I got my first bicycle parking ticket in Grand Rapids. Thanks GVSU.
Amy and I arrived at GVSU’s Center for Health Sciences from the south on Lafayette for a public input forum on the principles that will guide development along the Michigan Street corridor. From across the street at the light, we could not see any bicycle parking, so we proceeded down Lafayette to the rear of the building. They probably hid them there! Nope. Don’t see any. Let’s go around to the east entrance on Michigan. Maybe there’s some there. No such luck.
Frustrated, we locked our bikes to one of the handrails at the main entrance on Lafayette and Michigan.
After the forum, Amy spotted our “tickets”. Apparently we were supposed to park at some magical bicycle parking that we couldn’t find, despite the fact that we circled 75% of the building, looking for bicycle parking.
As it turns out, after asking the friendly but unsympathetic GVSU security officer, the bicycle parking is hiding in the parking garage on the east side, near the very narrow exit driveway with no sidewalk. You can just barely see it in the background, right behind this big sign that says “Exit Only” with a big red cross. There’s actually a bicycle parked in it.
The sign might as well say “Exit Only, except bicycles, and try not to get run over by a bus or an exiting car.”
Proper bicycle parking, the kind that says “We welcome bicycles here and want to encourage you not to drive your car and take up our super expensive parking space,” needs to be sited within visual distance of the entrance to the building it is serving. There are plenty of spots along the street or in the small entrance plazas where these could be sited.
At the very least, the parking should be accessible by walking on a sidewalk from the the entrance and be well signed for anyone approaching the building who might be wondering where they should park their bicycle.