Friday, August 22, 2008

artistic bicycle racks

Some amusing New York city bicycle racks designed by David Byrne are to be employed for a year and sold as art afterwards. Utilitarian "street furniture" never looked so... tacky? They're not amongst my favourites but neither are they as bad as the usual water-piping trusses found in school-yards and train stations across the world.

The stainless-steel "circle emerging from the footpath" is more a elegant design. Unfortunately like most designs it needs a long chain or cable to secure both wheels unless the rider removes the front one and locks it beside the frame and rear wheel. Is there a design that is secure, nestles the front wheel and bicycle into a situation from which they can't be removed without a key, and doesn't scratch the frame? Bike lockers are a good idea but very space-hungry and easy to hog with a single padlock, regardless of whether there is a bike inside. A better design is needed.

The Japanese have a couple of ideas that work with varying degrees of success. The supervised bike parking station, and the unsupervised footpath crammed for hundreds of meters with countless unlocked (or poorly locked) bikes. The latter option works on the principle of safety in numbers employed by fish schools and zebra herds.

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