The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), in partnership with the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the support of Google Inc. and Transportation Alternatives, is pleased to announce an international design competition for new bicycle parking for the City of New York. As part of our effort to promote cycling as a sustainable, mainstream transportation option and in keeping with the environmental goals of PlaNYC 2030, DOT is seeking to tap the creative energy of the world design and art communities for this important element of street furniture.
The purpose of the competition is to develop functional, well-designed sidewalk racks and to generate new concepts for bicycle parking inside commercial and residential buildings. These two initiatives, in addition to NYCDOT’s commitment to increasing the number of miles of bicycle facilities, providing the City’s first sheltered bike parking stations and creating more bicycle parking at transit stations, will raise the profile of bicycling as a convenient mode of transportation in New York.
Although bicycle lanes are the most noticeable element of the City’s cycling infrastructure, access to parking is also essential. Indeed, a study conducted by the Department of City Planning found that lack of access to secure bike parking was the primary reason cyclists did not ride to work. The current standard fixture for bicycle parking consists of variations of a fabricated square steel tube called the “CityRack” that is mounted on sidewalks. These fixtures occupy little space on the sidewalk and do not obstruct the flow of people or goods. New York City currently has thousands of CityRacks within its five boroughs and plans to add thousands more in the foreseeable future. The CityRack design, however, has been in use for over ten years and does not fulfill the potential to be an icon for New York City cycling.
The City intends to use the winning sidewalk rack as its new standard for bicycle parking. The design for the in-building rack will first be installed by Google in its New York City headquarters. It may also be used by City-owned buildings in the future, when possible.