It is not often that you can find a shopping center where each and every tenant has a bike rack installed out front for the benefit of their customers and employees – in fact, until Tuesday evening I had never seen such a situation. But, in the case of a three-store shopping plaza in the eastern suburbs of Lansing, there are actually more bike racks (five) than there are stores (three). Foods For Living, State of Fitness, and the Salvation Army Family Store each have bike racks, with Foods For Living owning three of them.
Needless to say, bicyclists are pleased with the ample availability of bicycle parking. The plaza’s proximity to Michigan State University (MSU) – approximate 1-1.5 miles may something to do with it, but this author also beliefs the mix of stores contributes to the number of bike racks situated there. Food for Living is an employee-owned grocery store which is dedicated to selling to health-conscious consumers a la Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s; State of Fitness is an exercise studio – so why not bike to your workout?; and many customers of the Salvation Army store cannot afford cars or are students from MSU looking for inexpensive deals to fill their dorm room or apartment. It’s and interesting mix of socioeconomics and demographics that come together to create the perfect parking scenario for us avid cyclists.
Congratulations to all three businesses as well as to the owners of the shopping center for providing the bike racks – thank you for setting a great example for the business community across all of Greater Lansing.