Office installs bike parking but tickets those who park all day

Vancouver building management company says it 'detracts from professional image'

by Sarah Barth   August 3, 2013  

© Molly Millar.png

You'd think that bike racks were for parking in, surely. Well, not in one Vancouver office building.

Molly Millar, fashion editor for Momentum Magazine, put her bike in the new racks at the Vancouver Sun & Province Building, only to return to a ticket from a rather zealous building manager.

When she emailed the building managers, Cadillac Fairview, she was even more surprised to get this response:

Hi Molly, We do like to encourage cycling to work and our tenants to think about being ‘green’ … but we also need to maintain the professional image of the building. We don’t want to encourage all day parking of bikes throughout our plaza, which would deter from this [professional image].

Turns out that those bike racks are only for couriers to use, and have a 15 minute limit. Makes sense, huh?

The company argues that there are other racks available for commuters who ride in on a regular basis, but it's still hard to see how a bike parked in a bike rack could do all that much to affect a company's 'professional image'.

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Maybe they could allow carbon fibre bikes only? But only if parked by smartly dressed cyclists.... obviously Wink
Any other rules people can think of that would allow them to maintain their professional image?

posted by SideBurn [906 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 8:51


I can sort of see their point, IF they have a single "short stay" rack for couriers etc, maybe a few "medium stay" racks for people attending meetings, and LOTS of "long stay / all day" racks for employees who cycle to work.

But it would have to be well signposted, and the commuter racks would need to still be convenient to get to each day.

Here it looks like they put in too many courier spaces (note >50% of rack is empty in the photo), then became upset when people started using it.

Also, what does the urban wasteland, torn binliner etc in the photo do for their "professional image"?

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [595 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 10:03


Ah, CBC reported on it -

Looks like Momentum magazine is pretty pro-bike, in fact it's all about bikes. And they offer an indoor "bikeroom" to employees.

Maybe they need to realize that not everyone wants to wheel their bike indoors every day?

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [595 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 10:08


I hear they charge 5 dollars to use the elevator, 1 dollar for stairs.

posted by TeamCC [146 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 11:47


This is the wankiest thing I've ever heard. 'Professional image'? Even if you're that bothered about your prof. image over your green image, why are bikes being parked all day anti-prof.image, whereas bikes parked for short periods aren't?

And it's irrational. Do they think that someone looking at the building, and who is bothered about it's effing 'image', will be looking at it for longer than fifteen minutes, and if a bike stays there for that whole time they'll think 'that looks unprofessional, I don't think I'll be doing business with them'??? It's idiotic. They want their 'green image' as long it can be squeezed into their 'professional image' without too much image damage? Pathetic.

And it's dishonest, putting on a show of being 'green' and 'professional'. How about actually BEING 'green and professional?

I bet they are always misusing words like 'iconic' and 'passionate' as well.

posted by bikeylikey [191 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 16:24


Truly hilarious, charging for bike parking, anything to discourage it it seems.

posted by northstar [1113 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 18:45


Is there a chance they mean their image is affected by couriers walking their bikes up to reception so they want to keep the courier bike park free and not used by all-day parkers? That would make sense to me.

posted by Whirlio [13 posts]
4th August 2013 - 9:49


On the other hand, in some circumstances this could be a winner. I'm thinking of the selfish twonks who commandeer scarce bike stands to use as freebie advertising hoardings. like the carpet cleaning outfit who pull this stunt in Streatham and Tooting.

posted by tradescant [16 posts]
4th August 2013 - 19:03


Because of the copyright on the main image, I'm guessing this is Mollys bike where it was parked.
With all the shit in the background, they do really care about the professional look of the buildings obviously.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [677 posts]
5th August 2013 - 8:14


Somebody in Building Management needs a good arse-kicking.

posted by Cauld Lubter [124 posts]
27th May 2014 - 22:16

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