I'll start by looking at some local supermarkets, as these are destinations pretty much everyone has to visit one way or another at some point in their week (unless you live in some sort of local shop nirvana or are a freegan). I'll add more entries as I come across them, but I'll start with some I've visited recently (and had the presence of mind to take some pictures).
Evalution CriteriaIn terms of evaluation criteria...Hmmm... this is going to be difficult but I'll try to apply some consistent guidelines. Do we compare like with like? Is it fair to compare e.g. an out-of-town big-box hypermarket versus a high street mini-market? I suspect this will change I look at more facilities.
I think by its nature - and without access to statistics like area, customer volumes and number of car parking spaces (I'm NOT going to go around counting them!) - this is going to be quite a subjective evaluation, but I'll try to consider the following dimensions:
- Availability - by this I mean "are there any official facilities at all". Big demerits for "unofficial" parking (e.g. perimeter fencing, light poles, trees etc.)
- Convenience - is the cycle parking close to the door of the shop. This includes "indoors" incidentally
- Number of spaces - are there plenty of bike spaces available, relative to the size of the store
- Security/conspicuousness - I've put these two measures together as they are (to my mind) inter-related, although it could also be applied to the sturdiness/quality of the facility. The more obvious/visible the facility, the less likely someone will be to have a go at nicking your bike
- Quality - related to above. I'd expect a Sheffield stand as a minimum but more kudos for more elaborate solutions. Also includes whether or not the facility is sheltered or open to the elements
- Other - is there something unique about this facility that isn't covered above?
* This is my assumption incidentally. Would be interested to hear if anyone has a different perspective
Morrison's GallowgateLocation - Open StreetMap
|Morrison's Gallowgate's rear cycle facilities|
It is located on Barrack Street, just off the Gallowgate, about a mile east of Glasgow Cross. The shop sits right across from the famous/notorious Barras Market - a development which will no doubt have depressed the remaining (demoralized) stallholders there. At the same time, it covers an area not well served by food retailers - fresh fruit&veg being particularly hard to find - as well as potentially attracting savvy students in the nearby halls of residence not wanting to be stung by the prices of mini-markets and the Co-op on George Street. The area - known as the Calton - is also one of the most deprived in Glasgow (the UK, even) and has a male life expectancy lower than Bogotá and Baghdad*. Thus, very few local residents have access to a car and I would expect a big proportion of customers will come on foot or public transport. In other words: a location ripe for bikes.
* citation needed
To be fair to Morrison's, they've done a decent job here - a benchmark if you will. There are two entrances to the shop - a main one on Barrack Street and a secondary door by the car park at the back. Each has a row of standard steel Sheffield stands right by the door, with six at the front and a further four at the back - I estimate space for approximately 20 bikes, which seems reasonable compared to the size of the relatively modest car park.The stands are conspicuously located under the well-lit and sheltered frontage, although I suspect given the right combination of wind direction and rainfall intensity they might be a little exposed in some circumstances.
At the very least, it looks as if they've at least considered that some of their customers will arrive on a bike and have prepared accordingly. This is in marked contrast to the next facility I'll look at.
Asda ToryglenLocation - Open Streetmap
|Asda Toryglen - at least the trolleys are dry|
Cycling provision is, to be blunt, fairly poor. You wouldn't know it from the picture but off to the right, there are some sheffield stands - round the corner, near the staff entrance, away from the main doors, out of sight.
|Note the night-safe has preferential positioning|
What is abundantly clear here is that bikes are - at best - an afterthought. The management here clearly don't expect more than handful of people to come here by bike, despite it being close to an overwhelmingly residential area (including the nearby borough of Rutherglen).
* you can see another three metal stands that look like Sheffields, but these are there to prevent the doors from opening fully - you'd be pretty daft or desperate to lock your bike to them!
That'll probably do for this instalment - in the next post, I'll be comparing and contrasting the local instances of two German discounters Lidl and Aldi, which have surprisingly different approaches to the same issue.