Support BikePortland

Fancy new staple racks dress up transit mall

Posted by on January 26th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

New staple racks on transit mall-3

New stainless steel racks on
SW 5th Ave.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The City of Portland has installed 90 stainless steel staple racks as part of the downtown transit mall project.

The racks — designed by architectural firm ZGF — are quite different from the standard blue staple racks. For starters, they’re made from a much more durable (and expensive) stainless steel material. The racks are also made from flat steel stock, compared to the round tube of the existing blue ones.

“The cost of the new stainless steel design is making me count our pennies and have a few more conversations regarding the best use of these funds.”
— Sarah Figliozzi, PBOT

The other big difference is price. According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) bike parking manager Sarah Figliozzi, the cost of the new stainless steel racks is $367 each, compared with about $80 each for the old ones (costs do not include installation).

The new rack design was chosen by TriMet and the project’s urban design consultants. “These racks will be the design standard rack for the Transit Mall,” Figliozzi wrote in an email, “in order to ensure a consistent style.”

When I followed-up with Figliozzi, and with city bike coordinator Roger Geller, I found out that that “consistent style” is causing a bit of budget pain at PBOT.

Story continues below

advertisement

The transit mall project is primarily funded through the federal government, which has set strict guidelines about what “street furniture” can be included in the project. According to Figliozzi, the project calls for (and therefore can fund) around 90 new racks — bringing the total cost for them on the bus mall to $33,000 (not including installation).

“Isn’t it about time cyclists be given their due with the same kind of quality facilities that other downtown parking improvements get?”
— Bob Hastings, TriMet agency architect

Figliozzi, and PBOT bike coordinator Roger Geller both realize that the mall’s approximately 6 miles of block faces need much more than 90 racks. Figliozzi says they plan to augment that number, but that at $367 a piece, they have to choose wisely.

“The point of the new transit mall is to re-invigorate downtown, to have lots of retail activity,” she told me on the phone last week, “ideally we’d have tons of parking”.

But, Figliozzi says, “The cost of the new stainless steel design is making me count our pennies and have a few more conversations regarding the best use of these funds.” She also added that she’ll “have to be more careful” about where they decide to put them. “Ideally, we like to put out more racks that are needed. We are trying to be more proactive when it comes to bike parking facilities (instead of reacting only after demand is shown).”

New staple racks on transit mall-2

The square edges have been “eased”,
but they still are tougher on paint
jobs than round tubes.

PBOT has already installed 30 standard racks on side streets, but on the actual mall itself, the old blue racks are not allowed. That’s because strict guidelines have been passed and everything on the mall must fit within a specific “design palette”.

City bike coordinator Roger Geller said his office “expressed some dismay at the increased cost we’d have to bear”. To help offset the higher cost, Geller says they have put in a large order to get a bulk discount, but that discount won’t apply to smaller rack purchases in the future.

Geller and Figliozzi both said that they’ll dip into the Bicycle Parking Fund to help with the cost of the more expensive racks. (Read our story on the Bike Parking Fund for more info).

New staple racks on transit mall-1

To find out more about the new racks, I asked TriMet’s agency architect Bob Hastings. Hastings — who told me he’s a cyclist himself — said he expected some groans about the high cost of the racks (and other furnishings).

Hastings says this is about looking long term. He referred to the transit mall as “the most singular public place in the whole breadth of downtown” and that the “design mandate” calls for nothing but the “highest craftsmanship and durability”.

Hastings said the City’s Design Review Commission has established a “high bar for how we design things”. The new stainless steel racks, he said, were made to not simply be adequate, but to look great and last a long time. He pointed to stainless steel’s low maintanence costs over time and that this is about “really leveraging a unique window of opportunity that is very long term in its application and vision.”

New bike racks at City Hall-3.jpg

The old standard.

Hastings emphasized that PBOT was aware of the racks as a stakeholder in the decision-making process. He also spoke of how these racks symbolize a coming-of-age for bikes. “Isn’t it about time cyclists be given their due with the same kind of quality facilities that other downtown parking improvements get?”

“You only got once chance to do it right,” he said, “and if you don’t you’re just kicking yourself later.”

In addition to cost, I also asked Hastings about the squared edges of the new racks. I’ve heard several complaints already from people who say the edges chip paint off their frames.

Using a rounded stainless steel tube would have been cost-prohibitive. According to Hastings, they started with an expensive material, so there wasn’t a lot of room to spend on fabrication. The racks have shaved (“eased”) edges to take the sharpness off and Hastings said they worked fine when he tried them.

As for the budget concerns, Hastings says the initial 90 racks were paid for by downtown businesses and property owners as part of a Local Improvement District (LID) tax. They were concerned, said Hastings, about the quality of the furnishings and they included the bike racks on a specific laundry list of expenses their LID would cover.


— In other transit mall bike parking news, PBOT is set to install four new bike parking “oases” on 5th and 6th Avenues. I’ll have more on that in a separate story.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

111 Comments
  • Avatar
    Paul Tay January 26, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Yep. Just wait ’til that Boehner dude gets a load of this.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Allison January 26, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    [sheepish] I love ’em.

    I ride a ‘bent trike downtown which is a real pain to park in general – the flat steel fits my lock and frame better than the bulky blue tubes.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    beth h January 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Is there a reason that PBOT chose this style? IMHO, there was nothing wrong with the old rack except that they could be unbolted and bikes stolen. What if they were just made a little longer and sunk into the pavement permanently instead? They’ save the city money.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    toddistic January 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I’d rather see 5 blue racks than one “modern” silver rack that will have a wheelless mountian bike rusting on it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    steve January 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    So we could have 4 standard racks for every one of these? Makes perfect sense in a recession!

    What genius came up with a square tubed, sharp edged bike rack? Just what I want to lock my nice frame against..

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Ron January 26, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    These look sweet — looks like it will be much easier to get a mini-U-lock around your frame/wheel and the rack if you situate the bike just so.

    The price difference is ridiculous, someone is gouging.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    redhippie January 26, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    I like the stainless. A lot of the older blue racks look pretty rough, all scratched up and covered in stickers. Stainless will look good for a long time to come.

    It is a shame though that there wasn’t the opportunity to have some art-inspired racks to get away from the sense of sterility these promote.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jeff January 26, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Yeah, could we maybe have some cheap, ugly ones coated with a nice, thick vinyl dip, to avoid leaving bits of our paint jobs every time we lock up? I REALLY don’t get the obsession with making “pretty” bike racks (shaped like shoes or bicycles or adorable animals) when we have hundreds of square miles of ugly parking spaces in this city. Do plain old bike racks really gross people out that much?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Coldswim January 26, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Were there racks on the transit mall before the renovations? If so, are they reusing them somewhere else?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jordan January 26, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I didn’t even know the blue ones require maintenance. Is it for the blue? Well get rid of the blue then. Boo, boo and a hiss towards Figliozzi.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    robert January 26, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    wow –

    That is a waste of money. I guess the supplier was out of platinum racks?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    bahueh January 26, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    wow…are any of you people happy with ANYTHING the city is doing to encourage infrastructure for new riders?

    there’s a constant stream of “bitching” going on this site about things the city is doing to help you out….for **** sake, trying being thankful for once. they didn’t have to install ANYTHING for any of us….and you’d be stuck locking yer dumb bike to an old parking meter…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Carlsson January 26, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Titanium, baby!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    John Reinhold January 26, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I must admit, my very first thought when I looked at the pictures was “that will scratch my paint.”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Ron January 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    If yer bike ain’t scratched already, you ain’t ridin’ it e’nuff.

    /tongue in cheek

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    matt picio January 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    bahueh (#12) – I appreciate what you’re saying, and to some extent agree, except for 2 points.

    1. Why were the stylistic guidelines completely in the purview of the design firm, rather than soliciting the users as to what parking solutions worked best for them? (a corollary is “how many of the design firm’s designers actually RIDE bikes?”)

    2. Is this going to open the city up to liability for damage to bikes, since they chose a design for the racks which makes it easy for damage to occur?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Bob_M January 26, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    First thing I’m going to do is put stickers over those square edges so they don’t chip my paint.
    (Tongue in Cheek)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Daniel (teknotus) Johnson January 26, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    The new racks are pretty, and I appreciate that…

    BUT I have yet to come out to my bike, and not find a new scratch on it. The steel is harder metal than my aluminum frame so I’m starting to worry that it won’t just be my paint job that is messed up, but actual frame failure. Also I’m finding that it takes a longer ulock to get around them as the long dimention of the metal is in the worst orientation. Did any bike groups get to review the design before it was selected? I know I didn’t hear anything about it until I started seeing them installed.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Nate January 26, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    As a graphic designer I can appreciate good-looking racks as much as anyone, but four times the cost? REALLY?!?! And sharp edges to scratch up my paint? I’d much rather have 360 of the old blue ones than 90 of these suckers.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Paul S January 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    So does this mean I can’t park my blue bike on the transit mall because it doesn’t fit within the “design palette”?

    The staple things look nice but sound kinda spendy and scratchy.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Daniel (teknotus) Johnson January 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    On a side note has any of the local bike craft scene made the equivalent of the top tube protector for these racks? I would prefer the protector to be permanently attached to the rack rather than an extra heavy thing for me to lug around town.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    bahueh January 26, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    don’t like em, don’t use em. your bike is already scratched and will continue to be so…if you’re worried about it, leave it at home above your mantle…

    I commute on a bike I don’t mind scratching…why? because I know they get scratched when commuting on them.

    matt, does the city reimburse car for damage to hub caps done while parking? no. and they won’t reimburse anyone for scratched paint…you know it…so why bring it up?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 26, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    “Did any bike groups get to review the design before it was selected? “

    I asked Roger Geller if these were ever presented at the Bike Advisory Committee (Geller is the PBOT staff liaison to that committee). He said he didn’t think so and couldn’t recall seeing them on the agenda. Mark Ginsberg, the former Chair of that committee, also says he doesn’t think they were ever in front of the BAC. He just told me on the phone,

    “We were so focused on just getting bikes through the mall, I don’t think we ever even brought up the racks.”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Bjorn January 26, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I’m curious were there more than 90 of the old racks in this space before construction began? If so what happened to the old racks, were they reinstalled elsewhere? If not then this is still 90 more racks than we had before the project began…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Paul Cone January 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Jordan,

    Your personal attack against Sarah Figliozzi is completely out of line. She had no input in the design. If you had READ the article you would notice that PBOT had no input on the design at all — it was all up to TriMet. The issue is thorny because they then leave it up to PBOT to maintain them, as the article points out. This is fairly common for these large scale projects, — we get funds (e.g. Fed money) to build all this fancy stuff, but no money to maintain it.

    (Full disclosure — Sarah is my coworker, but I do not work in the bike program or make any other policy decisions at PBOT.)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    bahueh,

    thanks for your input.

    We get that you have no issue with the racks. that’s great. But your tone is not too civil. Please simply share your perspective without making it personal and/or insulting other commenters.

    thank you.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    GlowBoy January 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I am concerned about the comment from Daniel (teknotus) Johnson (#18) that these require a longer U-lock than the standard round-tubed staple racks.

    I use a mini U-lock and lock Sheldon-style as it is. I can lock up my bike (hybrid wheels in a mountain frame, which means wider chainstays and a tighter fit than your roadies have to deal with) just fine on the standard racks, but there isn’t a whole lot of extra room. If the extra thickness of these racks is more than a few mm, it might be trouble for a lot of people.

    As for cost, I’m not surprised they cost 4 times as much: they’re stainless steel! Think much more expensive a stainless bike frame (Reynolds 959) is compared with standard 4130 steel.

    I think the new design looks cool and don’t mind the extra cost (modest compared to the transit mall overall) as long as they’re still functional. I’ll have to check these out on the way home sometime soon and see if they still work for me.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    cyclist January 26, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    1) The design standard applies only to 5th and 6th aves downtown, so they can place as many blue racks around the corner or up and down 4th, Broadway, etc as their hearts desire.

    2) The amount of real estate for staple racks on 5th and 6th is limited to some extent by Tri-Met stops, I don’t image they’ll place any on the blocks that have MAX stops, and they’re not going to place them on the portions of the other blocks that have bus stops.

    3) When I lock my bike up to a rack I expect it’ll get scratched by the buy who parks on the other part of the rack. There’s no way to maintain a pristine paint job while parking your bike in public, it’s a fact of life we all deal with.

    All that having been said, it’s a shame that those design standards forced the city into something cyclists don’t want to spend money on. Fortunately, those who dislike the shiny new racks will be able to park their bike on the myriad other racks that are available for use downtown.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    bahueh January 26, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Maus…nothign personal…tired of collective whining that goes on here.
    the city does something for the bike community and its complained about…

    this is what Adams spoke about when he expected the cycling community to start giving back a little…starting, I expect, with some actual respect and recognition for their efforts…

    Bjorn has a better point…where are the rest of them? hopefully the old racks are being powdercoated (a much cheaper process) and refurbished for installation in the near future…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Maus…nothign personal…tired of collective whining that goes on here.”

    I hear you bahueh.. i try to keep whining to a minimum.

    I will look into what happened to the old racks… i’m sure they didn’t scrap them, but I’ll check.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Maus…nothign personal…tired of collective whining that goes on here.”

    I hear you bahueh.. i try to keep whining to a minimum.

    I will look into what happened to the old racks… i’m sure they didn’t scrap them, but I’ll check… or maybe Ms. Figliozzi will respond herself (she has left comments before).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Miamese January 26, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Why not establish an ‘Adopt a Rack’ fundraiser to ease the edge of the cost of the racks?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Paul Cone January 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    The old blue ones get reused in other places.

    Sarah is out of the office today.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Carl January 26, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    The blue staples were a pain to sticker on their corners. Not so with these new ones. They’re nice n’ flat all around! I hope that people sticker the shit out of ’em. …as long as the sticker fits in with ZGF’s “design palette,” of course.

    Most hilarious details:
    -“consistent style” as a defense for creating a completely different rack design.
    -Hastings’ justification of spending big $$$ on these racks followed by his assertion that tubular stainless would’ve been too pricey.

    For that kinda money, they should have gotten Claes Oldenburg to sign them and call them “staples.”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    The City That Bitches January 26, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    While we’re on the subject of bike parking, does anyone know where a person might get their hands on some standard-issue-style bike staples for personal use? I’ve been thinking about bolting some down in my driveway for some time now to provide visitors with safe, convenient, outside parking… Any advice or info would be much appreciated.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Zaphod January 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    The new racks look very cool and stainless *is* more expensive… much more. Worth the expense? I’ll bet opinion on that will correlate highly to how much one values aesthetic in general.

    It would be a good thing if the manufacturer could use filleted stock to eliminate the reasonable complaint about the sharp edges.

    Speaking of cool racks, here’s a random shout out to the racks scattered about the Pearl that look like the Fremont bridge. Seriously, they’re amazing.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    PDX KT January 26, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I could care less if my 700lb Schwinn gets scratched – but for those of you who have nice bikes should be concerned for your RESELL value. I think the design is terribly wrong, the price is flaunting money we dont have, and no one really cares what the racks look like. The new ones will be covered in stickers in a week anyway.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Carl January 26, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    bahueh hates whining!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    peejay January 26, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I like the racks, since I do value design, especially public design that works. The reality of bike paint is that it’s a temporary surface that give its owner an excuse to repaint every ten years or so.

    Anyway, the big problem with the transit mall is all that brick. Supposedly, it looks more “human scaled” and inviting, but to me it registers as overly sentimental and fakey olde-style (much like those crappy Victorian lamp posts one sees in various city beautification projects). That, and it’s much less durable than concrete, and a lot more slippery when wet. So, the extra money the city will pay to put in stainless bike staples will pale in comparison to the added maintenance costs of replacing fractured bricks and the insurance payouts of all the people who have fallen and injured themselves.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Adam January 26, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    If we are going for fancy then we might as well go all out. Ti racks that are compatable with Shimano’s Yumeya bling group. I mean if we’re already spending that much for a rack then why not?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    dan January 26, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    One more member of the “these racks are attractive, but will probably not be kind to my bike” faction.

    Also agree that the orientation of the wide part of the ribbon is potentially problematic, though these do look thinner than the tube racks, so that might not be a problem.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    BicycleDave January 26, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I like stainless.

    Stainless has more than just aesthetic value. The blue racks will have to be painted at least every 7 years and rust will eventually destroy them. I wouldn’t be surprised if over the life of the racks the stainless racks are cheaper.

    Seems like someone handy with a grinder could round those edges to eliminate the paint scratch problem.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Amos January 26, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    I think the more important issue that everyone has neglected to mention is that somewhere someone out there is running around with a giant oversized staple gun!. Next thing you know these things are gonna be holding up huge concert posters and garage sale signs. I certainly don’t want that, do you?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    gabriel amadeus January 26, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    oh, I get it. They’re staples!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Donna January 26, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Jesu, Maria, that’s a lot of money for one bike rack.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    OBS January 26, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    The proprietor of Let’s Brew homebrew store built a beautiful steel rack that is unpainted with rounded edges. He said it cost roughly $80.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    JR January 26, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Good excuse to go to Mills End and get some stuff to make a new top tube protector pad.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Donna January 26, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    The new rack design was chosen by TriMet and the project’s urban design consultants.

    So who exactly do we have to thank for this rather interesting use of public money?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    jake January 26, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    First of all, I think they are beautiful, at least from the pictures.
    The quote from the article about “You only got once chance to do it right,” he said, “and if you don’t you’re just kicking yourself later.” is totally spot on in my book.
    The material cost for a single blue staple is 40 bucks, the material cost for a single stainless staple is about 190 bucks, that means labor on the blue is 40 bucks and labor on the stainless is 177 bucks. I work with both materials and I cant understand the labor disparity

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    old&slow January 26, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Unbelievable! People are happy about this? This is our money and could be spent so many other ways. I have to get my wheels trued all the time because of the crappy streets we have downtown and somebody thinks anybody cares what the bike racks look like? Who is making these decisions? It obviously isn’t their money.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Blah Blah Blah January 26, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Looks like Sam Adams ain’t the only one getting screwed in Portland.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    GlowBoy January 26, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    OK, in my earlier post (#27) I was trying not to be a complainer and be positive about these things. They sure look nice in the pictures, and I’m not offended by the cost.

    But then I actually tried the new racks out on the way home. DtJ (#18) was absolutely right that these are considerably wider than the standard tubular racks in terms of getting a lock to fit over them. I cannot lock my bike to these from the drive side without bending my rear wheel considerably, and I can only barely lock the non-drive side, with not even a mm to spare. Being limited to one side of the bike can become a serious problem when the racks start to fill up.

    A lot of people with mini-locks (a pretty large share, if not a majority, of those who take bike security seriously) are going to find these racks impossible to use.

    If the designers had just chosen stock that was 1/2″ narrower this could be avoided (and the cost might have been marginally less too). They should have put a few test racks out and let the public try them out and comment before making this commitment. This is a classic case of form over function, failure to adhere to de facto standards and failure to properly test out your ideas.

    Function first! I hate to have to say this, but: FAIL.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    JR January 26, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    To put this in perspective.. the $33,000+ spent on the 90 bike racks is still less than the cost of providing one structured car parking space downtown. An even larger perspective is that the total cost of the Mall/I-205 light rail project is $575,000,000+.. that’s over 1.6 million stainless steel bike racks or 7.1 million blue bike racks.

    I believe we could easily build the most amazing bike-friendly city in North America with the cost of just this one light rail project. I suspect we could make quite a bit of new bicycle riders – 25,000+ new bicyclists per day?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    BURR January 26, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    congrats on another bike parking SNAFU, Portland!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    wsbob January 26, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Stainless can be a beautiful material in some situations, but I’m not sure about this one. Unless it’s coated, after awhile, stainless steel takes on a drab patina. Steel isn’t immune to graffiti either. That nice flat surface will be irresistible to defacers. When that happens, they’ll probably wind up painting them….blue….if they don’t spend a lot of labor on a buff-out campaign first.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Matthew Denton January 26, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Okay, above all, bicycle parking should be usable, and it sounds like these things are worse to use, which is bad.

    However, making things pretty is what makes life worth living, and yes, sometimes that costs a few dollars extra. And I don’t know what it costs to remove/repaint/reinstall the blue ones, but I know that if they don’t repaint them, they’ll rust. Over a lifetime, that might add up to quite a bit of money, so the stainless might be a better deal in the long run.

    Now if they could come up with some designs other than the overused staple…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jim January 26, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    wouldn’t it be cheaper to get some old gas meters and bolt down?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    el timito January 26, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    These racks are an interesting example of unintended design consequences. You may note that many bikes now park perpendicularly (along the flat upright ends) rather than parallel – presumably to avoid the sharp edges already noted above.

    On the relatively wide sidewalks downtown this isn’t such a big deal, but if our pedestrian density increases on the mall (likely once transit comes back, though perhaps slowed by the recession’s effects), the wide footprint of a rack with bikes on either end could cause some consternation. For me at least. I like to use the edge of the sidewalk to get around all those pokey peds walking slower than me.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    John Lascurettes January 26, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Have you seen the plans for the transit shelters? They won’t offer much shade in the hot summer (all glass) and they don’t look like they’ll make much of a rain shelter either.

    So it doesn’t surprise me that the spendy and pretty solution for the bike racks seem every bit as impractical.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Matthew Denton January 27, 2009 at 12:50 am

    John #59:

    The shelters were pretty much designed by the merchants nearby, who like people to be able to see into their windows. (I liked the old ones better too.) However, assuming the wind isn’t blowing too hard, (which at ground level downtown, is a one or two day event a year,) they should be fine in the rain. In the summer the trees tend to have leaves on them, so I doubt that shade will be hard to come by. Personally I think the biggest problem is that they look too small for rush hour…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    JE January 27, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Take your $80 old blue rack, run it over with a Max train, then paint it silver. Bam! Stainless steel designer sh- I mean sheik.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    carless in pdx January 27, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Okay, love the designs. They are durable, elegant, shiny, and will never lose their luster. They are also VERY easy to lock my bike to, as some of the fatter bike racks are too big for me to squeeze my lock around my tube and wheel.

    Downside? They scratch my paint. Hmm.. not a big deal for most people, I’d think. But I just got a new bike so I’m kind of picky. 🙂

    I would actually not mind it if we had a bicycle tax in Portland that helped pay for new staple racks. What do you guys think?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    jake January 27, 2009 at 7:11 am

    ok, just checked, they could have used stainless rectangular tube which has radiused corners, for half the material price of the solid flat bar, thats a free rack for every three they/we buy

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Kevin Wagoner January 27, 2009 at 7:44 am

    I am surprised by the decision to spend over 4 times as much on these new racks with all the concern about the economy, transportation budgets, and unemployment. Seems like a bad idea that should have been stopped somewhere along the way by someone trying to spend our money more wisely. I’m happy with the old racks. Haven’t tried the new ones….I’ll be frustrated if it chips my paint (maybe I’ll carry a rag to use as a buffer).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    buglas January 27, 2009 at 7:49 am

    As an out-of-towner, I don’t really have a stake in this discussion. Also it’s way too late to suggest new rack designs. Still, I feel it’s worth pointing out some serious bike parking in the Netherlands as mentioned in the latest Monday Roundup. For an intriguing rack, check out tulip by velopa.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    a January 27, 2009 at 9:00 am

    “As for the budget concerns, Hastings says the initial 90 racks were paid for by downtown businesses and property owners as part of a Local Improvement District (LID) tax. They were concerned, said Hastings, about the quality of the furnishings and they included the bike racks on a specific laundry list of expenses their LID would cover.”

    It’s amazing to me that after all the “quotes” about “design” that the last paragraph says THE LOCAL BUSINESSES CHOSE TO HAVE NICE FURNISHINGS.

    “Design”, as you seem to categorize it Jonathan, is identified as something without value.

    What if Portland had built Pioneer Square out of plywood, or painted metal, or plastic molded “stone”, to save some money?

    Durable materials and quality design do have value. That’s why they cost more. This is not a case of price gouging or pulling something over on the citizens of Portland.

    Do you have any idea the cost difference between the staple racks and the infrastructure itself (the trains, tracks etc)? It’s a pittance. Thank god they spent some money on something we’ll use and see in our public realm!

    I think your article is (very unfortunately) reported with a clear bias devaluing the extensive effort that’s been put into getting this exceptionally complicated part of our city to be nice for future Portlanders to enjoy.

    [yes, i’m an architect, but i have had no connection with the work on the bus mall]

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Lenny Anderson January 27, 2009 at 9:11 am

    People, there was a ton of public process for the Mall design, open houses, a Citizens Advisory Committee that met for years and so on. Where was everyone who weighs in now?
    And downtown merchants…competing with those sub-urban malls…wanted the best for 5th & 6th Avenue Transit Mall; what’s more via the LID (Local Improvement District), they are putting up the cash.
    Let’s celebrate the thru Bike (and auto) Lane on 5th & 6th, complete with elegant bike racks, and make it our own. Ride the Mall!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    jennifer January 27, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Because these arent round like the old ones the edges are a lot easier to chip your paint. Kind of annoying. Personally, I liked the old ones just fine.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 27, 2009 at 9:34 am

    a (#66),

    thanks for your comment and feedback on the story.

    you wrote:

    “”Design”, as you seem to categorize it Jonathan, is identified as something without value.”

    what makes you think that? Please don’t confuse my use of quotes with a certain bias. I just use them to show what the source said vs. my own words.

    “What if Portland had built Pioneer Square out of plywood, or painted metal, or plastic molded “stone”, to save some money? “

    that would have been a big mistake… just as I think building sub-par bike racks would have been an error.

    “Durable materials and quality design do have value. That’s why they cost more. This is not a case of price gouging or pulling something over on the citizens of Portland.”

    price gouging? I never wrote that, nor do I believe that. I assume that was directed toward commenters.

    “I think your article is (very unfortunately) reported with a clear bias devaluing the extensive effort that’s been put into getting this exceptionally complicated part of our city to be nice for future Portlanders to enjoy.”

    a, I was concerned that someone reading the article might feel that way… but I tried to present the story with the pieces I felt had importance. People need to know that those racks cost over 4X the standard ones, and I wanted people to know that the cost was putting PBOT in a bit of a bind (as they expressed to me).

    sorry you feel the article was biased. I do not mean to devalue anyone’s effort on the project. I took time to talk with Bob Hastings at length about this and I feel I presented his side fairly.

    Thanks again for your comment. I love criticism (seriously).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Zaphod January 27, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Adam #40… lol… well done.

    I know some people (who will remain anonymous) who are totally into Yumeya and might have actually bought some of it to trick out their rides. insanity.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    maxadders January 27, 2009 at 9:48 am

    This is exactly what Portland needs to push it into coveted Double-Platinum status.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    REALLY???? January 27, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Why are you people so concerned with you paint being scratched???? and to the guy who is complaining about truing his wheels WTF??? Bikes require maintenance just like anything else. Learn to true your own wheels!!! My bike gets scratched all the time from other people locking up so I don’t really care about paint, it doesn’t matter. Sorry if your hipster ass fixed gear wont look brand new like everyone else in town

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jan January 27, 2009 at 9:57 am

    #35

    Try contacting this guy–Tom Thompson, tomscot51@yahoo.com
    503-539-1756

    He will build a rack in your driveway, front yard, etc, to your specs.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    joe January 27, 2009 at 10:23 am

    nice article on an interesting topic. I wish more people would take the time to hold public decision making up to the light like you do.

    keep up the good work.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    a January 27, 2009 at 10:33 am

    jonathan

    BTW, thank you for running a great site!

    i love the site and the consistently high quality content

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Lillian January 27, 2009 at 10:37 am

    @ Daniel #21

    Why don’t we get together a group of bike crafters to knit/crochet/sew cozies for all 90 of these bike racks to prevent paint-scratching.

    That would be true community art and it would be practical!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Coyote January 27, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I guess Congressman Boehner was right, Americans don’t want to spend money on things that look better.

    With the world teetering on verge econmic collapse, worrying about your paint getting chipped gives new meaning to the phrase “think globally, act locally”.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    steve January 27, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I have not seen people whining or worrying about chipped paint. Just people pointing out how ridiculous it is to design something that does in fact chip paint.

    Sort of like if they designed a bike rack that is harder to lock your bike to. Oh wait, they did exactly that!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    BikingViking January 27, 2009 at 11:22 am

    buglas (post 65),
    Those racks are great! Any idea how much they cost? Time to start planning for the next round of bike racks somewhere else…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    sue January 27, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I think the bike racks look nice, now. Yes, they are going to look like crap really soon, between stickers, graffiti, and age patina. I personally don’t care for the post-modern, industrial, ‘sameness’ look. There is a distinct lack of color and items to focus the eye. Easy to scan, boring over time and will be really drab 9 months of the year when it’s raining. Also, the chosen design palette will look dated in just a few years.
    I would like to know if TriMet took into consideration the cost of maintenance (scrubbing graffiti and stickers off) when they chose this design? I also would like to know if any of the designers or people who had decision making ability are cyclists? It does make a difference. Mostly, my concern is over the supposed waste of funds. Yes, it’s small in comparison to the complete cost of the project, but saving $25k is still saving $25k and could have been put towards another improvement project, or maintenance. It just seems like a failure on the part of TriMet to look at all aspects of how these new racks impact the users, maintenance and potential savings.
    Overall, though I must give the city props for continuing to push for mass transit, even in this economy. Now, if only the CRC project would die.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    mark e January 27, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I will always be happy when more bike parking is made available, but why the staples? they are the least efficient use of bike parking space. you can only get two to one, max. unless you have a friend that you can lock to. these things always fill up so fast, the kind that they’re using in the bike corrals downtown and on Belmont are so much more useful.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Moo January 27, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Keep the bike racks coming – I get a laugh at all the whiners on this site. Heck, I couldn’t count how many times I’ve knocked into other bikes, just at New Seasons alone, when locking up at staples. So if you see a scratched up blue Gary Fisher with an orange bag in a basket, – all you ***personal insult deleted *** better lock up elsewhere.

    Moo,

    Please make your points and share your thoughts without insulting other commentors. Thanks. — Jonathan Maus

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    a January 27, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Sue @ #80
    Your comments regarding trendiness, aging, and abuse to the racks would apply to ANY design or material; that is always a challenge with any design. But I don’t believe we should aspire to lowest common denominator with our public spaces because of these issues.

    Stainless steel will actually hold up better to the abuses you cite, because once you scrub all that stuff off, as a singular material, it’s still rustproof and serviceable and as nice as day one installation. If you don’t clean it up, it’s certainly no worse than a painted rack.

    Yes, the design office has many cyclists on staff.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    wsbob January 27, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Even steel, allowed to rust naturally can be a good material:

    Weathering Steel wikipedia article

    That would have matched right in with the bricks. Not sure about the cost, but likely less expensive than stainless.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    DLS January 27, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    I’m very much a utilitarian type – form follows function and all that. Once you have that nailed, then go crazy with style. Stainless is a good material and these racks will probably outlast the bricks they are set into.

    While it’s great to have these, in my view a bike rack looks best when it’s being used. Therefore I find irony in the notion that when presented at their best all the styling of these racks will be nearly obscured by the hodge-podge of bikes of mixed colors, forms, and accoutrements that are attached to them.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    joel January 27, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    will a small ulock fit around the rack and part of a frame on a bicycle? zgf architect?

    -joel ccr

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Peter W January 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Interesting. For the cost of 90 of these things at $367 each, they could have put in 90 regular racks and used the $26K they saved to put in a bike oasis.

    Another really annoying thing about how trimet handled the bike parking on the mall: they took out the old racks and waited *forever* to put in new ones. This caused major headaches for cyclists at PSU and probably elsewhere.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Carl January 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Will a small ulock fit around the rack and part of a zgf architect?

    Kidding. I’m kidding.

    I’m usually on the “initial investment” bandwagon and I’ve gotta admit that these staples LOOK great. I just think it’s a shame that something which, by most accounts, functions LESS WELL is costing us 450% MORE.

    Sure, it’s not much when it comes to the cost of this whole thing, but just wait until folks realize what a massive parking shortage there is on the transit mall…and then when they hear that one of the reasons we can’t have more racks is because the (poorly-functioning) ones we’re mandated to use are too pricey? It won’t be pleasant. If this city is sane, they’ll shatter ZGF’s design palette with some supplemental plain ‘ol blue staples once the outrage starts to swell.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    a January 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    jonathan
    i figure i should answer your questions. i started to earlier but didn’t want to get the thread off track too much. since it’s slowed down…

    i don’t believe you were purposely against the design, but because of the need to edit for the story, the quotes are used mid sentence for partial phrases and have the effect of holding quote fingers in the air…the quotes probably weren’t necessary to accurately relay the answers you received. Also, I believe that the last paragraph really should have happened much earlier near the top because the body of the text spends a lot of time on the cost differences…i’m not a writer. this was just my perception, sorry I if I misunderstood your intentions!

    yes, the price gouging comment was directed at other posters

    i guess my point about pbot being in a bind is that there are many other pieces to this project’s budget that were part of the overall decisions. it’s hard to call out some bike racks that came specifically from property owner’s request, especially some that are unquestionably more maintenance free than any others I can imagine at any price.

    as i oddly stated above with no references, i do enjoy your reporting and the role this blog plays in portland bike culture. so big thanks again!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    a,

    thanks for taking time to respond again.

    I admit this article is not the best writing I have done. I also appreciate your feedback on how I used those quotes… I will be more sensitive to that in the future.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Rixtir January 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    On steel bikes, paint serves two functions– rust-inhibition, and aesthetics.

    I ride steel, so one of the functions of the paint on my bike is rust inhibition, and therefore, I’m careful about protecting my paint. If these racks would scratch my paint, I would avoid using them (and in reality, my mini-u lock probably won’t work on them anyway).

    The corollary to that is I don’t need some self-centered f-wit carelessly chipping my paint because he doesn’t think it’s all that important.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Dianna January 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    When Daniel emailed the Shift list this weekend to ask how we could make the new racks scratch-free, my immediate thought was “cover them with pastel tulle to make tutu racks”. I suppose that wouldn’t fit with the design scheme.

    But I will personally bake a batch of cookies for the first person to neatly cover a flat staple rack in contact paper. Woodgrain? Little watercolor flowers? Wheat patterns? My god, I might have to do it myself.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    JR January 27, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    I just happened to be riding up Jefferson and noticed that the PacTrust building (between 5th and 6th Avenues and Jefferson and Main Streets) has metal tube racks that appear to be stainless steel from afar.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Donna January 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    I think I’ve figured this out – it’s got to be part of the economic stimulus package. They put up these racks that cost more money than is typical, plus all you folks with the smaller U-locks have to go buy new ones. The economy is thus stimulated not once, but twice. How clever of them.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    John January 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    $367, eh? I’m assuming this does not include installation labor expense, as compared to the $80 mild steel racks? (otherwise you’re quoting someone who’s deliberately, or ignorantly, cherry picking dollar amounts at various stages of implementation. Just sayin’. $80 won’t get a rack produced and installed, period.)

    I just checked the price of materials in these stainless racks. If that’s the original purchase price you quoted, I’m going to print out this article, attach that bit of info, and hand it to my employer’s sales manager. Flatbar’s a piece of cake to bend, there’s hardly any welding, and radius corner flatbar should be reasonably available. Work is slow for everyone. Any metal fab shop right now would be thrilled to positively destroy that price while providing a better product. Recession time, man. Work’s slow! Seriously, shop this stuff around, Trimet.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    carless in pdx January 27, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    My gosh, I can’t believe some of the stingy comments posted above.

    The transit mall cost Trimet $170 million. These racks cost $33,000 – which is .0194% of the total cost.

    Get a grip!

    $367 for a bike rack that is going to be there for the next 50 years comes out to less than $8/year. I would consider this highly cost effective.
    By comparison, a car parking space in a garage costs between $30,000 to $50,000. PER SPACE.

    Yes, things cost money. Grow up, please.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Withheld January 27, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Jonathan, great piece.

    Portland, we’ve been had.

    This is ZGF sucking at the breast of a federally funded project (with lots of local match for good measure). 95 comments into this thread and not one has expressed a functional concern with the blue racks (so long as they’re effectively bolted into the ground).

    TriMet doesn’t have jurisdiction over the sidewalk. PDOT does.

    Seriously, as if there is some dramatic unmet need for bike parking on the mall. I’m down there consistently and rarely see a bike locked to something it shouldn’t be locked to.

    The Hastings comments are hilarious. The BAC wasn’t even consulted.

    Can’t wait to see how well those oases work. Betcha they’ll keep bikes nice and dry… in the summertime.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Patrick January 27, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I personally like to see that some consideration is being given to the quality of design, BUT here in Baltimore we’ve had the same racks installed (next to the Johns Hopkins campus) with the same challenges.

    They look nice but the width of the rack makes it impossible to lock the frame and wheel with a U-Lock. Luckily the city is working to put in an on-street bike parking “oasis” nearby.

    Thanks for the article Jonathan. It’s important to have the discussion about the tradeoffs between cost and design, especially when the higher cost product has design limitations that make it less functional.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    brettoo January 27, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Please, can we get some actual numbers and facts here, rather than uninformed speculation and bloviating? The main thing I want to know is: what’s the comparative total cost of ownership over time, factoring in the cost of maintenance (e.g. labor and materials for paint touch-up on the old racks), repair, and years of use before replacement? If the total amortized cost of the new racks over their lifetime is anything close to the old ones, I’m happy to pay some sort of premium for good looking design in such a visible public space. And I’d applaud the city for thinking long-term in its public investment strategy.

    We make enough short term, throwaway decisions in this culture as it is. Think about some of the city’s wonderful old buildings from the turn of the century that were built to last, compared to those built in the ’60s, ’70s and beyond that are already deteriorating.

    But before we can render any kind of judgment, we need some hard facts and numbers. Can anyone at TriMet or the city provide them? And apologies in advance if they did and I missed it in the tide of comments.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    BV January 28, 2009 at 12:10 am

    if everyone keeps talking about how much this metal; costs some tweekers are going to recycle them! HUSH HUSH PEOPLE

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    BURR January 28, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    the key here is that once again cyclists are being screwed and under-served by TriMet. I recall that it wasn’t too long ago that some TriMet spokesperson posted here telling us not to worry, the bike racks were coming…this issue happens to go back to before the Transit Mall upgrade, one of the things the previous incarnation of the Transit Mall was known for was the lack of sufficient bike parking spaces.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Marie January 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    I read this article a few days ago and decided while I was downtown today, to take advantage of the racks. I know that there’s a lot of reasonable concern about scratching paint. The picture makes the racks look sharp and edgy, or at least that’s what I was expecting. However, the actual surface of the racks is very smooth. I think you’re just as likely to scratch up your paint on these as you would be on the blue racks. As for size, I have a U-lock and was able to get my frame, front tire and helmet in just fine.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    JR January 28, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    It makes sense for TriMet to provide bike racks at transit centers outside of downtown, but downtown, bike racks just compete with transit for travel to downtown. This should be PBOT and adjacent property owner’s responsibility. Kudos to TriMet to spending part of their budget on this.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    r January 29, 2009 at 12:30 am

    okay, so after all the noise here about how you can’t use a mini u-lock on these racks, I just had to bike downtown today and try it myself, and . . .

    hey, I don’t know what you are talking about. if anything, the flat profile is easier to wrap the lock around than the thick blue tube. are you sure you are doing this right? take a look at

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

    (the key sentence on this page: “there is no need to loop it around the seat tube as well, because the wheel cannot be pulled through the rear triangle.”)

    it is true that you can put only two bikes on a staple, but that is true of the blue ones as well.

    oh, and I protect my steel frame by covering the frame itself with stickers.

    find something else to complain about.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    GlowBoy January 29, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    r, (#104) I certainly know how to Sheldon-lock a bike. Let me be clear: I’m talking about parking parallel to the staple (perpendicular to the street, which is what you’re supposed to do), pushing the chainstay right up against the rack and locking my rear wheel (and nothing else) to the rack.

    Just because it’s easy with your lock and bike doesn’t mean that’s true for everyone. There’s a lot of variation in bikes, and there are two popular mini-U locks (Kryptonite and OnGuard, which are both ‘mini’ but 1″ different in shackle length).

    Typical road bikes, with their narrow chainstays and skinny tires, should be easy to lock up with even the Kryptonite Evo Mini. Likewise, almost any bike short of a Pugsley should be easy to lock up with the OnGuard.

    But mountain or hybrid bikes and Kryptonite mini-Us are still a popular combination, and the new racks present a substantial deviation from the de facto “standard” of the tubular staple racks, which was critical in our decision to buy our $58 mini U locks. I bought the Krypto lock specifically because when I Sheldon-lock to a standard rack it’s tight enough to prevent someone slipping a jack inside, but generous enough to still make locking up quick and easy. Whoever designed these racks should have considered that the width of the tubular racks presents a standard which should have been considered.

    Note that Patrick (#98) has commented that the racks are causing similar problems in Baltimore.

    [I’ll reiterate that personally, I am *not* complaining about the cost or material. Just the functionality.]

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    BURR January 29, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    the cost becomes an issue when you consider that you can only get one quarter of the number of the old racks at the price of the new ones.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    brettoo January 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    “the cost becomes an issue when you consider that you can only get one quarter of the number of the old racks at the price of the new ones.”

    Not necessarily a dispositive issue, if you think long term. If they initially cost four times as much but last five times as long, or require a fraction of the maintenance over their lifetimes, they may well cost LESS in the long run. But we won’t know until someone provides us with actual cost figures.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    r January 30, 2009 at 12:31 am

    re 105, I will acknowledge that mine is a road bike, and the lock is an OnGuard, rather short, and I do park parallel to the rack, perpendicular to the street, etc., and when I did this the other day the lock was literally hanging off, with several inches to spare. possibly a mountain bike with a much wider tire would have been a different story, but it did not seem likely. if the Krypto lock is a bit shorter, of course I stand corrected. I have not measured the two racks with a caliper, but it seemed to me that if the one is round and the other is flat, the flat one would eat up that much less reach, unless it is quite a bit wider. didn’t seem like it to me. but I guess what you are saying is that with the existing rack you had almost no tolerance at all, so a slight increase in the reach would kill the deal. apologizing if my tone was snarky.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    GlowBoy January 30, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    R, that’s exactly right — the flat rack is actually substantially wider than the diameter of the tubin ont he round racks. The Kryptonite mini lock is at least 1/2″ shorter than the OnGuard mini, and I think actually 1″ shorter. It’s a substantially tighter fit than the OnGuard, and that’s actually part of why I chose it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • […] evening, all that was left of three staple racks were holes in the bricks (see photo below). With a lack of bike parking capacity already an issue on the new Portland Mall, why would existing racks be […]

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    KJ March 26, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    FYI lost of folks at ZGF bike, or at least they do during the bike commute challenge, they beat my workplace. =) So it’s kinda odd they would chose a non-friendly design. =/

    I am with the few who have mentioned making something to keep them from scratching your bikes. It would be super easy to do. And useful for other frame unfreindly locations.

    That could be a new bike craft for the entrepreneurial out there, knitted or sewn detachable bike staple cozies, with cute things on them. or not such things for those not into cute things…! Hum. maybe I should go run and patent that…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar