Suburban Assault

Bike Parking: Build It And They Will Come?

with 10 comments

Empty Bike Rack

I’m a strong believer that if you build a good network of bike parking, more people will ride their bikes. Better destinations that accommodate cyclists and provide safe places to secure their bikes is a win for any community. What I often wonder is, what impression are people getting when they see empty racks? Do they think that the racks are a waste of money and  use up ‘precious’ sidewalk and parking lot space?

Library Rack

Are they really working to get more cyclists out?

Bike Rack

In contrast – at locations where there aren’t bike racks – I wonder what people think when they see bikes locked to things like fences, benches, street signs, gas meters or shopping cart returns? I find it quite frustrating to see this unbalance of empty bike racks in some areas, where in others, you see bikes locked to random things. The problem is, where do you put bike parking racks so that they actually get used?

My solution is, everywhere.

Morning Cog

Red Bike In Front Of Froggies

Bike Rack Fail

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Written by dickdavid

June 25, 2013 at 6:58 am

10 Responses

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  1. Well as you know, the 3 empty bike racks pictured are poorly designed and not secured to the ground. I’d rather tie up to a railing or light pole than those. The design, placement, and security of a rack definitely plays a role in whether it will be used or not.

    jennyrilling

    June 25, 2013 at 7:34 am

  2. I agree with Jenny statement and offer an idea for a way to track. Use your pictures to geo-map the empty racks you’ve documented to the bicycles you’ve found locked up to non-rack items. This information can be then provided to the city to show them where parking is needed, and a program developed for parking. btw, the BFOC bike rack design competition will be ending soon and we hope to have something ready for this fall

    turnerwinstonoc

    June 25, 2013 at 7:57 am

    • I like that idea of tracking the racks via geo tracking. Jenny actually started a document for BFR to track them locally, but it’s far from complete.

      dickdavid

      June 25, 2013 at 8:18 am

      • you post got me thinking about it, so I’m going to passively try and do the same for the north Oak Cliff area. If you create the map, let’s do it together and will probably be able to get more BF’s to do the same

        turnerwinstonoc

        June 25, 2013 at 8:22 am

        • Sounds good. Let me look into the best geo tracking/mapping solution.

          dickdavid

          June 25, 2013 at 8:25 am

          • Flickr has geotagging. Google maps is the better map editor, but I guess you have to use Google + to geo tag the photos, which is fine too

            turnerwinstonoc

            June 25, 2013 at 8:35 am

            • Yep. I like the flickr geo tagging, but not everybody is on flickr. Plus, I’m not sure if you can share maps with other contributors.

              I’d like to find something that’s cross platform, that allows multiple contributors to share one map and can be easily tagged with pics.

              dickdavid

              June 25, 2013 at 9:50 am

  3. The advantage of a big, heavy bike rack that is lightly used and poorly secured is you can lock your bike at the end and it is tough for a thief to simply throw the rack/bike combo in the back of a pickup. OS is changing my views on bike racks, though I still agree that businesses that fail to provide good bike parking in reasonable quantity/quality are missing out on business.

    Steve A

    June 25, 2013 at 11:37 am

  4. I can’t tell where those are, but those are horrid racks. When you see them here in San Francisco, only the end spots get used because you can not lock your frame to the rack. You need better racks if you want people to use them, not that junk.

    Adrienne Johnson

    June 30, 2013 at 10:52 am


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