April 4, 2008
Everyone knows that creating a quality product requires polling your audience. So in hearing that the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has teamed up with the New York City Department of Transportation, Google and Transportation Alternatives in a competition to design a bike rack for New York City, I—an urban biker myself—have a thing or two to say.
The ideal bike rack would be a flashy piece of street furniture, like London’s telephone booths, so you could spot it on the fly. It would have a slot for each bike to avoid one falling and causing a domino effect, and it would be made of a padded (but waterproof) material so that it’s not metal on metal for shiny, new bikes.
But it’s one thing to think it. Up to ten finalists in the CityRacks Design Competition will have to execute it, building a prototype with a $5,000 stipend.
The prototypes will be previewed at Cooper-Hewitt this fall and then installed in the city for a trial period. The first place winner will take away a $5,000 cash prize and have his or her rack implemented throughout New York City. So bikers, play informant for your architect, designer or engineer friends and all you biking architects out there get busy. Registration ends April 30.
So with bike lanes painted and now parking solutions underway, I guess cyclists are left to deal with the ever-so-threatening car door.
Sign up for our free email newsletter and receive the best stories from Smithsonian.com each week.