It’s amazing what you can get just by asking…

About three weeks ago, Mr. Dottie and I pulled up to a neighborhood restaurant for brunch and realized there was no place to park our bikes. We had to go over a block and across the street.

Chicago Bike Rack

Chicago Bike Rack

We made our inconvenience known to the restaurant and, upon returning home, we went to the City of Chicago’s website to request installation of a bike rack. Today we got a response – not too shabby!

From: Steven XXX
Date: Mon, Jun 8, 2009 at 1:24 PM
Subject: Your recent Chicago bike rack request

The CDOT Bicycle Parking Program has accepted your request for a bike rack at:

2150 W Roscoe

You can track the status of your bike rack request on our website:

Please note: acceptance of your request does not guarantee installation of a bike rack at this location. Bike racks can only be installed in locations that meet rack siting criteria:

Steven XXX
Bike Parking Program Assistant

Let’s see how quickly this happens. I’ll go crazy with this request thing if it works!

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13 thoughts on “It’s amazing what you can get just by asking…

  1. scott says:

    Strong work, Dottie. I’ll keep an eye out for it — my girlfriend lives around the corner at Hamilton and School, and I’m in the hood frequently.

  2. Trisha says:

    That is pretty awesome! Guessing Nashville does not have such a form yet, but I’m off to check anyway.

  3. meligrosa says:

    thats pretty awesome! what a great little story, taking a huge step in action. go dotties, go!! ♥/xo.m

  4. jj says:

    that’s awesome! i wish portland had that. looks like businesses have to request their own. i need to bug a few neighborhood businesses to make that request.

  5. anna says:

    Great that you have a form for that. I made a similar request (for bike racks in front of a supermarket) by email and got an answer twice “Thank you … blablabla … we will check your request … blablabla … forward it to the people in charge … blablabla”. That was nearly three weeks ago. As far as I can tell nothing will happen :-(.

  6. Neat! Thank you for posting this; it had never occurred to me that this can be done.

    This prompted me to check whether Boston had such a request form and indeed they do. So does Cambridge!

    Please keep us updated about your request.

  7. 2whls3spds says:

    Don’t feel bad…I wrote a letter and an email to a company and asked that they please repair the bike rack in front of their store to make it usable. (It had been run over by a car that jumped the curb) They took the rack out and never replaced it.


  8. I’m thinking it’s a tenent/landlord issue in Mpls., but we can all tell the businesses we shop at, that we’d like some bike racks.

    Or we can take matters into our own hands, which I did when I sold my suburban employer’s unused bike rack to my favorite cafe (Don’t worry, the money went to my employer!). It doubled their bike parking. I got tired of looking at this very nice bike rack that no one had ever used, that wasn’t even bolted to the ground, sitting at the back of the building. It’s a happier bike rack, now that it’s getting regular use.

  9. E A says:

    Being in the 32nd Ward, I know our Alderman is into biking and trying to get racks installed, especially where parking meters are disappearing. But I also heard the city is back-logged with such rack requests. Keep us posted with the timeliness of this request being fulfilled.

    Glad you took the initiative and submitted the request. :-)

    Where were you “brunching”?

  10. One Lung Beat says:

    I’m going to check with Riverside, I don’t expect much…well you never know.

  11. Ira says:

    Friends of mine have used this request form and got results. I hope you do!

  12. Justin says:

    Incredible! I just forwarded your blog post to the bicycle coordinators here in San Antonio & Bexar County, Texas. I like the concept of the City taking charge to install bike racks versus relying on businesses to do this. In my experience local businesses just don’t have a real interest since cyclists make up a small number of their clientele.

  13. E A says:

    Did you see the latest report on getting racks installed? Expect about a 1 month turnaround time:

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