I'm going to change jobs before the end of the year, and two of the leading possibilities are at 175 W. Jackson and 70 W. Madison. I was wondering if anybody here had any direct experience with or knowledge of the bike parking situation in either building.
I've been told that 175 Jackson has indoor parking near the loading dock, which sounds relatively secure, but I don't really have a sense of how things go during the summer. And I really don't want to have to park a bike on the street every day.
Currently, a third option is at 444 N. Michigan, which apparently has an indoor secure bike closet someplace, so that's a huge plus for me. So if anyone has direct experience of that, I'd love to hear about it also.
I'm going to go down and try to check out the buildings myself next week, but I'd really appreciate any info from someone who knows how the situation is year-round.
I work at the 175 W Jackson building and I ride year round. The indoor parking for Winter is great; very few bikes and plenty of spaces to put your bike. Spring/Summer, gets very crowded and I've opted to lock up outside the past 4 years during these seasons.
Additional; even with inside parking, be sure you lock up as securely as you would outside. Four years ago I had a bike stolen from the inside parking area because I got lazy and just used a cable. The thief used a cheap bike to act like he was parking, quickly snipped my cable, then rode out on my fairly new Trek 7200. I know this because I got to see the video from the camera in the loading dock...
Depending on how in demand whatever you do is, you should put a private bike parking space on the table as a negotiation chip :-)
I worked at 444 N. Michigan a couple of years ago. At the time they had two bike rooms, both fairly narrow and deep. They are not wide enough to allow bikes to park sideways in them so people had to store bikes lengthwise in them, which limited the number of bikes. Obviously they were not built for bike storage, but it is still great that the building found some indoor space for bikes. I'm guessing each room accommodates a dozen or mebbe 15 bikes? I never had a problem getting a space, but I also arrived well before the 8:45 rush. In the summer they would get totally full and in the winter remain mostly empty - like everywhere else. A related feature of the building is the "health club" also in the basement. I can't say if it is still there or if it available for all tenants, but it was when I worked there. Pretty great to have a shower available after an August commute.
You didn't ask, but there is a fairly great dive bar nearby, Rossi's.
I work at 175 W. Jackson and yes, you can park your bike, on a first come, first serve basis in the loading dock area from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday thru Friday, free of charge, if you work in the building. My hours were sometimes later than that, so I found an underground parking garage at 409 S. Financial Place that has bicycle parking available 24/7 on either a monthly or annual payment basis. This arrangement has worked out very well for me.
70 W. Madison has a secured (key card access) bike parking room at street level (accessible from the alley I think). If you take the job at that location, you can contact the building management office to get the necessary access. You'll probably have to sign a waiver of some sort regarding damages, etc.
Thanks everybody for the info, I really appreciate it. It sounds like my options are at least reasonable at all locations, so I'm pretty happy about that. But I'll admit those free showers at 444 Michigan sound very enticing.
You know, Howard, what really annoys me about this process is that I bet I could wrangle a free auto parking space out of someone if I pushed it, but when I ask about bicycles they just look at me with befuddlement. I honestly don't think it even occurs to them that bikes park someplace; don't we just lean them on the kickstand outside the back door? At least I've gotten a few HR departments to ask building management about bike parking, so hopefully that keeps nudging the parking situation in the right direction.