I’m not supposed to tell anyone, but …
My apartment managers gave me access to my very own bike storage room!
Remember how I used to whine about having to haul my bike up to my third-floor apartment? Well, all that has changed.
I now have a key and permission to use a small room in the building next door. The room has all the hallmarks of great bike storage:
- On the first floor
How did I land this little car-free gem?
It started with a sign on the door to my building, which read something to the effect of:
“There are two bicycles locked to the railing in the stairwell on the third floor of this building. The owners of the bicycles need to remove them immediately or property management will remove the locks and store the bikes.”
I live in a 325-square-foot studio apartment. When you eat, sleep, work, and play all in one room, space is obviously highly valuable. Now, I had to squeeze my bike in there too.
Also, un-wedging my bike from behind the couch creates one more obstacle to riding it and getting where I want to go. Another worry was that its tire tracks would leave permanent carpet stains.
When I told my friend, Tom, he replied with a reasonable suggestion: “Ask them where they planned to store the bikes—and if you can store it there yourself!”
I went to my leasing office.
“I’ve been storing my bike in the stairwell for six months without incident,” I said.
“It violates fire code,” they said.
“I just resigned my lease,” I said. “This is a significant issue for me.”
“We might be able to give you access to a storage room in one of the buildings,” they said. “But you aren’t going to go around telling your neighbors about it, are you?”
“I’m willing to help find a solution for everyone,” I said. “But I need a place to store my bike now.”
Within the afternoon, the amazingly responsive maintenance team at my apartment had made keys, tracked me down, and led me to the storage room. I nearly hugged them.
Too bad I’m sworn to secrecy.
I can’t name them here to sing their praises publicly. Also, too bad not everyone in my building can utilize this ultra-convenient resource. The room could fit four or five bikes comfortably, but right now I’m the only one with a key to the room.
I understand my apartment manager’s position. The room’s not big enough to fit the bikes of all residents. Also, if they gave access to more than one resident, they might be addressing theft issues. Plus, people might take advantage of the set-up and try to store more than just a bike there. (Don’t think the thought hasn’t crossed my mind.)
If I had my way, here’s what they’d do:
- Designate a few more unused, first-level rooms as bike storage spaces.
- Put a bike rack in each room.
- Offer all residents to store one bike there for a $5 monthly fee.
Think that would be a good solution?