DOT Launches Bike Rack Design Competition

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The days of the U- and wave-racks are numbered

Think you can build a better bike rack? Now’s your chance.

Yesterday the city announced an international competition for a bike rack designed "to be an icon for New York City cycling." The competition is a partnership between DOT and the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum with support from Transportation Alternatives and Google.

The CityRacks Design Competition encompasses two categories: the Sidewalk Rack and In-Building Parking. Competitors may choose to enter in the Sidewalk Rack category, the In-Building Parking category, or both. The competition is open to the international design community including architects, artists, engineers, landscape architects, planners, urban designers, product and industrial designers, and manufacturers. Multi-disciplinary teams are encouraged to participate.

Designs should draw on contemporary street furniture, like the city’s new bus and bike shelters, for inspiration, and should be "constructed of high-quality materials meant to withstand the rigors of New York City sidewalks." DOT will use the winning design as the "new standard" for bicycle parking throughout the city. More than $50,000 in honoraria to develop prototypes will be awarded, as well as $15,000 in prizes for top designs.

See the CityRacks Design Competition web site for more info.

Photo: stacyrosenstock via the Streetsblog Flickr photo pool

  • Andy B from Jersey

    The “Wave” rack should have been history years ago! It’s a flawed design.

    Also, DO NOT confuse it with the nearly perfect “INVERTED U-Rack”!

    I hope the design competition at least takes into account the bicycle rack design standards set a few years ago by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. I can see this becoming some fancy tart design that is totally impractical if the judges aren’t knowledgeable about the subject.

  • Andy B:

    I’m one of the judges for the competition. Are these the standards you mean?
    http://www.bfbc.org/issues/parking/apbp-bikeparking.pdf

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Yes Mike.
    Sorry it took so long for me to get back to this (I hope you get it).

    That guide is getting a little old and its not perfect but its by far the best design standard out there for US needs (read as high security).

    I hope the chosen design is aesthetically pleasing, cleaver and simple. But most of all it must be highly functional with a high degree of security that NYC requires.

    While it may not be the prettiest out there, the Inverted “U” rack is very close to perfect due to its simplicity and high degree of security that it offers. I really don’t know if it can be improved upon without compromising those two most important design attributes.

    But then again I’m not an artist or industrial designer so I hope I’m pleasantly surprised by the results.

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