Bike Parking: Checking in on Aldi’s in Chicago

So last week or so, on a previous post, I mentioned that the Aldi grocery store on Milwaukee & Leavitt in Wicker Park had no bike parking.  I stopped back this week to grab a couple more pictures – they have a lot of available space next to the store or in the parking lot that could easily host some bike racks.

Here’s a bike locked up to the railings out front because there are no bike racks.

makeshift bike parking at the Aldi on Milwaukee & Leavitt

Makeshift bike parking at the Aldi on Milwaukee & Leavitt

Looking to the right of the entrance is a large open space that would be perfect for bikes since the store locks up all the grocery carts on the left side of the store.

Aldi could put some U-racks next to the store here

Aldi could put some U-racks next to the store here

Or perhaps they could put bike racks in this area in the parking lot that is marked as a no-parking zone? I parked Oma here briefly why I took these pictures.

Parking Lot at Aldi

As I’ve said before, this is a grocery store on a major bike route in Chicago, in  a neighborhood full of bike routes AND full of residents who bike.  Why no bike racks? Aldi is an international company, started in Germany, with two divisions – Nord (North) and Sud (South).  The stores in the United States are part of the Aldi Sud division.  In their European and Australian stores they plan for bike parking – based on purely anecdotal evidence, 50% of their German customers come on bikes.  Some of their stores in the United States have bike parking, but not many.  According to the survey that’s been started over on Steve Vance’s blog, the Aldi store at 4500 N. Broadway has bike parking.  I stopped at the Aldi  store at 1440 N. Kostner today, and that store, while very new, and with some nice landscaping elements, lacks bike racks too.

Aldi Grocery Store at 1440 N. Kostner with no bike racks

Aldi Grocery Store at 1440 N. Kostner with no bike racks

There may not be a lot of streets with bike lanes near that store, but I saw folks on bikes riding around the area and they were not wearing spandex – they were riding for basic transportation.

Aldi Grocery Store on Kostner - bike racks could go here?

Aldi Grocery Store on Kostner - bike racks could go here?

So yeah, bike parking at grocery stores is important and right now I’m checking out the Aldi stores.  It’s bad enough when a local chain ignores local parking requirements, but an international chain that’s familiar with bike commuters can’t bother to put up a few bike racks?  How can we encourage people to ride their bikes more when they don’t have any place to park them?

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