Christmas shopping apparently began early for many people, with crowds reportedly trapped in the parking garage for up to three hours at one popular shopping mall in Silicon Valley, California before the Thanksgiving Holiday. Some shoppers at Westfield Valley Fair abandoned their cars, walked out to the street and Ubered their way home.
Valley Fair Mall doesn’t advertise this among their travel options, but they provide the best bike parking I’ve seen at an American shopping mall — free, secure bike lockers.
The upscale Valley Fair mall bucks the trend of failing malls, pulling in $1,150 per square foot of retail space. During planning for their recently completed $600 million parking garage, the mall development manager met with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. The guy knew nothing at all about bikes, but got bike religion, did a ton of his own research, and selected these lockers that work like a very large hotel room safe. You stash your bike inside, and create your own secret code to lock the locker. You re-enter the same code to retrieve the bike. There’s no signup, no pre-registration, no reservation and no stored value electronic card.
The bike parking is next to a mall entrance, and everyone using the new parking garage walk right through the bike area. They also have several bike racks and a Dero Fixit Station.
I love the bike parking available at this mall. Depending on where you’re coming from, biking to this mall can be a challenge, with very heavy traffic on most approaches with little to nothing in the way of bike facilities. Westfield Valley Fair straddles the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara, California on Stevens Creek Boulevard at Winchester Boulevard. I think most people who bike to this mall arrive via either Monroe Street or Forest Avenue.