First Look: New CityRack Has Arrived


Hat tip to @zacfrank for this shot of the new CityRack, the first of its kind to be mass-produced and installed on a New York City sidewalk. After the "hoop" won the CityRack design competition last fall, DOT announced that it will install 5,000 of them in the next three years. Where is this one exactly? After a bit of sleuthing, I still don’t know. The sleuthing was pretty cursory, I admit. If you’re heading out for Summer Streets tomorrow (forecast: totally gorgeous), perhaps you’ll stumble across it.

  • and if a car’s gotta be in the shot background, not too shabby that it’s a hybrid DOT one…

  • Is it just me, or does it look like that loop could be easily levered right out of the sidewalk?

  • But then you’d have to take it with the bicycle.

  • Are they wide enough to get a front tire and a rear tire lock on to them?

  • Kaja

    I passed Allen St this afternoon. The chalk is down for the redesign.

    I can’t wait.

  • That rack makes me a little uncomfortable.

    I haven’t seen one in the flesh (steel?) yet, but from the photo, they seem like they’d be too easy to kick out of the ground. The current “n” and “m” racks with their ends embedded into the concrete seem far more secure.

  • I am all for design, and I do like the way the city went about doing this. However we need form to FOLLOW function not precede it and this does not seem something that will be all together functional enough. ok maybe good for a quick poke into a shop but for a couple hours? idk…

  • dave

    @Benjamin Running – The problem with the current n/m racks is if you can knock them out of the ground you can steal the bikes. With this design you cant.

  • Streetsman

    That’s right – this rack is mounted the exact same way as n and m racks. But with n and m racks, if you lever the mounts out of the sidewalk, u locks and chains can be slid right off the ends and the bike ridden away. With this design if you break the rack out of the ground you can’t slide the lock off, so the bike is basically unrideable. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t be tossed into the back of a pickup truck, but if someone has the means of dislodging a rack, and transporting it on a flatbed vehicle to somewhere offsite where they have tools to bust the lock, then you have to concede defeat – there’s no combination of rack and lock that is 100% secure. There’s not much that’s gonna protect you if someone is toting a plasma cutter.

  • There are three of them on the east side of Broadway between West 43rd Street and West 44th Street.

    On the security issue: I think DOT should anchor the racks down past the subway tunnels, through the earth’s crust and mantle, into its liquid core, so that molten magma courses through the hollow tube of the rack. If the containment tube above the surface were to be breached by a thief’s plasma cutter or power winch, then the magma upon exposure to air would instantly cool into solid rock, providing a second layer of deterrence and delaying the thief at the scene.


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