The new Big Box shopping center which opened up on South Beach seems to be very popular amongst bicyclists. I have ridden and driven by on a number of occasions and I am astonished to see the number of bicycles parked outside the entrance to new Publix on 6th Street between Lenox Avenue and Alton Road. It seems like the developers of this shopping center did not account for the fact that shoppers would come to this shopping destination by bicycle.
Today I counted 23 bicycles parked outside the entrance to Publix. With only two bicycle racks available on 6th Street, we can all agree that this shopping center is underserved by bicycle parking. In addition to being underserved, the bicycle parking should have been placed in a safe, secure and covered location, much like the parking which is available for cars. To be fair, there are additional bicycle racks on Lenox Avenue, but they are about a block away and not utilized due to their distance from the entrance. The parked bicycles on 6th street are locked up to anything that is anchored to the ground, including trees, garbage cans, and sign posts.
This is poor foresight by the developer of this project. It should be of no surprise to anyone, except for the developer, that so many customers would not arrive by car. Although I did not check out the parking garage, I’m willing to bet that a large percentage of the available parking is empty.
If the developers had really understood their target market, they should have known many of the trips undertaken to the shopping center would be done by bicycle, public transportation and foot. Crosswalks in the area have seen very little improvement, and with so many elderly people living in the area, need to be enhanced to ensure their safety. Developers should share the responsibility of providing safe and secure access, not only for cars, but for actual people too.
It’s really in the developer’s best interest to have fewer people arrive by car. Instead of allocating precious square feet to unused parking, the developers would receive a higher ROI if they could lease out commercial real estate space instead of parking. Sounds like a win-win situation for everyone.
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