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We need these in Portland

Posted by on February 19th, 2006 at 7:47 pm

Just came across this bike rack on the Cleverchimp blog (first posted on Rad-Spannerei).

car rack

Here’s how the designer describes it:

“6 bicycles versus ONE car. this bike park occupies a single carpark space, like a critical proposal TO THE TRAFFIC.”

I think someone at Office of Transportation should order a few for downtown Portland…this thing has “Platinum” written all over it.

Not that we don’t already have some cool bike racks, but this one is in a whole different league.

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benschon
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benschon

Right on! Nothing shows off the efficiency of bike parking like putting racks in the street. They need to be well used, though, or people will wonder what the point is.

The only place in Portland I can think of where street space is used for bike parking is outside of the Fresh Pot coffeehouse on N. Mississippi at Shaver. That is a great place for it because it extends the “outdoor room” feeling of the tables they put on the sidewalk for the hipsters.

Bikes aren’t tall enough to block the “vision clearance triangle” near intersections, so maybe these kind of bike parking areas can be emphasized at corners, where PDOT often prohibits curbside car spaces? A few staple racks could be incorporated into the city’s standard design for new “bulb outs,” for example.

Usage study proposal: find a place where there is typically four or more bikes parked on the sidewalk and not enough space in racks, and that’s where we should take over the car spaces on the street! In front of the downtown Stumptown is one place I can think of off the top of my head.

Andy
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additionally – have the car/frame on the outside of the spot so a passing or parking car doesn’t ding the backs of the bikes. It doesn’t take much to put a wheel out of true.

Toby
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Toby

I’d be more than a little nervous about the rack getting nudged by cars parallel parking, even if it was on the outside and not the curb. For bikes attached to it by u-locks, this could mean broken spokes or worse. I’d think it’d be wise to put a couple of concrete bars (commonly used in parking lots) on either side.

Alan
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Alan

You gotta love this! It’s ridiculous in sooo many ways, but without losing any of its knee-jerk appeal. I’m sending this photo to all my friends (all jerks like me).

Martin Pion
Guest

The design is eye-catching and has some obvious appeal until you examine it more closely.
Apart from the drawbacks mentioned in other posts the basic bike rack design suffers from serious drawbacks, e.g. it only provides single-point support and is not compatible with the popular U-lock. (See http://www.thinkbicycling.com “Bike Parking Options” for some minimal criteria.)
I would not be prepared to recommend this rack as-is, and recently I drew up a comprehensive list of varied bike racks for a bike rack installation project on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

benschon
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benschon

Wet blankets, all of you!

Sure the design needs some tweaking, but the principle is sound. I think a really big BIKE-shaped rack would be cool.

The Fresh Pot on-street “lot” is protected, for example. It has a border of concrete wheel stops and four or five of those vertical, plastic, reflective orange tubes. The whole thing has kind of a cheap, temporary feel to it, but it still rocks that the city has allowed the appropriation of street right of way to accommodate bike parking. Maybe Jonathan can snap some pictures one of these days. . .

Jonathan Maus
Guest

Here’s one. (It was taken by someone at the City of Portland).
bike parking space, North Portland, OR

Jessica Roberts
Guest

Actually, I took that one…but isn’t it the best?

Martin Pion
Guest

The bike racks in the photo are of the simple inverted U design which conform to good bike rack criteria. They are among those I personally recommend.

rafa
Guest

BRilliant! A few curbs oughta keep the car-nudge factor at bay.

NeRf
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NeRf

who do i have to talk to to get one of those put outside of my house?

Chris Cotrell
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Chris Cotrell

Another spot where they converted on-street parking for bicycle use is right across Morrison street from PGE Park. About the equivalent of two or three car spaces were converted to a line of staples when they renovated (and renamed, unfortunately) Civic Stadium.