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Commuters, help me out. What do you think about bike lockers?

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Commuters, help me out. What do you think about bike lockers?

Old 08-08-16, 03:33 PM
  #26  
CliffordK
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
You hit on the problem with cages; thievery among fellow cyclists. By the time you park and then strip down your bike of any/all accessories the convenience is just about gone.


-Kedosto
With tracking who is going in and out, and security cameras, I think the light and speedometer thieves could e weeded out quickly, especially at a job where the consequences could well be a trip to the unemployment line. Of course, there are those opportunistic short-timers with nothing to lose. Nonetheless, they could be thrown to the curb if theft is treated seriously.
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Old 08-08-16, 03:38 PM
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Yes I do currently rent a bike locker. It is $90 per year and completely enclosed so it is impossible to know if there is a bike inside or not. also well protected from the elements. The locker has its own built in lock, and I pay a deposit for the key.

All of this makes it much easier to commute for me, because I do not have to take my lights off the bike. I know my bike is well protected from thieves and vandals, both of which are present on the University campus.


I might use a bike share program for going to lunch, but doubtful.
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Old 08-08-16, 03:39 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by scoatw View Post
I wish they had them at the grocery store or the mall.
It would need to be big to wheel in my cargo bike + trailer, or even any bike + trailer.

The big issue is the second or third stop of the day, but so far I haven't had any issues with people digging groceries out of my trailer.

I do, however, sometimes plan my trips around bike security, and there have been many times that I might consider a quick stop by the grocery store, but have something with my bike that I absolutely can't leave unlocked, so I skip the stop for groceries.
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Old 08-08-16, 03:52 PM
  #29  
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Second thoughts... If point of having a locker under a roof is to prevent vandalism and theft of components, not theft of the bike, then the cage could make it difficult enough, I guess. But a cage would still show you what's in the cage, while a locker is like "Deal or No Deal" for whoever defeats it. Ohhh, you got a Walmart Mongoose BMX! Want to risk playing again? I guess that would make it a question of security, convenience, and price. Let's say I locked up to a rack per best practices. I would be annoyed to lose my headlight but it's got a 3 year old lithium battery on it that seldom sees a charger for half a year, so it's probably about to die and not really very valuable. Is this worth the moment of extra fuss to open the door and crawl into the locker to undo the U-lock?

Hey, here's an idea. The electronic lock version could have outlets in the locker to charge headlights or your e-bike's battery or whatever.
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Old 08-08-16, 03:58 PM
  #30  
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I’ve had a bike locker for 2.5 yrs. The first two years it was $50/yr. and this year it went up to $100/yr. + $150 deposit for the keys. The locker is basically the diagonal half of a rectangle locked with a tubular pin tumbler lock. The locker is located in a parking garage right outside the window of the parking attendant’s office. Until 2.5 years ago we had Ľ of the lockers we do now and the program was in disarray. The waiting list was forever growing and when people left for whatever reason they usually took the keys with them. Due to a very large increase in popularity they tripled the number of lockers which took care of most of the waiting list. Unfortunately, the key thing continues to be a problem. Thus, the increase in fee and the addition of the deposit.

We have bike-share bikes on our campus and another set a block away. They are used mostly by non-bike owners. I would no use one myself.
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Old 08-08-16, 04:01 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Second thoughts... If point of having a locker under a roof is to prevent vandalism and theft of components, not theft of the bike, then the cage could make it difficult enough, I guess. But a cage would still show you what's in the cage, while a locker is like "Deal or No Deal" for whoever defeats it. Ohhh, you got a Walmart Mongoose BMX! Want to risk playing again? I guess that would make it a question of security, convenience, and price. Let's say I locked up to a rack per best practices. I would be annoyed to lose my headlight but it's got a 3 year old lithium battery on it that seldom sees a charger for half a year, so it's probably about to die and not really very valuable. Is this worth the moment of extra fuss to open the door and crawl into the locker to undo the U-lock?

Hey, here's an idea. The electronic lock version could have outlets in the locker to charge headlights or your e-bike's battery or whatever.
The locker I used had an eye bolt mounted inside so you could lock your bike inside the locker. I used it at first but then decided it was overkill and didn't bother. Three years with the locker, never had a problem. The biggest problem was with people full of good intentions about how they were gonna ride (someday) but never actually used the lockers. Real riders couldn't get a locker.


-Kedosto
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Old 08-08-16, 04:35 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
The locker I used had an eye bolt mounted inside so you could lock your bike inside the locker. I used it at first but then decided it was overkill and didn't bother. Three years with the locker, never had a problem. The biggest problem was with people full of good intentions about how they were gonna ride (someday) but never actually used the lockers. Real riders couldn't get a locker.


-Kedosto
Yeah, that would tend to argue for the parking meter idea. I'm just not sure what is gained by a payment system where you "buy an online rechargeable access card... And you can use that card in other cities too..." that you'll never visit when it would really be more convenient to pay directly with your cc via an app, or with cash. OTOH the "reservation" idea is nice if it works, though I can see logistic problems with that.
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Old 08-08-16, 07:03 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
I need your help in learning about other bike commuters thoughts on bike lockers.

As many of you know, I recently moved to the City's Parking Bureau from the Public Library. My department is in charge of all the ramp garages in the city.

The city's bike locker program has been ignored for six to seven YEARS. We have over 50 bike lockers scattered around at the garages and,
  • Nobody knows if any are used.
  • Nobody knows when the last time was that anyone was billed.
  • Nobody knows if any keys previously issued are still out there.
  • Nobody knows what happened to the waiting list.
  • Given that all the garages have post-and-ring racks you can use for free, (and that are used, I use one myself) nobody knows if there's any interest in renting a bike locker.
It's become my job to get it straightened out and to revive the program for next year. So here's an informal poll to help head me in the right direction:


Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.
No, I do not


If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)
im not so sure I even know what a bike locker is. Currently all of our garages have racks and I use those. The only downside can be motorized scooters like to hog them in certain garages

What type of locker would you prefer?
  • One where you bring you own lock—padlock and U-lock compatible—but you can't leave your lock overnight?
  • One where you buy an online rechargeable access card and it charges you 5˘ (yes, only a nickel) an hour to park? (40˘ to 50˘ a day.) And you can use that card in other cities too. And you can also reserve a locker online before leaving for work?
  • One with its own key lock, and you pay $30 for six months April 1 to October 31, or $50 for a whole year April 1 to March 31 (your choice) plus a key deposit for either period?

free. One of the whole draws to bike commuting is free parking everywhere in the city

Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,
  • to commute instead of your own bike, or
  • for running errands at lunchtime instead of your own bike which you would leave in the locker.

Any other thoughts or comments?


Thanks!
Answers in red (hopefully). And no I would probably not use a bike share unless my work bike was down for maintenance
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Old 08-08-16, 08:14 PM
  #34  
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I rent a bike locker at work. For the privilege i pay $5 per month pre tax. I also access a system called bike link. Those lockers are at transit stations. I have a prepaid card and pay a couple cents per hour. Cheap.

My locker at work is a big steel box with a built in lock. I was issued a key and have to sign an agreement every year to renew. I keep my bike in there along with a pump and a couple spare tubes. Very handy. We do have a bit of a homeless problem and they tend to sleep around the bike lockers. Also the smokers hang out around the bike lockers.

Bike share also keep a few bikes in a couple of the lockers. Problem there is the people who borrow the bikes don't always lock them up tight.

We have some double Decker bike lockers too. Those don't see much use since folks cannot really pick up their bike to put their ride in the upper locker.

Good luck. I am on the West Coast and have a kid attending Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She's hearing impaired and has found great support in your community. I get the feeling she might be settling there after graduation.
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Old 08-08-16, 08:37 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
I need your help in learning about other bike commuters thoughts on bike lockers.

As many of you know, I recently moved to the City's Parking Bureau from the Public Library. My department is in charge of all the ramp garages in the city.

The city's bike locker program has been ignored for six to seven YEARS. We have over 50 bike lockers scattered around at the garages and,
  • Nobody knows if any are used.
  • Nobody knows when the last time was that anyone was billed.
  • Nobody knows if any keys previously issued are still out there.
  • Nobody knows what happened to the waiting list.
  • Given that all the garages have post-and-ring racks you can use for free, (and that are used, I use one myself) nobody knows if there's any interest in renting a bike locker.
It's become my job to get it straightened out and to revive the program for next year. So here's an informal poll to help head me in the right direction:


Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.


If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)


What type of locker would you prefer?
  • One where you bring you own lock—padlock and U-lock compatible—but you can't leave your lock overnight?
  • One where you buy an online rechargeable access card and it charges you 5˘ (yes, only a nickel) an hour to park? (40˘ to 50˘ a day.) And you can use that card in other cities too. And you can also reserve a locker online before leaving for work?
  • One with its own key lock, and you pay $30 for six months April 1 to October 31, or $50 for a whole year April 1 to March 31 (your choice) plus a key deposit for either period?

Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,
  • to commute instead of your own bike, or
  • for running errands at lunchtime instead of your own bike which you would leave in the locker.

Any other thoughts or comments?


Thanks!
I have some experience and comments, most apply to the long term/train & bus station, not to your department.

I used a bike locker a few times, but the DE lockers are generally located at park & ride lots on local bus routes. A major reason I bicylced to work was to avoid being limited to buses with inconvenient schedules and routes, so I did not use these.

Wilmington DE had lockers near the train station for a few years. Unfortunately, the city installed cheaper lockers than at the commuter rail stations, so all the lockers were quickly broken & unusable. One locker seemed to have city brooms adn park equipment. If the transit authority does put lockers at bus & train stations, make the lockers at the high risk locations as secure as those at the safer locations.

If there had been a bike locker in the garage of the building I worked in, I might have used it, depending on security and price. A coworker's bicycle was stolen from the rack in the garage; fortunately mine was locked better.

The Claymont DE lockers are at a local rail station set up for commuting to Philadelphia at regular hours (better schedule at PA station a few miles away). The lockers are free with a $10 deposit and 6-12 month agreement. I would actually use them to bicycle to the commuter rail and go to NJ or Boston for weekend or week long trips, but they are not available on short notice. It may take months to have a locker become available, and then weeks to process deposit and receive a key by postal mail. They are solid lockers; I suspect some of the lockers are being used daily but others are not. The system does not allow short term use or frequent turn over.

Transit Authority suggestions
For lockers near train or bus stations, bicyclists need overnight parking as much as motorists. (Something PHL airport and Amtrak in Richmond don't agree with). PHL airport said they were afraid of bike racks having bikes locked permanently, so their policy states that bicycles may be removed after 72 hours. Since many bicyclists have trips that last a week or more (as do motorists), nobody uses the racks at all. (Better signs would also help).

Similarly, the Staple Mills Amtrak Station allows motorists to prepay daily parking for at least 2 weeks, but prohibits any bicycle parking at all because "nobody bicycles to the train station". It sounds like your departments racks are in garages where motorists can't park overnight either, but in general bicyclists will need to be able to park for similar periods as motorists.

Regarding hourly charges vs. monthy/semi annual, I'd expect that bicyclists usage will be similar to motorists. I'd suggest similar options, especially since you already have the lockers installed and your city may be more open to bicyclists than Amtrak.
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Old 08-08-16, 09:16 PM
  #36  
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I like that bikelink allows multi day parking. I have left my bike overnight more than a few times. Usually unplanned so I need to pay extra (10-12 cents per hour for overage). Some amtraks have the lockers as well.
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Old 08-09-16, 06:15 AM
  #37  
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Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.
No

If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)
If I were to change jobs where bike parking is unavialble, I'd consider it. As is, no. I have a spot in a secure parking facility.


What type of locker would you prefer?
unsure. I'd lean toward daily parking for flexibility.

Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,
to commute instead of your own bike, or
for running errands at lunchtime instead of your own bike which you would leave in the locker.

not likely, I prefer my bike

Any other thoughts or comments?
yes.
a bike locker at the MTA Park and Ride that I sometimes use was removed recently - evicting a couple of homeless people from their 'penthouses'.

(more) it was a rainy morning, I rode 3 miles to the P&R to catch a bus instead of 15 miles of rainy ride. The MTA crew were dismantling the lockers and pressure washing the concrete where they once were. Three homeless folk, 2 men, one woman were under the waiting shelter cursing and fretting about being evicted as I waited for my bus.
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Old 08-09-16, 09:52 AM
  #38  
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I recall the local town installing secure lockers at the local Long Island Railroad stations on the south shore of L.I. way back.

Folks loved them, then some homeless moved in to some and the cops had to keep after that, then 9/11 happened and somebody got the idea that they could be used to store a bomb. Thus all the shelters wen't bye, bye never to return.
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Old 08-09-16, 10:52 AM
  #39  
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I'll chime in from the Seattle-area.
  1. I don't use a bike locker, but the area has a bunch at various transit stations. Most are $50/year; I believe they're reserved for your exclusive use. Supposedly they're popular - I've never seen one used in the suburbs where I live. There are also some stations with the BikeLink lockers - those are 5 cents/hour I believe.
  2. We have bike cages at most of the parking garages at work. Employee ID card access with good racks inside plus video monitoring. I haven't heard of any crime though I'm sure it occurs. If I didn't have a bike cage and did have access to a locker, I'd definitely want to get one if I was going to store my bike all day. Just the convenience of not having to take off accessories from the bike would be worth it (I don't do it now, but if anyone could get in to the bike storage area, I'd want to remove them).
  3. Personally, I think allowing your own lock is just asking for trouble - people would leave their bikes there, you'd have to remove the locks, etc... I would want the ability to reserve the locker though - I think the leased option would be best if you're commuting daily or the per hour one if you expect more visitor traffic (or a combination of both).
It would be awesome to have bikeshare at my employer's campus, especially for morning/evening commute. The main bus stop is a 15 minute walk away (or a 5ish minute bike ride) from where I work, so if I'm taking the bus then bringing my bike offers time savings. Hence why I don't use a bike locker.

One thing to consider about bike lockers and transit is the time penalty in using one vs. loading the bike on transit (and potentially using it on the other end). If a bike rack is almost always available and the bike locker is not right next to the stop, many people may prefer to just load the bike onto the bus/train. That's been my situation thus far so there's little incentive for me to get a bike locker.
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Old 08-09-16, 11:45 AM
  #40  
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Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.

Yes. It's a hard plastic triangle arrangement. I use my own lock and pay nothing.


If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)

Actually, this is exactly my situation. It's in a parking garage across the street from my building. Even though I have access to a bike cage in my own building's parking structure, I prefer the bike box across the street on days when I ride my good bike. It's off the ground floor (you have to ride up 4 levels to get to it) so it's out of sight of casual street thieves and vandals, and the garage is open at 6 which means I can drop off my backpack without having to go through the hassle of entering the building before I go out to do a pre-work training session

What type of locker would you prefer?
  • One where you bring you own lock—padlock and U-lock compatible—but you can't leave your lock overnight?
  • One where you buy an online rechargeable access card and it charges you 5˘ (yes, only a nickel) an hour to park? (40˘ to 50˘ a day.) And you can use that card in other cities too. And you can also reserve a locker online before leaving for work?
  • One with its own key lock, and you pay $30 for six months April 1 to October 31, or $50 for a whole year April 1 to March 31 (your choice) plus a key deposit for either period?

Of those choices, I'd prefer the last

Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one,
  • to commute instead of your own bike, or
  • for running errands at lunchtime instead of your own bike which you would leave in the locker.

The latter.
Any other thoughts or comments?
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Old 08-10-16, 11:38 AM
  #41  
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Gonna try this again. Apparently the system doesn't like you to think too long about your answer...

Don't use a bike locker now. None available on campus. I park in my office.

Preferred locker type would have an interior locking loop for your u-lock/chain lock to secure the bike in place plus an exterior lock to secure your detachables. If the locker isn't indoors it must be weather tight. I would prefer an annual payment rather than a day to day thing, just like the MV users on campus.

Bonus question--In the highly unlikely event I was at work without my bike I would use a ride share bike as an errand tool. I'm in NC at a university so if the weather is good enough to get to work, its good enough to ride a bike.

Missed the garage question--The one and only parking garage on campus is quite close so if it had secure bike parking I would consider it.

Last edited by HanibalLecter; 08-10-16 at 11:41 AM. Reason: Missed a question.
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Old 08-10-16, 12:12 PM
  #42  
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Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay.

No


If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? (You get to decide how far “reasonable” is.)

Yes

What type of locker would you prefer?

One with its own key lock, and you pay $30 for six months April 1 to October 31, or $50 for a whole year April 1 to March 31 (your choice) plus a key deposit for either period?

This is the only one I would use regularly if it was near my work. Otherwise it loses the convenience factor for me. I like knowing that I go to the same place every day and can put my bike in a bike locker instead of looking around for an empty one.

I might use the pay per hour one for incidental use. But at least in my area, I find it unlikely there would be one stationed where I was trying to lock up my bike anyway.
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Old 08-10-16, 01:29 PM
  #43  
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Do you presently use a bike locker? If so, tell me about it and how much you pay. No. My job has bike racks that happen to be under the awning for the front door. If I get there early enough (which I do), I always grab a spot under the awning. However, bikes get beat up on bike racks.

If not, would you use a bike locker if it was inside a parking garage and within reasonable walking distance to work? Absolutely. It doesn't even have to be in a parking garage. Sitting outside is fine.

What type of locker would you prefer? If the electronic system worked, which shouldn't be too hard in this day and age, I think that'd be fine. Like the bike share programs in the UK, you take a picture of the QR code with the phone app and it tells you the code to the lock or unlocks the bike/locker. Or it has an electronic "Check out" station where you type in the number of the locker you want, and it unlocks it for you. Like the parking stations in the UK and more recently the US. Those are nice and seemed to work well. Plus, it gives you accountability, the ability to rent the locker for multiple days, and lets you know when a locker is being abused. While the "use your own lock" ones would certainly be more simple, there is a lot more chance of the lockers being used incorrectly (people leaving their lock there for the next day, etc.) It REALLY depends on where the lockers are going, and how likely it is that they will be abused. Electronic = good for high risk areas. (A thief is not going to hack the console...) Own locks = good for low risk/low abuse rate areas.

Bonus question: If there were bike-share bikes stationed at the same garage, would you use one? If I'm in my hometown/not traveling, probably not. I ride my bike from home to work, then my bike is at work. No need for me to use the bike share. Perhaps if I drove to work and there were lunch places in biking distance, but otherwise no.


Any other thoughts or comments? I wish bike "garages" were more common. In the UK many of the university buildings (that I saw) had gated, locked, covered bike places that were monitored by cameras and the security inside of the building itself. These garages had wall mounted bike racks so you could hang your bike up. This is great because then no bike gets leaned against yours. I would prefer these to lockers honestly, less hassle. And it only takes a swipe of your university ID to get in (provided you're given access.) (Or, if your IDs are RFID, a simple bump of the butt/wallet will get you access.) I don't think thieves would be a problem because of the cameras (and lights obviously). Put the cameras up out of reach and they can't be tampered with.

Last edited by corrado33; 08-10-16 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 08-16-16, 10:41 AM
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In a parking garage, I would always prefer an open rack, it's just easier. Out in the open though, in a high-theft area, I would prefer a locker

Lock preference? I would most prefer to just use my own lock (would be carrying it anyways in case I needed to lock somewhere else). Then 6/12mo rental, since it's cheaper than the card. Lastly the access card. I like the idea, I would be ok with the price for intermittent use, but for every day all day, I'd want the cheapest possible solution.

Bonus question: I can't imagine any situation where I would rent a bike-share bike out of the same garage where my own bike is accessible.

Bonus bonus feedback: In my current situation, my work has a bike parking area in the parking garage (inside a secure, gated campus with 24/7 security). There is a rack with like 8 slots, and there are bike lockers with I think 6 or 8 compartments. Lockers are free, just use your own padlock. I have never put my bike into a locker. Once I had a bike I had borrowed and needed to return to a friend, I brought a combination lock from home so I could keep his bike secure in a locker, but I just find it easier to cable lock my bike to the rack. Plus I like to see it standing out there, I think it looks good, and I want other people to see it and know that somebody is biking to work every day.

BUT if I were in a less secure situation, and had to leave my bike outside every day subject to weather and the eyes of the general public, I would prefer a locker over a rack.
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