“There’s some over there, but people leave their bikes overnight, so the company has been removing them at all their properties,” said the security guy in response to my questions about bike racks.
That was an ominous beginning as I went looking for bike racks at Fashion Island today. It’s 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.
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 only two bike racks in all of 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.
For those that don't want any exercise, there's the trolley
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.
You can buy a car at Fashion Island, but it's hard to park your bike
Bikes are a fashion statement, but don't try to ride yours to Fashion Island
Here's one of the two bike racks. How do you keep the bike from falling over and damaging a wheel?
The other bike rack is underground, outside of Nordstrom's
Cyclists want to park their bikes close to their destination, not hidden in a garage. This out-of-the-way location is more suitable for bike theft.
Because there aren't enough bike racks, just like everywhere else in Newport Beach, people get creative like this bootleg bike rack
Back at CdM Plaza, people come for cupcakes by bike.
Notice how the bikes are close to their riders; that's what people want, not bike racks hidden underground
Bike racks can be fun
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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