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Old 01-24-08, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Pat View Post
Well, I managed a commercial office building. The basic rule is absolutely nothing can be kept at the bottom of a stairwell. I believe the notion is if there is anything down there, it could well be flammable. A stairwell, which serves as a fire escape, can turn into a chimney really easily. It seems harmless enough to store a bicycle down there, but I would never let it happen if I had my say in the matter. Even pretty non flammable materials can produce smoke and you just do not want to take any chances whatsoever in a fire exit. I would suggest that you look into discussing arrangements for bicycle parking with the responsible people. A problem here though is that most commercial buildings have precious little storage space. Storage space does not collect rent and it is all about maximizing rents. They can probably provide a place but I would think that it would be outside.
Thanks for your comments Pat.

I have bicycle parking available. There are plenty of places to park my bike in the parking garage, but as a matter of coincidence it's simply much quicker to go out the front door and start pedaling. This, combined with concerns of theft, is why, before my little experiment, I had opted to keep my bike in the closet of my apartment. I began my little experiment to see if it would be more convenient still to lock my bike in a hidden place under the railing on 30 step detour up the stairway to nowhere on the route between my apartment and the front door. It was more convenient, but not at the expense of safety which I can see is compromised by having a bike with flammable parts at the top of the same fireproof enclosure as the stairway to the street, even if it doesn't block anything.

Ironically enough, space didn't seem to be a priority in the renovation of this building. It used to be a department store and it seems that some of the renovation choices were made to minimize construction rather than maximize space. There are exceedingly wide hallways, spacious and unused sitting areas on every floor, and an absurd number of elevators in comparison to the number of apartments in addition to the fact that that one side of the building is all utility rooms (not to mention quirks like the aforementioned stairs to nowhere). All in all I'd say that the building has more common areas than it does private rented space and I have to say that although, on the one hand, it seems a bit of a waste, on the other hand it's nice not to feel like you're being packed like sardines in the name of profit.
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