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Blog: Searching for Bike Racks at Fashion Island

I know of one bike rack at Fashion Island, so I go looking for the other and come up with this photo essay.

Over the weekend I went looking for bike racks at Fashion Island.

“There’s some over there, but people leave their bikes overnight, so the company has been removing them at all their properties,” the security guy said in response to my questions about bike racks.

Fashion Island is about 2.1 miles from my house, so after a great week riding the bike I thought I’d walk. The route takes me over the Goldenrod Bridge then into Corona del Mar Plaza where I stopped to inquire about bike racks there.

I found one and it was better than nothing, but as I walked through CdM Plaza I noticed the employee parking lot — no bike racks for employees, so this little bike rack is one of two. I made a mental note to check the other one on the way home as I continued up the hill.

I know there are two bike racks in Fashion Island, too, but I only know where one is, so that’s my primary objective. I approach from the south and see these bikes locked up outside Macy’s.

If these weren’t gorgeous ‘fashion’ bikes I’m guessing security would be out there with the bolt cutters. But what’s the bike rider to do? Fashion Island is under-served when it comes to bike racks.

I’m hoping I’ll spot the new trolley the Irvine Company has added to the experience; it doesn’t take long.

This idea of mine has been germinating for about a week — I rode over to CdMHS earlier in the week and on the return trip I stopped in for a little bite of breakfast. As a security guard walked by I asked him about bikes, “Bikes aren’t allowed on the property, but we do have two bike racks.” Wow, two bike racks, I smart alec’d to myself.

“You can stop by the Concierge Desk and make a request for more bike racks,” he suggested as we parted.

That’s a constructive idea and I don’t remember this advice until today when, coincidentally, I’m standing at the directory just steps away from the Concierge Desk. A nice concierge lady comes right over to ask what I’m looking for and I know I surprise her with my inquiry, but she’s not flustered for a second, “Would you like to fill in one of our Comment Forms? It’s a good way to let the company know.” That’s when I remember, so I take her up on her offer and spend a moment filling in the form. My favorite question is the last one:

If there was one element that would have made your visit more enjoyable, what would it be?

“Arriving without a car and feeling welcome,” I write without a moment’s thought. As I hand her the form, “Can I have a copy?” Everyone aims to please at the Concierge Desk and as I walk away I feel like I’ve made new friends.

It seems obvious that shoppers are expected to come by Bentley, not by bike. Yet people are coming by bike and feeling more or less the way I do, under-served. My bike isn’t flashy, hopefully it doesn’t scream ‘steal me’, but I prefer to park it where I can see it or at least where it won’t get damaged or stolen. The Irvine Company has a winning formula for everything else they do, especially at Fashion Island; here’s hoping they’ll read my Comment Form and consider adding more bike racks.

At Corona del Mar Plaza where parking at peak times is so precious, plus its proximity to the Flower Streets, a little more prominent bike parking might have an even bigger impact. As bike advocates always say, “If you build it, they will come.”

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David Huntsman March 28, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Note to self: stop by concierge desk to complete Comment Form!
Frank Peters March 28, 2012 at 09:32 PM
From LagunaStreets: The Unified school system in Laguna Beach has four campuses, enrol 3000 students and have two bike racks for all of them. The racks are located at the high school campus near the tunnel, they hold 13 bikes total. The District does not condone riding or walking to school because "the streets are unsafe". What's the median price of a home in LB these days? A couple years ago I rode my bike to the high school gymnasium to investigate bike racks. I was approached by a school coach who demanded to know what I was doing there. I said plainly I was looking for the bike racks to store my bicycle. I was grilled about invading school property and I had no business being there. I could have left with a smart-alek remark like I was a returning student having graduated 40 years ago, but I simply said this was not worth the effort and I was leaving. Lesson learned: don't threaten the institutions around Laguna Beach with your bicycle.
Ed Lincoln March 29, 2012 at 04:53 PM
"...people leave their bikes overnight, so the company has been removing them at all their properties,” Do they remove cars left overnight in their parking lots too?
Merlin April 16, 2012 at 04:38 AM
You are a kindred spirit! You may be interested to know that I spent a year and a half nagging Nordstrom (which is based in my home town, Seattle) to include not just driving but also transit, walking and biking directions on their website. The Seattle Nordstrom store is located DIRECTLY ON TOP OF our lovely Light Rail station, with an entrance from the station directly into the store. Nordstrom now does use a map service that will give transit directions. As for bikes, when I shop there I carry my bike up to the concierge desk and ask where I can park. These people are trained to be EXTREMELY POLITE (they remind me a bit of the therapy dog we have in our children's hospice program, I mean incredibly controlled and well-mannered). The head of the concierge service researched my question, "Why doesn't Nordstrom provide bike parking?" and 2 days later answered, "Because there's a bike rack across the street (and around the corner)." Anyway, I'm glad there someone else who thinks this is important. Just wait, another year or two and Nordstrom will be sponsoring Bike Fashion shows and trying to pretend they were the first to realize that a BIKE is the new BLACK!
Sofiarun May 24, 2012 at 07:45 AM
The city needs to install more bike rides if they want the cyclists to cycle around more. It is completely unsafe to leave bikes standing around, even when the rider only shifts its attention for a little while. The promotion of bike riding definitely needs to be supplemented with bike lanes and more bike racks. - http://www.uncomfortablefoot.com

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