The Chainlink

I posted this before and I am surprised this doesn't bother anyone.  But, when you're searching around the loop and trying frantically to find a place to park your bike.  And then you come across this.

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I always occupy either end of the rack, not the middle, to lock the rear wheel and the frame together.  

I suppose these two were in a hurry or totally oblivious.

I see this in my neighborhood a lot. The other night I was going to a cafe and found 2 bikes like this. One was locked with a cable lock, and I picked it up and rotated it so that I could have a spot to lock up my bike.

Am I missing something? It looks like there are at least two empty places to lock a bike to.

The rack is designed for 6 bikes. Not 2

Exactly. More than once, I've found bikes at an 8-space rack in my neighborhood, locked like this with U-locks or chains in such a way that they were each blocking 4 spaces. For a variety of reasons, it isn't always feasible to lock up on the other side of the rack.

Frankie Equality Suda said:

The rack is designed for 6 bikes. Not 2

It's not a great design, but the bikes in the photo are locked appropriately IMO.

Cyclists should not be forced to have only one locking point. Looks to me like there is room for at least two more bikes.

+1. I sometimes lock up this way if I'm going to be away from my bike for more than a few minutes. Not only does that allow me to lock both the front and rear wheels, it is less obstructive to pedestrian traffic. Another bike can lock on the other side of the rack as well. Though, with the growth of biking in Logan Square anymore, I often consider myself lucky to find a non-CTA non-sucker pole to lock to. 

IMO, the real problem is not with the individuals who locked their bikes up, but with the design and placement of this rack. I far prefer the (rare, but appearing more often) bike corrals, such as on the one in front of Revolution Brewery. They allow for 10 bikes, take up a single space that would otherwise be car parking, and don't impede pedestrian traffic.

FWIW, I also think it's totally fine to move an existing, locked bike if necessary to make room for your own as long as you're not moving it to a place where it's likely to be damaged.

h' 1.0 said:

It's not a great design, but the bikes in the photo are locked appropriately IMO.

Cyclists should not be forced to have only one locking point. Looks to me like there is room for at least two more bikes.

Sorry I disagree. The rack is designed to park 6 bikes. Not two. And stinks when you have to get work in time.

Agree that lack of bike parking stinks. I also agree that the bike was designed for 6 bikes; I'm just asserting that it was poorly designed for that goal. Why couldn't you park on the other side of the rack, though? 

Frankie Equality Suda said:

Sorry I disagree. The rack is designed to park 6 bikes. Not two. And stinks when you have to get work in time.

I have to agree with the other poster.

This rack is definitely designed for six bikes and they would be parked perpendicular to  the sidewalk.  These bikers parked the wrong. way. Although it's not clear to me if there is enough space to park this way and not extend into the street.

These kinds of racks should used exclusively.  They hold far more bikes than the other designs.  We can't give everybody two lock points. Use a second ulock or cable the wheel to the bike (with the ulock to the frame).

I understand the benefits of locking to two points of a rack, but I think the intent of this design is for multiple bikes being locked up. From the manufacturer

I'm pretty sure I've never seen 6 bikes simultaneously locked up to a rack of this design, which would indicate it is a poor design. Or it could indicate I'm just not very observant (which is likely). I know now I'll pay more attention. It does seem to me that 3 inverted-U-type racks could fit within a slightly larger footprint and eliminate this problem. And if you're going to park perpendicular, anyway, you can fit 3 bikes on each inverted-U. 

FWIW, if it appears that there will be high demand for bike parking, I'm going to be more concerned with parking in a way that others can lock up than with finding 2 lock points. Partly because I do subscribe to the "no need to outrun the bear" philosophy of bike security, and partly because I try to be considerate. If, however, my bike is going to be the sole bike on a block for the better part of a day (a situation in which I try to avoid anyway), I want to give thieves as much an incentive to move along as I can, and keep my bike out of the way of pedestrians as much as I can. (Again, partly out of consideration, and partly because I don't want to give anyone encouragement to vandalize the bike).

Like so many other things with cycling (coming to a complete stop at a sign, whether to pass cars on the right, etc.) it is highly dependent on context, interpreted through my own experience and what I've heard of others' experiences. Regarding the latter - could someone fill me in on why parking on the other side of the rack isn't an option in this sort of situation?

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