Bike Parking Sucks!

Background Reading


The ‘war on automobiles‘ crowd at the StreetsBlog Science Denial Lab are always going on about how there are ‘too many cars‘. But you get that a lot when the problem is that you have ‘too many people‘ all trying to live in a finite space. You know there is a reason that you landlord has a limit to the number of people you can invite over to your apartment to live on a extended basis,, right?

Even jail cells have a limited space and placing too many inmates in a single space is considered ‘cruel and unusual‘. But the StreetsBlog guys are hell bent on blaming the automobiles and completely ignoring the fact that the problem is the concentration of people in a given area. Oh, well!

Maybe they will be able soon to find a statistic that shows that you can easily double the number of people living and working in Chicago, while abolishing the automobile and recovering all that precious parking space and still have a livable city.

That is of course going to mean that public transportation is going to have to grow to meet the demands. Oh, and that really bullshit idea of on-sidewalk parking for private bicycles is going to have to undergo some sort of redefinition.

I Seldom Park My Bike So I Confess Ignorance

Brompton Folding Bicycle

Brompton Folding Bicycle

Let me admit at the outset that were I too travel into the city each day to work, it would be with a Brompton folder. This is my idea of an ideal city bike. The wheels are strong and there is rear suspension. I would want mine equipped with a SON hub generator and an LED headlight and taillight.

In addition I would have a nice handlebar bag and a rear rack for toting heavier stuff. And in order to bring it all into the building or onto the trail it would be stowed into a nice case that looked inconspicuous.

But the knuckleheads that haunt the city are more than happy with riding around on brakeless bikes if necessary and struggling to find ways to lock their bikes to on-sidewalk parking structures that evidently are difficult to use efficiently.

I have always found the idea that having lots of bikes parked outside your business establishment a nightmare in the making. It generally ends up being a heap of bikes (some left for months on end) piled up on the sidewalk with little room for pedestrians. But hey, pedestrians do not count. They are not bicyclists (except when they are) and besides these are the very people who are always in our way at corners when they venture out into the street to block cyclists who are ‘amber gambling‘ through an intersection.

So, What exactly is wrong with this parking situation below? It looks neat to me but evidently there is some unspecified set of rules that are being violated by the two users of the bike rack, at least in the eyes of the author of the thread. What exactly are they doing wrong?

An Example of Bad Bike Parking?

An Example of Bad Bike Parking?

Were it left up to me, I would ban the use of personal bicycles in the Loop and require either that you move about on foot or use Divvy. At least with Divvy there are not parking issues. There is only one way to park a Divvy bike. There is nothing ambiguous. Either the bike is properly racked or it isn’t. If you fail to park it, you pay the fines. It is as simple as that.