This bit of pavement doesn’t rank as “New Stuff” quite yet: it’s the southern end of the Carrall Street Greenway (design here) – a critical link between the False Creek seawall and, eventually, Burrard Inlet and Coal Harbour, completing the loop around the Downtown Peninsula. Eventually, thousands will be biking, blading and walking on this connecting link every day, joining up Gastown, the Downtown East Side, Chinatown and Concord Pacific Place.
Indeed, Concord Pacific has placed the Presentation Centre, where they market their current projects, right next to the Greenway:
Now, if you look carefully (and I have), you’ll notice something very odd: there’s no bike rack. Regardless of the traffic flowing by on the seawall and already using the greenway, Concord has made no accommodation for cyclists at all.
In fact, the whole lay-out of the Presentation Centre site has been designed purely for drive-in traffic. There’s no pedestrian entrance on the seawall, and even the berm that surrounds the site on the north side avoids providing a pathway for bikes and peds directly to the entrance.
The assumption: if you didn’t drive to get there, you don’t count.
Now here’s what I find odd. Not that they designed the site only for cars, not that they have don’t have a bike rack, not that they’re ignoring the traffic on the seawall. What I find incomprehensible is that they failed to take advantage of one of the best marketing opportunities available today – one that they paid millions for, and that they could lever to make millions more.
It was Concord, after all, that paid for the seawall on the North Shore of False Creek; it is Pacific Place that pioneered a more pedestrain-friendly urban design. Concord already has the brand!
And as I’ve written elsewhere about bike sharing, “green” makes green. Sustainability is, as any strategic thinker realizes, the wave of the present, not just the future. Whether it’s peak oil, climate change, smart-growth or resilient planning, any company that has an opportunity to position themselves for the future – when disruption can turn into opportunity – has the opportunity to put money in the bank. “Gas expensive? Live without a car.” “Reduce your carbon footprint – and your weight. Live in a walking-friendly community” “Smart growth? It starts here.”
And Concord, apparently, is oblivious. Forget ‘good intentions’ or even the city’s bylaws that require bike racks. To not take advantage of what you’ve already paid for, to fail to market your legitimately green credentials, to ignore your potential customers walking and cycling by, is leaving money on the table.
That’s what the absense of a bike rack really means.
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