Loblaws could do better

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’ve noticed Loblaw’s’s new ad campaign promoting locally-grown fruits as part of a green strategy. I applaud Loblaw for embracing greener policies, but there’s still a way to go.

Take, for example, this bike rack outside the Loblaws at Jean-Talon and Park. Notice anything odd about it? The fact that no bikes are attached to it? The fact that it’s at an odd angle? Well, that’s because there’s nothing anchoring this bike rack to the ground. Seriously. Go there right now and just walk off with it.

Instead, everyone hooks their bikes up to the solid railings nearby. Although that keeps the bikes relatively secure, it also interferes with anyone wanting to use the railings to help them up the stairs.

This has been going on for weeks now, which means Loblaws is either lazy or just doesn’t care.

Underground, meanwhile, is a large parking lot that can hold over 250 cars. It’s free for shoppers up to two hours.

I was surprised to find, at the far end, parking spaces for bicycles. No signage exists anywhere else to point cyclists here, which is probably why it’s empty in the middle of the day (while bikes are locked to railings outside).

For a store so close to Park Extension, Villeray, Rosemont, Mile End and the Plateau, areas where bicycles are perhaps the most popular in Montreal, this store could make even a small effort to make cyclists feel more welcome.

14 thoughts on “Loblaws could do better

  1. Jean Naimard

    When that Loblaw’s freshly opened some years ago, I went there with my bike and I was thown off the concrete concourse by a security guard who thought that bikes were not allowed on the concourse…

    But this is natural; Loblaw’s is a croporation that thrives on suburbia, and bikes have nothing to do with suburbia (how else could one explain the **HUGE** parking lot in the basement?)

  2. holmes

    what the hell are you complaining about??? There are tons of bicycle spots underground in a covered FREE parking lot.

    Jack: Are you seriously complaining that the bike spots are TOO far from the doors? Do you hear yourself? You just BIKED to loblaws, which takes more effort than driving, so theoretically you can manage to walk the few extra meters or so to the door.

    Come’on people. Loblaws is making an effort. Give’em a break. And stop complaining about parking lots already. The Jean Talon loblaws actually helps traffic in the area by providing that VERY EXPENSIVE parking lot to it’s patrons. They aren’t pushing (as many) carts across the street, there aren’t people illegally stopped causing traffic jams while they load their cars.

    The recent bike-craziness of the city is really ridiculous. Do you people not remember the 400+ cm’s of snow we got last winter? The fact that it’s either too cold or too icy for MOST people to even use their bikes for more than 6-7 months a year. Cars are around year round, and it seems that any concession to cars is met with screams of protest from the cyclists.

    Frankly, they should start charging cyclists registration, and forcing them to have some sort of insurance if they are going to be occupying the same roads are cars. I got my wing mirror taken off by a cyclist. I was stationary, he was cycling between cars. I’m sure he got hurt pretty bad so I got down to see if he was okay. (Though I had absolutely no reason too, he just took off my mirror).

    He got up, I could see he was in pain, he probably broke his arm, but he took off on his bike. I had to stay there and call the cops who told me I have no legal recourse. I could file a hit and run/vandalism, but there was no way to identify the guy. If he had a license plate (hell, they should give them out for free), at least I’d have some recourse.

    (sorry for the rant, but the cylcists are out of control in this city..)

  3. random commenter

    I am confused as to how one is supposed to securely lock a bicycle to those parking spaces using a standard u-lock. It’s a cute effort, all the same.

  4. Jean Naimard

    It’s cars that are out of control. 20 years ago, you saw a car running a red about once per year. Nowadays, you see that happenning 2-3 times per day.

  5. bike momma

    Fagstein, how likely is it that someone is going to spend time wrestling a big heavy metal bike rack -presumably holding some bikes – into his truck?
    The rack looks damaged from this perspective and I figured that’s why people weren’t using it.

  6. blork

    “Random Commenter” has identified the real problem; those old fashioned bike racks don’t accommodate U-locks, which makes them effectively useless. The facts that they are not anchored to the ground and are not so close to the door don’t mean anything. The fact that you can’t secure your bike to them is the real problem.

    This isn’t just a Loblaws problem. I see this all over the place; stores that think they’re being bicycle friendly by putting in a bike rack, but the brain behind the operation is some necktie-wearing middle manager who lives in Brossard and hasn’t touched a bicycle since 1972.

    Bike racks like that are totally useless. That’s why people lock their bikes to the fences and railings.

  7. Shawn

    Actually, that’s true: even when the rack was still attached to the ground — or so I thought — I still locked my bike to the railing a lot because there was no way to secure the frame.

    And I never, at any time, had any idea there was bike parking downstairs. Even when I was there with a rental car! I either didn’t see or didn’t twig that there was that option. Probably still wouldn’t have used it through, it’s all the way around in the back and it stinks of car exhaust, if memory serves correctly. Lastly, I think you access the underground by steepish car ramps — grooved concrete, I think — under those metal height restriction things, too. Pretty fucking dangerous.

    So no, I am not going to give Loblaws a break.

  8. Vahan

    Why go to Loblaws for fresh fruits when the Jean Talon market is not too far off. They have tons of bike rack and fresh fruits and vegetables. Loblaws is just a WalMart in grocery store clothes. Have you ever compared the Presidents Choice branded prepared foods with other brand names. They sell it cheaper because it is full of more fat and sugar and other garbage. Why not fill it up with sawdust and give it away???

  9. Jean Naimard

    (For years, I worked right by a “Super-C”; I have seldom seen such a dismal selection — imagine, a big store full of stuff, but with nothing interesting in it. So, when a “Super-C” opened near Atwater Market, I honestly wished it was a Loblaw’s)…

  10. lagatta

    Thanks a lot to Fagstein for pointing this out!

    The rack is a terrible design – you can only attach the tire to it, potentially either getting your frame stolen or damaging your wheel. There are many other supermarkets with more modern bicycle racks – look at the IGA on St-Zotique or the Métro on Jean-Talon just east of Chateaubriand.

    Notice that the underground rack has the same problem as the outside one.

    Also notice that part of the left ramp in the second photo is missing (damaged, or stolen with an expensive bicycle?)

    As for the advocate of environmental destruction, I certainly ride my bicycle more than 6-7 months a year. Last winter was exceptionally snowy; the winter before, there was practically no snow or freezing temps before 15 January: I cycled all the time until the freeze, and I’m a middle-aged woman, not an athlete. In these neighbourhoods, many people ride for most of the year. It is very sad to read such ignorant, anti-environmental comments now that global warming has been confirmed by all researchers.

  11. FOS

    Well, honestly, I pass by that Loblaws everyday, and the city (or Loblaws, whoever has property of the square close to Parc metro station) seems to have totally let go of that place; it’s dirty, full of pigeons, and the grass is often full of garbage and rice(!)…the only thing kept in good condition is the flower spot facing Jean-Talon. No wonder no one seems to care about the bike racks.


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