New mix of Philly bike racks Shape, function, access to hydrants
Smart designs serve a number of purposes – providing more parking for bikes while getting cars out of illegal parking spaces.
From soon you might see some new bike racks coming to Philly.
A competition to “reinvent bicycle parking” said one winner – a bicycle rack with a solar-powered shelter, motion-sensitive security and bollards, according to a press release from the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
The PPA’s “Rack ’em Up” competition solicited ideas from the public to build a bicycle rack that would serve multiple purposes, the statement said: First, it would provide more bicycle parking in a city that is in short supply. Second, the racks would be placed on the street rather than the sidewalk, and they were designed to be located in front of a fire hydrant, preventing a car from illegally parking there. The city has issued more than 30,000 parking tickets to cars blocking fire hydrants this year, the statement said, and in real emergencies, firefighters usually have to smash the window of an illegally parked car to reach a fire hydrant. Thus, a bicycle corral that maintains access to fire hydrants solves two problems at the same time, according to the press release.
According to According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, 17 teams entered the competition, 5 were shortlisted and three were ultimately selected as finalists.
The Sophon winning team, all of the students in the industrial design masters program at Thomas Jefferson University designed a modular bike rack that looks a bit like a caddy corral – it has a roof and two sides, and protective posts that guide riders towards the parking lot and signal the drivers to slow down. Solar panels on the roof light up the shelter at night, serving as a beacon for cyclists and fire trucks.
Second place winners Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. designed a soft pretzel-shaped stand, and third place AECOM designed a three-sided enclosure inspired by the Philly Rivers.
According to a article in Billy Penn, the winning design will be built and installed in at least two locations, one in West Philly and one in the Old Town. It’s too early to say if the design will be replicated across town, reported Billy Penn.
Rachel Kaufman is the editor-in-chief of Next City, responsible for our daily journalism. She was a long-time writer and freelance writer for Next City before joining the full-time staff. It covered transportation, sustainability, science and technology. His writing appeared in Inc., National Geographic News, American scientist and other outlets.