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.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.