New Philly Bike Racks Blend Form, Function, Fire Hydrant Access

The clever designs serve multiple purposes—providing more bike parking while getting cars out of illegal parking spaces.

December 29, 2021, 6:00 AM PST

By rkaufman


A pair of bikes are leaning against a street sign on an urban street in Philadelphia.

Not your founding father's bike rack. | Tippman98x / Shutterstock

Starting soon, you might see new bike racks coming to Philly.

A competition to “reimagine bike parking” has declared a winner — a bike rack with a solar-powered shelter, motion-sensitive security, and protective bollards, per a press release from the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

The PPA’s “Rack ‘em Up” competition sought ideas from the public to build a bike rack that would serve multiple purposes, the release said: First, it would provide more bike parking in a city that lacks it. Second, the racks would be placed in the street, rather than the sidewalk, and they were designed to be located in front of a fire hydrant — preventing a car from illegally parking there. The city has issued more than 30,000 parking tickets to cars blocking fire hydrants this year, the release said, and in an actual emergency, firefighters usually have to break an illegally parked car’s window to reach a hydrant. Thus, a bike corral that maintains hydrant access solves two problems at once, the release said.

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