What defines a great bike Rack? Those 10-year-old sidewalk-mounted pre-fabricated square steel tube scattered around New York could soon inspire just as much nostalgia as an MTA subway token. With financial backing from mega player Google and transportation consultancy Transportation Alternatives, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum are looking to reinvent the city's bike racks with the CityRacks design competition.Entries, addressing both design and function, may be submitted in two categories: the Sidewalk Rack category and the In-Building Parking category. The winner could make a major mark on the landscape: For an undefined period of time, the city plans to add some 500 racks per year.
Design aside, what's a good bike rack? Here's a start: One that allows you to securely lock (with one lock) both the wheel and the frame in an upright position, safely away from traffic. One that is there when you need it (i.e. in a high traffic area). One that allows space for baskets and/or child seats.
In Berlin, for example, most bike racks have a two foot long heavy steel chain with a wide steel ring at the end. This allows you to easily slip the lock through the wheel, through the ring and secure.
And don't forget the high quality lock, or this guy scores. ::City Racks Design Competition via ::NYC DOT via ::The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Also see ::How to Prevent Bike Theft ::Reinventing the Bike Shed ::Keep Your Precious Bike Safe and Sound
Above: An abstract bike rack in Willoughby Street Pedestrian Plaza , Brooklyn. Courtesy of the Five Borough Bicycle Club. Photo by John Chiarella.