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Old 09-26-07, 11:02 AM   #1
LittleBigMan
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Small, tasty victory

The other day I went shopping at the nearby supermarket. I really like shopping at that neighborhood store, and many of the regular employees know me and my family, some know my name. So the other day I was really put off when the parking lot security guard told me I couldn't ride my bicycle in the parking lot.

Last time this happened a few years ago, I obeyed the guard and parked on the edge of the lot. But this time, I wasn't having any of it. I told him in no uncertain terms that "he could call the police and let them give me a ticket," and that I was legitimate adult customer, not a child on a bike (not that I have anything against kids on bikes.)

Later, as I was unlocking my bike to go home, a police cruiser pulled up with the security guard following closely behind in his "golf cart." I couldn't believe my eyes, but after all, I did give him permission to call the police. I basically ignored them both, unlocked my bike, got on, and pedalled my way across the parking lot past the "No Loitering, No Rollerblades, No Skateboards, No Bicycles, No Alcohol" sign. The police ignored me, too.

I sent an e-mail to the supermarket's corporate customer service on the internet. Within a couple of days I got an apology, with a promise of a follow-up in a week. It only took one more day before the store manager phoned me on my job. He told me he was sorry, he valued me as a customer, and even though parking lot security was not employed by him (but by the landlord,) he had let security know that it better not happen again. He also told me he was going to look into installing a bike rack in the front of the building.

He said if it ever happened again, to let him know. I probably should have gone to him first, but e-mail was easier for me. Anyway, I'm gonna roll up there next chance I get and lock my bike as close to the security guard as possible, so he can see me very clearly.
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Old 09-26-07, 11:08 AM   #2
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Parking lot = private property
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Old 09-26-07, 11:15 AM   #3
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Parking lot = private property


Kroger store manager = kick parking lot security's bottom-side.

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Old 09-26-07, 11:18 AM   #4
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But, but, but... You live in America. And bicycles are TOYS here!!
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Old 09-26-07, 11:18 AM   #5
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As private property owners they certainly have the right to prohibit bikes... or blue mini-vans... on their property. Your recourse is not the legal system, but the free market, as has been demonstrated so far.

See if you can get them to remove the "no bikes" wording on the sign.
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Old 09-26-07, 11:22 AM   #6
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He also told me he was going to look into installing a bike rack in the front of the building.
Nice! A victory indeed.

... Brad
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Old 09-26-07, 11:22 AM   #7
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Nice mini-victory LittleBigMan!!!!

Kroger? We have a Smith's/Kroger here in Albuquerque, in the student ghetto, where the racks are a joke, but luckily they have never bothered me about my bike. The racks aren't even bolted to the ground. I haven't shopped there for over a year for that reason.

Thanks for the victory story!
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Old 09-26-07, 11:38 AM   #8
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Nice mini-victory LittleBigMan!!!!

Kroger? We have a Smith's/Kroger here in Albuquerque, in the student ghetto, where the racks are a joke, but luckily they have never bothered me about my bike. The racks aren't even bolted to the ground. I haven't shopped there for over a year for that reason.

Thanks for the victory story!
The rack isn't bolted to the ground at the Kroger in my town either. I never feel quite right leaving my bike locked to it.

My other option for grocery shopping has NO rack, and doesn't sell beer.
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Old 09-26-07, 12:05 PM   #9
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As private property owners they certainly have the right to prohibit bikes... or blue mini-vans... on their property. Your recourse is not the legal system, but the free market, as has been demonstrated so far.

See if you can get them to remove the "no bikes" wording on the sign.
In some cities there are ordinances requiring property owners to provide adequate parking for the expected demand; tables of these required spaces based on land use and square footage appear in the development ordinances.

Cary, NC recently modified its table of required parking spaces to require bike parking for most land uses such as retail, office, and institutions. (This applies at site plan time when properties are developed or upgraded.) Cary also prohibits, by law, signs prohibiting the operation of bicycles in the vehicular portion of such driveways and parking lots at such destinations. Numerous private signs in Cary that once said "no bicycles on property" now say "no bicycling on sidewalks." Removal of required bike parking or erection of signs that prohibit bicycle travel are punishable by a fine.

I played a small role in the development of this ordinance
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Old 09-26-07, 12:05 PM   #10
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As private property owners they certainly have the right to prohibit bikes... or blue mini-vans... on their property. Your recourse is not the legal system, but the free market, as has been demonstrated so far.

See if you can get them to remove the "no bikes" wording on the sign.
Actually they very well may not. They are not private property in the same sense as your home is. If they were you would never have to deal with those pushy petition people.

But I do agree the free market is the way to go, at least for the first try.
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Old 09-26-07, 12:08 PM   #11
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As private property owners they certainly have the right to prohibit bikes... or blue mini-vans... on their property.
I'm not entirely sure that's true. If the parking lot is open to the public, there may be some limitations on their ability to prohibit entry to some members of the public based on the choice of vehicle.
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Old 09-26-07, 12:17 PM   #12
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I'm not entirely sure that's true. If the parking lot is open to the public, there may be some limitations on their ability to prohibit entry to some members of the public based on the choice of vehicle.

I agree. Not sure of the "Legal" terms, but it IS private property that is open to the public! & think it would be a discrimination case.

On that note, I am sure the sign is there to keep the "gangs" of kids hanging out on skteboards & bikes, making it hadr to shop in the store(s). The guard should be smart enough to know the difference between kids hanging out & loitering & an adult who is sshopping.

Now, I also think that if 2-3 kids roll up to the store, & go inside to buy an item or two,pop, candy,..etc, the s.g. has no right to refuse them entry onto the property either as they are paying customers.

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Old 09-26-07, 12:50 PM   #13
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Nice mini-victory LittleBigMan!!!!

Kroger? We have a Smith's/Kroger here in Albuquerque, in the student ghetto, where the racks are a joke, but luckily they have never bothered me about my bike. The racks aren't even bolted to the ground. I haven't shopped there for over a year for that reason.

Thanks for the victory story!
Yeah, I know the one, it's one the corner of Yale and Lead. I pass it every day. But really, I don't think there is too much to worry about in that part of town as it is one of the few areas where there are a good number of cyclists that aren't kids. I've never had any "no-bikes" crap happen anywhere near that area.
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Old 09-26-07, 01:33 PM   #14
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Kroger store manager = kick parking lot security's bottom-side.

YES! Just be sure to carry a copy of the email just in case...
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Old 09-26-07, 01:37 PM   #15
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I played a small role in the development of this ordinance
Excellent!
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Old 09-26-07, 01:48 PM   #16
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I can understand the need to have a bike rack bolted down for long term security. But frankly, I would feel perfectly safe locking my bike to a rack that wasn't bolted down in a relatively public place with a security guard for 15 minutes.

I doubt if the dumbest of criminals is going to take the bike(s) and rack and try to throw it into the back of a pickup in that situation...

Now if it was outside a dorm at 3:00 in the morning, that is a different story.
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Old 09-26-07, 01:50 PM   #17
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As private property owners they certainly have the right to prohibit bikes... .
But how about red haired people? Or black people? Point is, private property rights can and should be limited.
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Old 09-26-07, 03:00 PM   #18
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As private property owners they certainly have the right to prohibit bikes.
Again, Helmet Head is wrong. As private property owners they can ban cars with handicapped placards and "colored" folk too, right?

Fact is, most commercial property developers have to sign strict contracts with the locality because of the effect their development has on the community. While certainly some traffic laws do not apply (an owner-erected stop sign has no legal power, for example) none of us are likely to encounter a mall or store parking lot where the owner is legally permitted to ban bicyclists from the areas that cars can drive on.

Helmet Head should almost never be listened to when he is "interpreting" the law.
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Old 09-26-07, 03:37 PM   #19
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As private property owners they certainly have the right to prohibit bikes... or blue mini-vans... on their property. Your recourse is not the legal system, but the free market, as has been demonstrated so far.

See if you can get them to remove the "no bikes" wording on the sign.
As mentioned in several other posts... it is not necessarily legal for someone to ban bicycles from a parking lot. I'd go so far as to say that in most areas it would, in fact, be ILLEGAL for them to ban a legal user of the roads from also using their parking lot in the manner intended. (ie: to park and come into the business for shopping)

Like the mall near my house... I was hassled for riding my bike on mall property. Nevermind that I was on a publicly accessible road on my way to lock my bike up in the bike racks. Security guard stopped me and told me I wasn't allowed (I was standing two feet away from the bike rack at the time). I locked my bike to the bike rack, then I proceeded to visit every store I regularly shop at in that mall and talked to a manager in each one, and explained what happened. With the exception of one manager, these were all people I've talked with before, and half knew my name. Every one of them complained to the mall management AND the security company.

I also filed a complaint with the mall and the security company.

Never had another problem there.


Then there's the grocery store that I visited frequently on the way to work... I'd always park my bike just inside the doors, well out of the way. One evening I stopped on the way home to grab something, and a security guard (I guess they only have security there in the evenings) immediately starts yelling at me.... the general manager happened to be walking by, and he just stops and stares at this guy with this incredulous look on his face. When he paused for a breath, I mention that he might want to turn around... he does, and his face goes white when he sees the look on the GM's face. I not only got my bread that day... the GM gave it to me free.
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Old 09-26-07, 04:23 PM   #20
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Cary also prohibits, by law, signs prohibiting the operation of bicycles in the vehicular portion of such driveways and parking lots at such destinations. Numerous private signs in Cary that once said "no bicycles on property" now say "no bicycling on sidewalks." Removal of required bike parking or erection of signs that prohibit bicycle travel are punishable by a fine.

I played a small role in the development of this ordinance
Thanks. It's not like an individual can't do this for himself with a little perseverance, but it shows that you are willing to spend your own precious time in saving us the trouble in advance.

Frankly, I can shop anywhere I want, but the humiliation is not worth it on the bike. It's a major statement for bicycle commuters not to be restricted from shopping where they want just because they don't drive a clunk-mobile.
'Preciate that very much, Steve. We should be considered equals to motorists. In fact, I wish I had the time to see to it that rollerbladers could shop there, too. What a crock! (Not that I've seen them shop there, but I might be the first! )
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Old 09-26-07, 06:14 PM   #21
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(...and thanks to all of 'yall for your kind support. Sometimes people can be so clueless I wanna spit!)
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Last edited by LittleBigMan; 09-27-07 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 09-29-07, 09:34 AM   #22
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Kroger store manager = kick parking lot security's bottom-side.

Good job! Be sure to send them this: http://www.bfbc.org/issues/parking/apbp-bikeparking.pdf so you'll end up with decent parking.
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Old 09-29-07, 10:13 AM   #23
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I know we have laws against discrimination based upon race, age, sex, disabilities and probably a couple of other things. But, do we really have laws against discrimination based upon transportation choice? Can we still discriminate against those that don't want to wear shirts or shoes?

I wonder if the store owner even has any standing to say you can use the parking lot if the security guards are hired by the landlord?

Anyway, hopefully, they have seen the error of their ways in keeping a customer away.
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Old 09-29-07, 02:25 PM   #24
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Kroger store manager = kick parking lot security's bottom-side.

Would you like me to take a picture of the Fred Meyer bike parking where I live? They are owned and operated by Kroger. You can share it with the store manager.
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Old 09-30-07, 08:33 AM   #25
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Parking lot = private property
OMG fear.

but seriously, why are you supporting the classification of bicyclists as second class citizens?
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