SUSTAINABILITY & ADVOCACY

4 Reasons to Invest in Bike Parking in 2020

Dio Wong
Writer, The Urban Racks Blog

 

 

Indoor Bike Room
– Seattle, WA

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Bike sales have been BOOMING since the onset of the COVID-19 health pandemic.

As more people ride bikes, proper bike parking infrastructure will need to accommodate for it. As a result, there a significant gap to be filled for people who are riding bikes but are lacking in places to park them.

Proper bike parking has historically been neglected in the past. Although it’s progressively gotten better, many establishments have chosen to implement absent-minded, drop-in-the-bucket, “solutions” for the purpose of satisfying city by-laws at the bare minimum.

In reality, they are not only missing out on very significant benefits, but also spawning problems that will end up costing owners more than what they would have originally spent if they had invested a little more mindfulness in bike parking.

For the better or worse, the global behavioral changes in urban transit as a result of the COVID-19 health pandemic will continue to influence our day-to-day life for the foreseeable future. With this, more and more Canadians are choosing to ride their bikes or walk instead of taking public transit for the purposes of both recreation and consumption in response to the closure of recreation centers, gyms and parks.

Throughout North America, this shift has moved into a substantial public enlightenment about the benefits of cycling as a means of transportation. As people ride out the pandemic, many people have fully integrated cycling into their everyday lives to the point where municipalities are choosing to permanently increase their cycling infrastructure.

But what does all of this mean for businesses, facilities, residences, municipal organizations, and other establishments?

Here are 4 ways to proactively respond to the surge in cyclists due to COVID-19 and make sure you’re ready for the ongoing shift in urban transportation.

Expanding your Consumer Base

If you own any establishment generates revenue, you already know the power of expanding your network and outreach. One cyclist having a positive impression or experience at your establishment can create a snowball effect, bringing awareness of additional prospects, which can lead to more business and or opportunities.

Research shows that in certain establishments, bike riders spend more than people who drive, noting that although drivers spend more per trip, cyclists tend to make more frequent trips and spend more overall. (source)

With the implementation of effective bike parking, you not only enable cyclists to become clients, but also foster a growing community that will inevitably benefit your establishment in the long run.

Building your Brand

Street Bike Parking
– Vancouver, BC

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Your brand is critical in the prosperity of your establishment. As the world moves toward sustainable alternatives for all aspects of day-to-day life, more establishments are choosing to integrate and or communicate ideas of sustainability and environmental-friendliness in their branding. Even in markets such as high-fashion, where the significance of branding is arguably at its pinnacle, brands are choosing to put their image of prestige on the line in order to accommodate to this shift.

Think of the brands that have chosen to use recycled materials in their products, donate to green advocacy groups, or just outright express their support for a greener world through social media. Needless to say, ethical posturing has become a critical variable in branding, especially in the online space.

But what aspects of bike parking facilitate brand image, you might ask?

User experience: Security, ease of access, and cleanliness.

Design: Color, graphics, and architecture.

From a cyclist’s perspective, sufficient bike parking communicates to them multiple things. In terms of raw utility, they get to park their bikes! WOOHOO! But more importantly, if the user experience is good, cyclists will feel welcomed part of the community. Through the power of communication and branding, any establishment can create an ideological relationship between your establishment and its patrons. This will inevitably lead to brand loyalty and will play a critical part in the prosperity of your organization.

The Rise of E-bikes

E-bike Charging Dock
– Vancouver, BC

Despite we’ve popularized the idea that that people are stuck at home watching Netflix all day long during the pandemic, electric bike sales have skyrocketed across North America. In addition to this, the e-bike market have already been dominating pre-COVID-19, variables such as the shift toward electrification, the pleasant user experience, and the idea of a cost-saving alternative means of transportation have become very enticing. 

However, the parking of e-bikes versus traditional bicycles are different in various aspects.

a) People are going to want to charge their E-bikes when they’re parked.
b) E-bike owners significantly serious about the security of their e-bikes.
c) Parking e-bikes will occupy considerably more space than the average traditional bicycle. 

In the same way an increase of bike parking is necessary to accommodate for the increase of cyclists, implementing proper e-bike parking to accommodate for the significant increase of e-bike users will save you from spending more time and money when you inevitably have to make these changes to your establishment’s bike parking infrastructure.

Direct Monetization and Bike Parking as a Amenity

If you own a business or residential property, you can turn a bike room into a stream of revenue and or entice others into becoming a client. The power of having secure and accessible bike parking is particularly attractive for communities that value their physical health such as gyms or passionate cyclists who are sick of getting their bike stolen.

How can an establishment directly make money from bike parking?

Establishments have the choice of offering bike parking as an additional amenity to their primary service or charging on a per-use basis. 

 

Eager to know more about how bike parking can benefit your establishment? Contact one of Urban Racks’ solution consultants for more information about your potential project.

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