The US is nowhere near Europe for bicycle parking. However I've been wondering (and this is an opinion thing) what are your (you meaning the reader of this) most/least favorite bike racks for parking?
Where I live, I have never seen an enclosed bicycle locker available for public use. I think city planners in the southern US are afraid homeless people will either try to sleep or store drugs in them, so they are never made. However, I'd love to see a system like http://www.ida.net/users/bikegd/ used near buildings, even if it required a special key/card obtained from the city to use them.
Something like this http://www.ameribike.com/catalog/bik...sec-doors.html would be cool too, offering security, but letting police make sure its a bike stored there, not contraband.
Most stores or buildings just slap a high density rack like this in some unused space -- http://www.bikeracks.com/html/rail__9_.html, and call their job done, regardless of how good/bad the parking is for actual use day to day.
The university I go to has these http://www.bikeparking.com/crankcase...ack/index.html, but in the times I've been there off and on since 1999, I've yet to see a single bike parked in these. Most people just use the standard racks which are nearer to their classes.
Costco and some places use the Bike Banks from http://www.sarisparking.com which seem secure, but I wonder if they can fit all bikes, or just a general few between their jaws, and if they actually provide decent protection. Of course, I've only seen one of these ever used.
It just seems to me that in the south part of the US, businesses just chuck some type of high-density rack down in some space they arn't using, and then check the little check box that they are providing parking, with little or no thought to security or usability. There are some exceptions, however. I respect Costco, Schlotzsky's, and CVS for putting in higher security Saris Bike Banks, and wish more businesses would follow suit.
Just wanting to know what people like (and don't like) for bike racks, and perhaps suggestions for what would make them better, especially in the southern US, which is decades behind Europe in this. I've even been tempted to get a custom designed rack done at a local metal shop, if I can figure out something new. Yes, bike parking is mundane, but its where a lot of people's transportation makes its home for large chunks of the day, so some advancement in this area makes it easier to get people to commute via bicycle.