Apple Store bicycle customer accomodations

LA Metro’s bicycle program Facebook page posted this photo of the Apple Store in Santa Monica, California.

Santa Monica Apple Store bike parking

Their caption: “Apple store in Santa Monica accommodating their cyclist customers.

It’s a nice thought, but let’s take a look at the alley. This is the Google Maps Streetview.

Google Maps Streetview: santa-monica-alley

They stick the cyclists out back with the trash dumpsters, employee smoking areas, and delivery truck loading zones. Thanks, but no thanks.


  1. The only folks who would suggest something as stupid as parking your bike in a back alley where it can be easily stolen/hacked is someone who has never ridden a bike.

    That said, that Apple Store in Santa Monica is on the Third Street Promenade, which is a walking street. There is no street car parking, only sitting benches and some bike rack staples. There is seemingly plenty more room for more bike racks/staples, tho the street can get crowded/packed.

    Be interesting to see what the City of Santa Monica response would be to a request for more bike racks, or bike racks/staples right outside the Apple Store.

  2. It seems to me rather than ridicule Apple, wouldn’t it make more sense to give them some credit for the effort? and then educate in a constructive way that inspires other merchants to install bike racks even more thoughtfully? Public ridicule seems more likely to convince merchants it’s hardly worth the effort and then you have nothing.

  3. Who’s ridiculing Apple?

    LA Metro’s bike program is holding this up as an example of desirable bike accommodations. I’m pointing out that it’s not.

    But since you bring Apple up: I don’t know if you know 3rd Street in Santa Monica well, but it’s a nice, pedestrian mall with very few bike racks available out front. Sticking the bike parking out back with the garbage is an insult, not an opportunity for outreach.

  4. Well, yes, I was in that Apple store on 3rd street yesterday. And I’ve been in the alley behind the store many times (the parking structures all along 2nd and 4th have exits into the alley). While I agree I would always use bike racks out front on 3rd, it is fair to say the alley behind isn’t like skid row the way others less familiar with the area may imagine.

    Also I concede on “ridicule”. But Apple’s bike rack is hardly an “insult” compared to the hundreds of shops that have none at all. So my point is simply to increase the general availability of racks without punishing the stores that implement ess than ideally.

  5. I’d also point out that bike riding is banned on the Third Street Promenade, as well as Santa Monica sidewalks. So any bike racks on the Promenade are walk-up only.

    Next time I ride out that way, I’ll try to get a photo of the bike parking area behind the Apple Store.

  6. The fancy Apple Store + plaza in Lincoln Park Chicago came with 0 bike racks. Oh, what are those over there? Well, they’re 50+ feet from the Apple Store and directly outside the adjacent train station. So those are the train station’s bike racks. The Apple Store still needs a bike rack, so you can thank my friends at CDOT for putting up one that’s actually convenient and near the entrance.

    P.S. I would love if Cyclelicious returned to Disqus 🙂

  7. Ummm a few facts from a Santa Monica local if you please. The new replacement store in Santa Monica is one of many corporate flagship stores on a walk street. It’s very, very upscale. Car parking is across an ally in several parking structures, behind both sides of the street. These are very busy alleys providing access to the stores. And it is two blocks to the ocean…

    The city of Santa Monica is in charge of the Promenade itself (not the stores) and it’s bike racks. Also the parking structures across the alleys. Until recently the racks were all rather cool looking expensive stainless steel posts holding two bikes. Newer ones are standard rubber coated staples. Apple and the other stores have no particular say in what happens in front of their store on the Promenade. Everyone wants to find a way to make the alleys nicer and more popular.

    Thus the bike racks are not there, but on the back wall similar to where the car parking is. The current bike parking best practice is to park at the Bike Center in the south end, which provides more than a hundred indoor supervised bike parking spaces, a shop, etc (first hour free in the same manner as the car parking structures) and walk down the promenade, where you might see something and buy it. Walking is good for you. OK, well, I usually ride the urban junker bike and just find a space somewhere, and lock it.

    The Apple store is (was) much too congested a space to think that one could take a bike inside. Four racks are way too few, even for the many employees. Dunno about the sign – probably all they could think of after Ted complained! This is brand new replacement store, and they could have made space for bike parking near the front. It will be outdated in three years, like all apple product, so maybe in the next one…

    Eric W

  8. PS – Santa Monica is basically a no smoking zone. It’s city policy in many respects, including rental apts now. There’s no smoking with 20 feet of any businesses window or door, whether it opens or not, which is the situation behind the new Apple store. Nor on the Promenade, city parks, bus stops, parking structures, etc. So nobody will be blowing smoke in on your bike in that alley…

    Richard, why don’t you come down for a visit? Santa Monica is a pretty nice place to bike. Ted and I will show you around!

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