One of the challenges of urban cycling is finding a place to park your bike.

A simple design from UK-based Smartstreets might help: The Cyclepark, made of two metal loops, hooks around existing lampposts and street signs to provide extra bike parking on every block.

“By making use of what’s already there, you’re not adding obstacles on the pavement for pedestrians,” says Andrew Farish, one of the designers of the Cyclepark. “And the less stuff you have on the street, the better the street looks.”

People already tend to lock bikes to streetposts and railings when they can’t find a bike rack, but without something more substantial to latch onto, it’s easy for bikes to fall over or even be lifted over the pole and stolen. It’s also often illegal to use a street post if there isn’t an official rack.

2014-04-24

Co.Exist

These Simple Devices Turn Every Sign Post Into A Bike Rack

The Cyclepark turns the multitude of sign posts found in cities into a network of bike parking spots, without the cost or space of installing free-standing racks.

One of the challenges of urban cycling is finding a place to park your bike. A simple design from U.K.-based Smartstreets might help: The Cyclepark, made of two metal loops, hooks around existing lampposts and street signs to provide extra bike parking on every block.

"By making use of what’s already there, you’re not adding obstacles on the pavement for pedestrians," says Andrew Farish, one of the designers of the Cyclepark. "And the less stuff you have on the street, the better the street looks."

People already tend to lock bikes to sign posts and railings when they can’t find a bike rack, but without something more substantial to latch onto, it’s easy for bikes to fall over or even be lifted over the pole and stolen. It’s also often illegal to use a street post if there isn’t an official rack.

The Cyclepark is a little like the circular racks that some cities have added to old parking meters, but street posts are even more ubiquitous than meters, making it easier to create a broad network of parking. In New York, for example, there are 250,000 posts for lighting alone, and countless other street signs. "This stuff is already there," says Farish. "Often something like a signpost literally does one thing. They have to have a sign there that explains what parking is, or what a single yellow line means, so they’ve got this post and literally all it’s doing is holding up a tiny little eight-by-eight-inch sign. By converting that into a bike park, you’ve released new value from that infrastructure."

The brightly colored Cycleparks can also double as markers for bike routes around a city, leading cyclists down a particular path. They’re cheaper to install than a typical rack, since the process takes around 10 minutes and there’s no need to jackhammer holes into the pavement (there’s also likely less need for permitting and consultations, since the change is so minor).

Farish says the racks are a way to improve the look of a city by reducing clutter. "It’s a rare opportunity to give a visible upgrade to a street," he says, explaining that much of the work that cities do often goes unnoticed by the public. "It’s really a way of encouraging cycling and doing it a way that doesn’t compromise the street’s aesthetic."

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13 Comments

  • Tom St John

    I think it is an interesting design, The only problem is a simple screwdriver can take it apart and then bike is gone.

  • Callum Nash

    I believe that street signs are already handy things to lock your bike up to. The only problem is if you can lift the bike from the top of the sign. This device (other than it's own clamping force) seems to do nothing from stopping a theif lifting the whole thing up the sign post and over the top, and into the back of a van. I like it, I just think that we should redesign street signs rather than wastefully add more metal to them.

  • Anne Lys

    THIS is absolutely amazing. Really ! The dream of every urban cyclist. As a french one, I'd love to try it. Thank you somuch for having such a (simple, but so useful) idea !

  • Tony Miller

    contact me as per an addendum to this rack that would take it to the next level mill0421@hotmail.com

  • These are already very common in London (see cyclehoop.com), and they don't tend to cause many problems for pedestrians, generally because people already lock their bikes to lampposts, and the cyclehoop just makes it more secure to do so. Also, lamp posts and street posts are generally placed on the outside of the pavement, where there's already a fair bit of street clutter (bins, post boxes, trees etc) so they're out of the flow of foot traffic. They're great as even the boroughs which are more hostile to cycling can be persuaded to install them!

  • Luke Johnson

    I like the essence of the idea, but it could crowd and interrupt pedestrian traffic flow and turn into a knee/thigh bruising hazard due to the 'wings' projecting into these areas, away of normal sightlines.

  • Joseph Finley

    I don't believe they are "screws" but an explanation of the connector used would be appreciated.

  • Smartstreets

    Hi!

    To answer people's questions - the Smartstreets-Cyclepark is designed to stop bike theft where chained bikes are lifted off the top of sign posts.

    The Cyclepark clamps onto the sign post using special security bolts which you cannot undo unless you have a particular tool so it is extremely secure.

    The idea is to make better use of what is already there without adding additional 'sheffield hoops' everywhere. Cycleparks can be installed in minutes, can carry sponsor logos and stop bikes falling over to create trip hazards.

    Made in the UK using a versatile fabrication process - the design will fit almost any size or shape of lamp post and the fact is curved and rounded means no sharp edges to bump into.

    You simply lock your bike onto one or both arms and this prevents the bike and chain being from lifted off the top of the sign post.

    Smartstreets has won 21 international product design and usability awards and exports worldwide. See more at: www.smartstreets.co.uk

  • Smartstreets

    As a foot note - the bolt heads shown in the images are standard bolts used for the purposes of the photoshoot. For street installations Smartstreets offer a wide variety of tamper resistant fixings as well as steel plugs and security rings which cover the bolt heads completely. Please contact sales@smartstreets.co.uk for more information.