Category Archives: Rack that Bike

Rack’em up and roll’em in: SDOT seeks corral input

On-Street bike parking in front of Stumptown on 12th
In addition to the weather, Tim and I love to talk about bike parking, bike racks and anything related to parking and racks. If you ride a bike, you need to have a secure parking spot for it upon arrival at your destination.

SDOT wants to know where on-street bike parking is needed around the city. So go ahead and send them your suggestions! Email requests to bikeracks@seattle.gov.

I already commented, telling SDOT to expect some from me. But unless you only want them in front of cafes, bars and restaurants (when I  ride a bike, I  get hungry, thirsty and I need a place to park my bike!) you better submit your spots, too.

– Anne

A “better” bike rack through dental technology

I love our dentist, Dr. Russell. He’s the kind of guy I can exchange snippy banter with while he takes better care of my mouth then the words coming out of it often deserve.

As many of you know, Anne and I are turning into bike rack zealots. So its no surprise that during my cleaning last winter, I spent some time berating him for his shoddy bike  parking.  The rack at his office is old, rattly, rusty, and not even secured to the ground!

To his credit, Dr. Russell didn’t jab me with one of those evil dental picks. Instead, he listened respectfully, asked a couple questions, and gave me a little hope he’d do something about it.

Last Thursday I was back for my summer cleaning. Approaching the still-in-place ratty old rack my initial disappointment quickly turned to  admiration for the way he had spiffed it up and secured it with the tools of his trade:

Waxed Floss Rack Security

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Tour de Seattle’s On-Street Bike Parking

On-Street bike parking in front of Stumptown on 12th

On-Steet Bike Parking on 12th

On-Street Bike Parking on Broadway

On-Steet Bike Parking on Broadway

Tim and I have blogged about bike parking many times. You could say we’re into our bike parking.

Having access to a convenient bike parking spot is the key to using bikes as everyday transportation.

One of the main reasons we have embraced getting around on bikes is the simplicity and ease of parking a bike. No other “alternative transportation” option beats pedaling to the local store, pulling right up to the front door, pulling out a U-lock, locking your bike and walking into the shop. You can’t do that in a car, ever. And the bus…um….

As we’ve said before, we appreciate a nice rack.

Aesthetically pleasing racks add so much to the street ambiance.  I love the artistic and whimsical racks. They seem to say, “not only am I practical and utilitarian, I’m also fun and pleasing to the eye, so use me or just stop and admire me for a bit”. They invite people to linger on the sidewalk. Continue reading

Sustainable Ballard Bike Rack Design Contest

Sustainable Ballard Bike Rack Contest You’ve heard Anne and I prattle on about bike racks. They aren’t where you need them. They’re ugly. And even when they are in the right location, they need more capacity. Blah, blah, blah. Maybe that’s what prompted my buddy Bret to tip us off to a bike rack design contest in his neighborhood.

It seems those inspiring folks at Sustainable Ballard have come to our rescue with a contest to outfit key Ballard locales with locally designed, handmade, artisan bike racks. We’re already fans of Undriving Ballard, and Undriver License holders and can’t wait to see what develops here. As of now, racks are planned near the Ballard Library, Ballard Ave near the Sunday Market, Bergen Place, the Locks, and Market Street.

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Bike Rack Capacity: Tokyo vending-machine style

Too many bikes and not enough racks… around here, we’d be happy with with a few more two-bike units. Sorry, that’s way too simple for Japan. There they turn the engineers loose. Visitors to Toyko are frequenty awed by the crazy vending machines: Hot Ramen, socks, umbrellas, eggs, kerosene, and more. One count puts it at one vending machine for every 23 people.

So it only makes sense that bike parking would benefit from this technical vending genius. Understanding Japanese would add to the experience but we managed to get the gist. Combine this baby with the giant bike parking garage we saw in Amsterdam and we’d be in bike-parking dork heaven.

-Tim

via Streetsblog and Gizmodo

Bike Rack Advocacy: A Message For Seattle Schools

Full Racks in PortlandJust last week, we wrote about the lack of safe bike parking at Seattle’s newly-remodeled Garfield high school. I meant to send the school district an email then but procrastination got the best of me. This evening, Cascade’s Braking News highlighted the problem in it’s Advocacy Issues section; I couldn’t let the opportunity to speak my mind pass again. Continue reading

Update on Mayor Nichols’ racks

SDOT text on zoka rack

I recently requested some bike racks for a fairly new commercial strip in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle. Over the past several years some “mixed use” apartment buildings have been built on NE 65th street. In addition to the two large apartment buildings, there are now four restaurants on the two-block stretch. And not a single bike rack. Continue reading

Bicycle Neglect: $100M Buys Two Bike Racks?

Garfield High School Contruction

Richard Truax, YMCA Earth Service Corps adviser and social studies teacher at Garfield High School wrote an interesting opinion piece in the Seattle PI about what he says is a pathetic lack of bike parking at the Central District school and what he contends is complete indifference on the matter from both the mayor’s office and school district. Give the piece a read yourself, peruse the comments (the one from Beth2000, posted at 3:00 AM, is particularly entertaining – we love the middle-of-the-night-angry-ranting), and form your own opinion. Continue reading

Seattle Bike Swap: Big Crowds and Lame Bike Parking

Impromptu bike parking at the Seattle Bike SwapI rode down to the Seattle Bike Swap on Saturday morning. It’s not like I need anything but I can’t resist the thought of a deal. Other than a nice Wald basket ($7) and a couple of cowbells, (3 for $5) I otherwise kept ahold of my cash and didn’t add to the garage gear piles.

The big news was the massive crowd and resulting bike rack shortage. I’ve attended the last few years, and though the event is popular, I can usually stroll in a few minutes after 9. This year, however I rolled up to a line snaking around the hanger. The bike scene is alive and well in Seattle. Though far too many attendees chose to drive this year, a sizable number of riders quickly overwhelmed the existing racks.

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Now *That’s* a Rack

Airgo Rack at Cycleliciousness, the Copenhagen Bike Culture Blog

The Northern European-style lovefest continues here at Car Free Days. This time we’re ga-ga over a lowly bike rack blogged by Cycleliciousness, those Copenhagen Bike Culture bellwethers.

I’ve posted before on our shortage of good racks, and about the Seattle Department of Transportation’s rack request program. And while the program is admirable in scope, the aesthetics (and in some cases, security) of the designs leave something to be desired.

But this 2006 Dutch design winner (either known as the Airago or the Heklucht- feel free to correct me) squashes those issues by bridging urban art, emergency functionality for passing commuters and safe locking space for neighborhood velos.

heklucht at Flickr

I’m sure someone else can point out how the racks are cost-prohibitive (though if we are looking at cost per use, then our beloved cars, ferries, SLUT and the Sounder train would be off the table) or how they’ll require much maintenance in our rainy climes; or even how they’d be a liability issue because someone might stick the hose somewhere it doesn’t belong.

But this time I am not the cynic. I love it!

Since we can’t seem to solve all (any?) of our bike infrastructure problems with any speed, I’d be up for some token public spending on some only moderately practical, but very nice looking bike racks. Personally, I think they’d look mighty swell as the official rack for Paul Allen’s South Lake Union pet project (and as an added bonus: I could use them on my daily commute).

So, how about it Mr. Mayor?

-Tim