Bike Rack Rules

Even though St. Paul is bike friendly with miles of trails and bike lanes parking a bike can be a challenge.  In parts of St. Paul there are few bike racks.  We use trees, benches and fences and anything else we can lock our bikes to.  There are fences with signs that say don’t even think about locking your bike to this fence.  

In the last week the city of St. Paul put a bunch of bike racks in along West 7th street.  When I questioned the placement of the bike racks I was told that they could only be put in certain places because of city ordinances.  It worked out so that most of the bike ranks ended up in front of businesses that do not get bike traffic.


This one is in front of the laundromat and for some reason people do not bike to it.  I am sure with the right type of carrier a few loads of laundry would fit on a bike. 

bikerack tatto shop
bike rack tatto shop

I have never seen anyone bike to the tattoo shop which is located in between and auto body shop and an ambulance garage.  I have never seen anyone bike to the body shop.  There are no other businesses on the block but there is a cafe with out a bike rack across the street where it would get used.  This one will never get used. 

oldschool parling lot
old school bike rack

This is in front of the Day-by-Day cafe on west 7th.  The cafe gets bike traffic and there isn’t any place behind it of near it to lock up a bike so people lock them to this bench.  There is one small bike rack on this block but there is also a coffee shop and two other retail businesses and little parking of any kind during business hours. 

If bike racks can not be put where they are needed we should not put them in or . . oh my this is outside the box . . . we should change the rules or get a different kind of bike rack so they can be placed where they are needed.  I know that is a stupid idea and when I mention it I hear the four letter word that I hate more than any other . . “can’t”

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2 Replies to “Bike Rack Rules”

  1. Hear hear! A Minneapolitan who frequently rides to and in St. Paul, while we don’t have anywhere near adequate racks in Mpls, St. Paul is like a desert. It’s enough to not want to bike here.

    I gotta say, those ill-placed racks also look like they’re too much in the middle of the street, as well as in locations where they won’t get much use. (Unless they’re planning to narrow the sidewalk?)

    Have you checked with the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition if they know anything more about the ordinances?

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      I have not checked with the bike coalition but I talked to a couple of people with the city who say they have a plan. It doesn’t seem like anyone that actually owns a bike or rides one has any input. As far as the placement of those racks it will be interesting to see what happens in the winter when the snow plows come by. They do seem to be too close to the street.

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