(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Even in a city where bike parking in front of businesses is a government-sanctioned program, some business owners still choose to go above and beyond.
Here at BikePortland, we think high-quality, abundant bike parking is an essential element to a bike-friendly city. So when we see a business that truly “gets it,” we jump at the chance to share the example. On that note, today I want to give you a closer look at what I think is the best business bike parking in the entire city of Portland.
Green Zebra Grocery on North Lombard (at Peninsular) opened nearly one year ago and they had a bike-oriented focus from the get-go. Back then, CEO Lisa Sedlar told us she expected about at least 30 percent of her customers would arrive by something other than a car.
Judging by the parking available at the store, that was a conservative estimate. Without taking into account on-street, curbside parking stalls, the Green Zebra parking lot has 16 stalls for cars and capacity for 26 bicycles (13 staple racks).
But good bike parking is about much more than just quantity: It’s about location, quality, and other amenities that make bicycling to the store as easy and convenient as possible.
The highlight of Green Zebra’s bike parking is the large, covered structure. Let’s tick off the things it gets right…
Location: The closer bike parking can get to the main entrance, the better. Green Zebra’s main bike parking structure is placed just a few steps from the front doors. This has many benefits: It’s convenient; it makes the area more secure; and it reminds all customers that the store respects — and expects — bicycling.
Quality: The structure itself is beautiful and built from attractive wood and steel. The five staple racks (far superior to ribbon/wave racks and other designs) are fully covered and there’s even plenty of excess room to unpack your bags and mount your rig before heading out into the elements.
Amenities: There’s an inner tube vending machine, loaner tools, an air pump (that’s unfortunately out of order at the moment), and even an outlet for charging devices. And for good measure, we also noticed that a few of the staple racks are wearing zebra-themed, knitted cozies.
Green Zebra has even added a little bicycling flair inside the store just to
drive ride the point home…
While we know of many businesses in Portland that have great bike parking, we think Green Zebra takes the top prize. What do you think? What other businesses deserve some recognition?