren’t sticking as far out into the sidewalk

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Chris I August 13, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      And you will get fewer parking spots. About 30% fewer, roughly.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tony Pereira August 13, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Good to hear. The racks at the Arbor Lodge New Seasons are too close to the wall too. Would be great if they could move those too.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Scott Mizee August 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I’m so glad to see New Seasons taking this step to care for their customers. I did not see the post last week about this, but I also noticed that the racks were installed too closely to the wall.

    This is an excellent example for other businesses to follow. Like Tony, I also hope New Seasons will take this opportunity to fix the rack locations at the Arbor Lodge store as well.

    Thank you for listening, New Seasons!

    (P.S. on a related story, I was pleased to see the row of staple racks on the curb extension outside the entrance to the new City Target.)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • wade August 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    how about one motor vehicle parking space dedicated to cargo bike parking?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Todd Boulanger August 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      The Whole Foods at East Liberty Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh PA!!) did this.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Chris Anderson August 14, 2013 at 9:16 am

      There’s no rule that says you can’t park your cargo bike in a regular spot, if you are comfortable just locking the back wheel.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • KYouell August 15, 2013 at 12:18 am

        Except for the bit about 2 solid objects not being in the same place at the same time. I can’t fit between staples so it’s the end or nothing. I’d prefer some cargo parking so I could lock up without stealing a space from a typically-sized bike.

        If “They” would try imagining that not all bikes are for one person it could go a long way to the whole getting more bike curious women riding. Even women without children prefer to chain errands and cargo bikes come in quite handy for that. Having cargo bike parking helps complete the loop making it possible to ditch the car for the weekly shopping trip.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • PDXSERider August 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Um… what’s New Seasons? Never heard of it. Is that like WinCo? We have WinCo out here in E-Po.

    Hey as long as I can take my bike in with me I’m good!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ted Buehler August 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I was Land Use and Transportation Chair of the Boise Neighborhood Association when this project went through the approval process in winter, 2012.

    We asked for cargo bike parking and trailer parking. I often shop with a 6′ cargo trailer, I probably showed the trailer to the reps at the meeting (since I usually used it to haul over materials for the meeting). I’m disappointed to see that there’s nothing there.

    Other, higher-up New Seasons reps told us (in an NECN LU&T committee meeting) that if there wasn’t enough bike parking that they’d convert some car parking.

    We didn’t get this in writing, of course, so who knows what it would take to get them to follow up on it…

    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ted Buehler August 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I’m glad they at least moved them out to the regulation 30″ from the wall. Nice work, BikePortland blog commenters.

    New Seasons was once locally owned. All of their stores are in Greater Portland, where there’s a lot of people who shop by bike. They seem to aspire to green business practices. Yet they seem to be consistently slow in the bike parking issue. Based on my discussions with them in the Boise Neighborhood Association, on seeing as their contractor installed the racks in the wrong position at the Williams store, at the skimpy bike parking and incorrectly installed “Wave Racks” at the Arbor Lodge store, and at BURR’s note of removed bike parking at the Seven Corners store.

    New Seasons always has comment cards at their customer service desk. They’re easy to fill out. Talking to an employee usually won’t get your comments to the right management ears. Filling out a comment card will.

    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Craig Harlow August 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    …One, for starters :^)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • 9watts August 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    the link you have in the story is not to last week’s article, FWIW.

    “Pretty incredible your readers were able to spot that mistake from the picture.”

    not so incredible if you think about the fact that a bicycle wheel is <30" and in the photo it was clearly not able to fit ahead of the rack on the side nearest the wall.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) August 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks, 9watts! I was googling too fast and failed to give you the credit for catching this first last week. I’ve now edited the post to remove all individual credit, so there. (But seriously, nice work, both of you.)

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ian August 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Have they thought about setting them at an angle? It might be nice…
    Recommended 3

    yes 30 – 40 deg should do it

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • middle of the road guy August 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Cool….this just means more parking at the Interstate location.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Aaron August 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I don’t get what the issue is? Your bike has two ends and the rack has two sides. Seems like plenty of options to lock your bike to the rack.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • 9watts August 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      the issue is that some of us are in the habit of locking both the frame and the front wheel to something. Sure you can just lock the frame, or lock the back wheel and the frame, or not lock it to a rack at all, but there are reasons why the rules for how to install these are what they are.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Aaron August 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

        I also like to lock my front wheel and frame to the rack and don’t have a single problem if the rack is close to a wall.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • davemess August 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm

        Why front wheel and frame? Your back wheel is way more valuable than the front (even on a single speed). Plus locking back wheel/frame frees up more space on the rack as only a smaller fraction of your bike is overlapping the rack).

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • 9watts August 14, 2013 at 6:15 pm

          Others who have thought more about this topic than I should pipe up, but I lock my frame+front wheel habitually because the front wheel is comparatively much easier to remove quickly.
          I’d like to see you extract my unlocked back wheel from my locked-to-staple-rack bike, in light of the rear rack+fender+trailer hitch obstructions, not to mention the fact that the chain+derailleur in combination with the above don’t readily give up the rear wheel even if you have the whole thing upside down in your back yard and have done the exact maneuver dozens of times before.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Alan 1.0 August 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm

            – a dynamo front wheel is around $200 and up;
            – walking your bike home on its back wheel isn’t fun;
            – front wheels have broader interchange than rears;
            – “valuable” to a thief is almost as good as “more valuable.”

            This discussion regarding staple racks came up a few years back and while yes, it is possible to lock four DF bikes to a staple, the city’s usage guidelines illustrate the two-per-rack configuration. More power to you power-lockers who won’t get ripped off.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

    • tonyt
      tonyt August 14, 2013 at 9:09 am

      Plenty of options, yes, but not plenty of options if you actually want your bike to be secure against theft or getting knocked over.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ethan August 14, 2013 at 9:30 am

    This is Portland, the time for designated Family/Cargo Bike parking at key shopping has arrived. From a publicity standpoint, NS is missing an opportunity to lean into Portland’s trends, instead of stopping tantalizingly close. Two families arriving with a Bakfiets or Burley Trailer still take up less space than one shopper in a single-occupancy car . . . it’s time to LEAD. Give a spot or two of prime parking to big bikes; reward the behavior. Or just post a sign that they can use any car spot . . . equality is nice too.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Editz August 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    So little forethought from the engineer
    Recommended 0

    Didn’t the architects state in the article that the racks were improperly installed, or are they just placating the public?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Robert Burchett August 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I’ve been getting away with occasional free-locking of cargo bikes for a while in Portland so it seems kind-of-safe to me. Short term only (and I still miss bike parking meters!) On the other hand, I have had bad experiences with parking a cargo bike in a ‘car’ space. Good way to get your bike punted into some shrubbery. Bikes are invisible in car land: A cargo bike is a bike.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • KYouell August 15, 2013 at 12:30 am

      Maybe it’s because I don’t have a lighter-weight cargo bike, but I don’t think parking in a car spot is any more dangerous than parking a motorcycle in a car spot. An idiot could do damage to my bike anywhere. On the other hand, I’ve learned the hard way not to park in the middle of bike parking; other cyclists parked so it was impossible for me to get out. I was lucky that a rather large and strong gentleman noticed right as I realized I was stuck & helped me out by lifting the front of the bike. Otherwise this mama was going to have to sit there until other shoppers came out. So, yeah, I risk using car spots sometimes.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Chris Shaffer September 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I shopped at New Seasons this morning and noticed they have horizontal staples on the tree line on the street, adjacent to the previously pictured bike parking. See – there’s plenty of space for cargo bikes and long bikes at the horizontal staples.

    Recommended Thumb up 0