Hillside Centre is launching a bike valet this week due to an increased demand for safe bicycle storage at the shopping mall.
Conversations about the bike valet have been in the works since the Walmart opened, says Michele Paget, Hillside’s marketing director.
“Of course, with the increased traffic, we had a lot of cyclists as well, and there was lots of demand for just more bike racks throughout,” Paget told CHEK News. “So we started talking about it, and sure enough, we thought, ‘Well, now’s the time to do it.’ We thought that we would start a pilot project.”
The bike valet will open on April 6 until September. Monday to Saturday it will open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., then on Sunday 11-5.
“As the summer progresses, and the nicer weather we’ll be open until eight,” Paget said.”They’ll be checking people in and out, it’s free. So they’ll be given a chit it’s a little bit like a coat and parcel check, you’ll be given a chit and the other half will be attached to your bike, just to make sure that there’s no confusion.”
Paget says three people have been hired by the centre to operate the bike valet.
Corey Burger, policy and infrastructure chair with Capital Bike, says he hears from cyclists that they want services like this.
“What a bike valet offers is that peace of mind to be able to go and park up and also if you go shopping to multiple places you might have you know things in your paniers or in your cargo bike that might you don’t want to carry with you as you go from store to store,” Burger said.
“This provides an opportunity to basically put those purchases in a place that is safe and you know when you come back you and your bike and your purchases will all be there.”
Paget says Hillside is an ideal place for a bike valet since Saanich is currently expanding its bike network down Shelbourne Street.
“It just really makes sense, I think that a lot of people are looking for alternate ways to get out to be active,” Paget said. “We have a lot of families that come here on the weekends. So now they can bike, they can leave their bike, their helmets, their paniers, and know that it’s safe and come back to it.”
The bike valet will be across from the main food court entrance on the Hillside Avenue side of the building.