Is it just me or do you find yourself breathing in a lot of second hand smoke when locking up your bike? It seems like a lot of smokers like to lean up against the bike racks when taking "smoke breaks". I don't know what the solution would be, guess I'm just looking to vent and discuss.
It's extra annoying to me when combined with factors that may increase my "lock up" time. I use 2 cables and 2 u locks on the bike I'm riding today, for example. That combined with taking off my bike lights and any other steal able items (ie. unloading bike baskets) leads to that much more 2nd hand smoke exposure.
In some locations, that's a real problem - not just for you.
I notice that where I work too. I guess all the cool people like to hang out near each other.
As inconvenient as it might be, they're breaking no laws. They're not allowed to smoke indoors so they find a spot outdoors to have their smoke, and like minded people tend to group together so they find one another.
Maybe you could lobby to get outdoor ash trays positioned in a designated smokers area. But there isn't always room for everyone to have their own space, so we gotta share.
Smokers are to cyclists as, kinda, cyclists are to motorists. Maybe a pain in the ass, but with every right to be there.
How much worse can it be for anyone than breathing all the exhaust fumes on ones ride to locking up the bike.
They don't care about ashtrays. The world is their ashtray, if you haven't noticed. They're looking for something to sit on or lean against.
Usually they move a couple of feet over when they see I want to use the bike rack for bicycle parking. I don't get pushy, though. If they don't feel like moving, I ride on to another parking spot. I don't want to annoy a smoker, since they might retaliate by vandalizing my bike while I'm away.
Smoking doesn't necessarily make a person a vandalizing litter bug, tho a vandalizing litter bug may be a smoker.
You may not like their habits but I would expect them to be judged as I would expect myself, as a cyclist, to be judged. After all, all cyclists are not asshats.
I understand that many smokers just drop their butts, That doesn't mean that they all do. Just as everyone who eats fast food doesn't throw their litter out of the car window.
If I have the option, I will walk to another bike rack to lock my bike if it's really bad. Such a bummer.
It's funny how I find myself trying to be downwind from smokers when locking up. For me I try and bear it for it is much worse at home with my neighbor next door in my condo and the smoke that comes in through the vents and electrical outlets.
I had a similar problem in a past apartment, where smoke from a downstairs neighbor came through cracks around the radiator pipes. I used spray foam to close up those spaces, and it reduced smoke infiltration a LOT. Obviously you can't do that with vents, but you might be able to do that around electrical outlets. Just unscrew the cover plates and see how much space you have to work with.
As an electrician, i cannot recommend spraying foam in an outlet box! Someday, someone will need to get into that box to change out the outlet or do some such work. (Not to mention that urethane foam is flammable.) There are thin rubber gaskets made to fit behind the cover plates for stopping drafts that will do the trick and not bugger up the wiring & devices. Your local hardware store should have them.
If there's open space around the outside of the box between it and the wall, the foam may work okay, but don't spray it into the box itself.