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Old 08-31-06, 10:55 AM   #1
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Bike parking systems -- your opinion?

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 used near buildings, even if it required a special key/card obtained from the city to use them.

Something like this 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 --, 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, 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 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.
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Old 08-31-06, 11:55 AM   #2
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I like the concept of lockers, I am currently working in Greenville, SC and wonder why they don't have bike lockers in the parking garages. Seems like a no brainer to me...but then again I'm a cyclist I like the concept of the ones with the mesh sides it would help limit the illegal usage. I am also intrigued by the security racks...I have never seen those before. I like the concept but it won't keep parts from disappearing. The good old B-Rail has it's place but not for me for serious lockup.

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Old 08-31-06, 11:56 AM   #3
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To be honest, the bike lockers suck. We had them when I was in residence at university a long time ago. They were constantly falling apart, doors getting stuck, unlockable etc. The best system is a bike cage in a parking garage.
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Old 08-31-06, 12:30 PM   #4
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Lockers take up a lot of space.
The various crankcase style ones will scratch the paintwork. Both are for all day, high security use.
For general purpose bike racks it is hard to beat the inverted U "Sheffield" rack.

Unfortunately these are often installed too close together or too close to walls. You need room for 2 bikes + a rider and room for a large bike wheel at each end.

It is really rare to find them undercover and close to a main entrance. One of my local suopermarkets has the perfect setup (pic soon..).

Another supermarket thought they could double up on cycle provision by placing a crankcase style bracket inbetween 2 Sheffield stands.
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Old 08-31-06, 01:59 PM   #5
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The one l like the best of the common rack is a simple inverted "U", well anchored of course.

I'd like to see one of these Bike Tree
or one of these Cyclepods
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Old 08-31-06, 02:33 PM   #6
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I like the idea of lockers. Here they are available on a lease only basis (seasonal or annual) with a--get this--background check. If I worked downtown, I wouldn't hesitate to get one.

Otherwise, I favor the simple inverted U as well. With a U-lock and supplemental cable I lock my bike down pretty tight as a panel. With security, simplicity os often best.
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Old 08-31-06, 03:36 PM   #7
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Valet parking.
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Old 08-31-06, 03:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mlts22
The US is nowhere near Europe for bicycle parking.
Have you ever heard of biciberg? It's an automatic underground bicycle parking available in Spain. I've created a thread about it not too long ago.
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Old 08-31-06, 05:20 PM   #9
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Don't go for Toronto's bragged-about post and ring.

Even the city admits a thief can attack them with a 2-by-four, and they end up like this.
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Old 08-31-06, 07:55 PM   #10
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I gave up dreaming about a good secure bicycle parking units when I saw how my city, county and even the private companies treat bikes here in Southern California. When The Bike Station was opened up in Long Beach CA several years ago, I was happy yet sad that this would do me no good since I live miles away and very rarely if ever go to Long Beach with or without my bikes. Did this put me off bike riding? Heck no as I now ride folding bikes exclusively and don't worry about parking since where I go, the bike does too.
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Old 08-31-06, 09:12 PM   #11
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This is not a southern US thing. It's all over. I don't expect it to change unless some bike advocacy group sues for equal access rights for cyclists the same as disabled people.

Only lockers meet my needs for security. Even big lockers, 6 pad, takes 2 auto parking spaces. It's not space that the issue, it's rather the lack of respect for cyclists.

For one, I'd be willing to invest some money in an advocy group that promotes this position. [actually I don't need lockers, what I need is:

1. secure storage that is very difficult/impossible to theives to break in. Or a $10,000 guarantee of replacement if bike is stolen from storage.

2. hidden storage, ie. can't see bike or accessories when in storage.

If such a system was available locally, I'ld use it if it cost the same as an auto park by the hour lot.
Unfortunately, I doubt many cyclists would treat their bikes as vehicles and would not think twice of renting secure storage.
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