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Old 12-30-08, 01:55 PM   #1
dogbreathpnw
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What's the Problem with Bikes in Office Buildings?

Forgive me if this is in an FAQ somewhere, but I'm wondering. The prejudice against bringing bicycles into office buildings seems pretty widespread, but I'm wondering where/why/when/how this prohibition came into being.

I heard one office manager allege that it's hard on the carpets, but I have a difficult time believing this; it sounds like someone somewhere sometime ended up with a track on the carpet and it spread faster than an urban legend.

I've thought about taking the front wheel off and then alleging that all it is is machine parts--yes, it could be assembled into a bicycle, but so could most wheelchairs :-)

Anyone have any solid notion about what this is about, and how we can constructively combat this? It's hard for smaller businesses renting space in an existing structure to get any kind of traction with the building owner to give up oh-so-precious automobile parking for bike lockers, but often times there's plenty of floor space within the rented facility.
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Old 12-30-08, 02:09 PM   #2
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In my building it's about fire codes. In theory, bicycles can impede progress if large numbers of people need to leave the building simultaneously. Haven't ever heard of indoor bicycles actually causing such a problem, and fortunately for me, enforcement is lax. My bike is in a corner of my office, and wouldn't be in the way of anyone except Godzilla trying to break through a thick concrete wall.
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Old 12-30-08, 02:22 PM   #3
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It's the fire codes and impediment a bike can cause in a hallway.

not a problem in a storage locker or similar.
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Old 12-30-08, 02:25 PM   #4
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"Prejudice"? Isn't that putting it a bit strongly?
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Old 12-30-08, 02:33 PM   #5
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I guess im just lucky. No problem here. We were doing laps in the lobby a while back on my friends fixed gear bike. Wait till the boss hears about that!! Oh wait, I already did.
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Old 12-30-08, 02:41 PM   #6
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Where does it say that an employer is obligated to provide any parking; or, the "inside storage" many people desire.

If anyone is that unhappy, they should seek employment that meets their needs...

MHO
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Old 12-30-08, 02:45 PM   #7
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It depends on the building.

Ours is an old warehouse filled with artsy/creative types. Bikes and dogs are allowed.

There are two problems I see. The first is elevators. I can't really blame somebody for not wanting to squeeze on the elevator next to a grungy bike just ridden through slushy crud.

The second is just space. Generally you pay per square foot. At the moment we have extra space but there's been times in our past when you'd be hard pressed to find room for a bike outside of someone's own office. The cubicles here aren't big enough.
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Old 12-30-08, 02:49 PM   #8
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Where does it say that an employer is obligated to provide any parking; or, the "inside storage" many people desire.

If anyone is that unhappy, they should seek employment that meets their needs...

MHO
I tend to agree. I'd just park my bike outside if I couldn't bring it in. I've done it at previous jobs. I consider it a perk rather than something an employer is obligated to provide. Most of the employees here that drive have to walk several blocks from where they park.
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Old 12-30-08, 02:54 PM   #9
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. The prejudice against bringing bicycles into office buildings seems pretty widespread, but I'm wondering where/why/when/how this prohibition came into being.
OK, for starters a bicycle is considerd a vehicle in most states. Bringing a "vehicle" into office space goes against numerous restrictions much like bringing a moped inside. Maybe tires don't get carpet and furniture dirty, but the grease on chains and chainrings do. That adds up to a potentially big cleaning bill for the landlord. A bicycle inside violates fire codes in many jurisdictions. Most corporate insurance policies prohibit as well because something that size can cause personal injury. If the bike was stolen from the office, would you expect the landord to pay?
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Old 12-30-08, 02:57 PM   #10
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Well, bikes are dirty after riding in rain and slush. And along my route there's plenty of muddy areas by houses being built or patches of road construction. Wheels are bit harder to wipe down that the bottmo of your shoes.

I park my bike in our office garage, and there's times I wouldn't bring it in even if I could.

Just find a stairwell or somewhere secure that's a somewhere in the middle or "completely outside", and "at your desk"
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Old 12-30-08, 03:01 PM   #11
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If fire codes prohibit bicycles from being in buildings, then they're pretty stupid fire codes. In my building there are numerous cabinets, hampers, potted plants, and other obstacles in the hallways that all have larger profiles than a bicycle. And if people are so concerned with bicycles clogging up the hallways, how's this for a fire code: no bicycles in the hallways.

I tried to bring my bike into my building once, and was told I couldn't. I asked why not, they said, "Because you can't." I asked but why can't I bring my bike in, and they said, "Because it's a bicycle." As if that explained anything.
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Old 12-30-08, 03:05 PM   #12
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OK, for starters a bicycle is considerd a vehicle in most states. Bringing a "vehicle" into office space goes against numerous restrictions much like bringing a moped inside.
Sne people can tell the difference between heavy vehicles and bicycles. But of course we all know that codes and regs are often a bit silly.
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Maybe tires don't get carpet and furniture dirty, but the grease on chains and chainrings do. That adds up to a potentially big cleaning bill for the landlord.
Does your chain drip? It's only going to get things dirty is something touches it.

I should show you around the office and point out all the coffee stains on the carpeting and furniture. We should probably prohibit coffee too.
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Most corporate insurance policies prohibit as well because something that size can cause personal injury.
What's it going to do, fall on you? How would it cause injury?
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If the bike was stolen from the office, would you expect the landord to pay?
Okay, tell everyone to keep their laptops at home too.
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Old 12-30-08, 03:13 PM   #13
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What's it going to do, fall on you? How would it cause injury?
The most obvious is someone tripping or falling from it. Cyclists tend to lean them against a cube or desk. It's not part of the employers provided furnishings or tools for employees. If there was an injury, the employers insurance comapny likely wouldn't pay.
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Old 12-30-08, 03:21 PM   #14
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How do bike stores get fire insurance?
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Old 12-30-08, 03:39 PM   #15
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I work on the third floor of a building, and go through three secure doors to get to my office. I wouldn't WANT to have my bike in my office - as its a lot of hassle.

I always keep it down in our garage unless I leave it here overnight.
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Old 12-30-08, 03:56 PM   #16
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If fire codes prohibit bicycles from being in buildings, then they're pretty stupid fire codes. In my building there are numerous cabinets, hampers, potted plants, and other obstacles in the hallways that all have larger profiles than a bicycle.
And if you put 'em in the wrong place, they're in violation of fire codes too.
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Old 12-30-08, 03:57 PM   #17
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Okay, tell everyone to keep their laptops at home too.
You mean you have to provide your own laptop for work?
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Old 12-30-08, 04:02 PM   #18
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How do bike stores get fire insurance?
Would someone answer this question^^^^?
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Old 12-30-08, 04:09 PM   #19
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Where does it say that an employer is obligated to provide any parking; or, the "inside storage" many people desire.

If anyone is that unhappy, they should seek employment that meets their needs...

MHO
Well it does seem to me that if an employer provides parking for something the size of the average family car... it should not be too much of a stretch to provide parking for bikes.

This should really not be anything more then designating one auto parking spot as set aside for bikes and then installing a simple rack... this should be able to accommodate several cyclists.
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Old 12-30-08, 04:15 PM   #20
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My office/studio is in a converted industrial building. The section my suite is in has an entrance serving as "front door" to 5 offices, plus access to three more businesses for use of a common kitchenette, shower, etc. So overall small and not a lot of traffic - maybe 100 people work in that section of the building.

The carpets need to be steam cleaned about 4 times /year. They re-touch paint in the hallways every few months to fix scratches etc. In the two years I have leased there, they have done major work on the entrance to repair damage from people dragging in snow, salt, etc. In winter the entrance floors get mopped twice a day. Can you imagine how much more work would be involved if people dragged bikes in too?

Part of my monthly rent is based on maintenance costs - I sure as hell am not willing to pay for wear-and-tear caused by people dragging bikes in! The landlord has bikes racks on two sides of the building, and the city has some nearby as well. Vehicles belong on parking, not inside office buildings.
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Old 12-30-08, 04:18 PM   #21
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It's the fire codes and impediment a bike can cause in a hallway.
not a problem in a storage locker or similar.
From what I read today on this very subject, it's also an issue of "caning". Will the bike be in a path where a
blind person will hit it with their cane, etc. Also, building codes have rules about standard distances/widths of
walkways through a business space.
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Old 12-30-08, 04:20 PM   #22
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Well it does seem to me that if an employer provides parking for something the size of the average family car... it should not be too much of a stretch to provide parking for bikes.

This should really not be anything more then designating one auto parking spot as set aside for bikes and then installing a simple rack... this should be able to accommodate several cyclists.

Seems llike they already do that, without the rack. Have they prohibited you from parking your bike in the lot?

Or, do they provide facilities for the car drivers to lock their cars to?

Remember, the choice to ride our bikes, is ours' alone. It was never forced.
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Old 12-30-08, 04:24 PM   #23
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Our old office building was a dump and we were on the ground floor with a door to our cafe. My dirty bike actually fit in.

Our new building is well kept with new carpet and they paint the walls regularly. I would feel like an idiot covering it in dirt and scraping the walls with my pedals. One of my managers said to bring it in and I refused. For one thing building management prohibits it. Plus the hallways and such are narrow. Not to mention being on the third floor so I prefer to lock it up in our semi secure garage. Tenants pay to park their cars some ridiculous amount of money each month. Us bike commuters have a bike rack in one of the spots.

One wonders why the sense of entitlement for those that expect they should be able to haul their dirty bike into a cube farm? It is cool if you can. If not go on with your life.
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Old 12-30-08, 04:25 PM   #24
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I stopped bringing my bike into the office a couple of years ago. It just distracts me and I end up spending even more time on bikeforums
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Old 12-30-08, 04:27 PM   #25
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You mean you have to provide your own laptop for work?
I don't have one, but some people do bring their own in.
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