New York City currently uses thousands of CityRacks, which are variations of fabricated square steel tube that take up little sidewalk space and don’t interfere with the flow of city life. But according to the City, the CityRack has been used for over 10 years and can’t continue as an NYC icon to promote cycling as a preferred and convenient means of transportation. The City will use the winner of the sidewalk rack competition as its new bike-parking standard, and Google will install the winning design for the in-building rack in its NYC headquarters.
The CityRack does seem economical in terms of space — but I’m sure there are better materials and designs that could both improve the space situation for bike racks in New York and encourage City commuters to regularly rely on their bicycles for transportation. Perhaps a vertical design could be a solution, stacking bikes on top of one another rather than side-by-side. And maybe there is a durable material out there that could retract when bicycles aren’t inside it — a flexible material that would still be durable enough to last indefinitely, and maintain its integrity in both sweltering summer months and frigid winters.
What materials or designs do you think would contribute to the most effective bike rack, in terms of space and usability? Find out more about the competition and upcoming registration dates, and let me know if you’re entering a design in the competition.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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