Sunday, September 11, 2011

Better Bicycle Parking Please

I’m an avid cyclist and bicycle commuter. I ride most days to work and try to make short trips around the neighborhood for small errands and to bring my oldest to school.  I have been a commuter for more than 25 years and one universal problem I experience is adequate parking/lock up facilities most places I go.  

Like all seasoned commuters I’ve become skillful at using any form of street furniture or building appendage to lock up. But it’s not always easy and it often limits access to other users of the public right of way. But there is hope. I search blogs and RSS feeds all the time for new and exciting bicycle parking solutions, and here are a few of my most recent favorites.

Cycle Hoops is a small company that I love. They jumped on the scene through re-purposing street signs with simple attachments that create easy parking without costly new instilations or using up extra space on sidewalk. Check out Cycle Hoops here:

NYC has also been replacing meters since last year with bike racks and carried out a large design competition a few years back to select the design. I’m not sue why they needed to replace the meters with racks (instead of re-purposing Alla Cycle Hoop) but I’ll support the addition of racks over meters to safely park my bike.

The Delaware Valley Green Building Council held a design competition last year to re-purpose a parking lot in downtown Philly for bicycle parking. While it would be great to have so much parking in one area I’m not sure if bike parking will ever need 300 or 500 sights in one place, even in Philly. Cyclist like there ability to be free to park close to work, including parking in their offices. But I certainly love the design and hope that someday this type of mass parking will encourage bicycle tourists to visit downtown.

Annie Scheel, BIKE & Delaware Valley Green Building Council
Some ideas may be great concepts, but I’m not so sure they’ll last. Riverside, California launched the bike shell program three year ago, and while I couldn’t find newer photos of them, I’m interested in knowing just how long these last and if the planners still think it was a good idea.

Finally, there are some idea I feel won’t work just by looking at them. I hate to nay-say on and creative concepts, but I’m almost certain that the rotating bicycle hanging system proposed by  Manifesto Architects won’t become mainstream. Although, I understand they are installing a prototype now and may even have a buyer lined up. I hope they prove me wrong.

The vertically-hung, space-saving Bike Hanger by Manifesto Architecture

No comments:

Post a Comment