Thursday, October 2, 2014

Shoreline City Hall, Bike Racks, and Hilarity

     Shoreline is an awkward area. Part suburb, part conglomerate shops, and a dash of industrial. But you can measure a city's enthusiasm for cycling by how well it directly accommodates, well, cyclists. Before I come across as a grumpy curmudgeon, I love art. I am well acquainted with whimsy, in fact the charge of being eccentric has been leveled against me many a time. That said, the bike rack in front of Shoreline City Hall needs an overhaul. I get that they were going for reeds, reeds are kind of a big deal here, and they're super pretty. But reeds evolved to be reeds, not bike racks. I'm not even going to start on the problem of locking a bike side to side. In the below pictures you'll see my bike. What you won't see is my fiance's bike, who could not lock up beside me. I guess the holes in the top are supposed to be for your handle bars, which sadly angles the bike so that its impossible to park next to, and that brings me to the glaringly obvious problem.

I honestly can't imagine how this got installed in the first place. There's nothing preventing a thief from lifting your bike and negating whatever lock you have, U-lock or chain, as they quickly make off with your ride. Below is the discussion, via twitter, I had with the City regarding the rack: 

This was on Sept. 26th 2014, or thereabout. I plan on biking out this week to see if there's any changes. I'm not going to get my hopes up. This is the city of incomplete sharrows, the town of missing racks (ever try to park your bike at the Shoreline DMV? No really, some of us just need an I.D.), and the center of the forgotten sidewalk (bonus points if you've ever narrowly missed hitting the lamp pole in the middle of the sidewalk on N. 145th) 
I have very little faith that something is done. What will probably be done is just a regular rack. One of those standard-bars-too-close-together affairs. I'd like to see something else though, I think Shoreline should try again for an artistic design, but this time aim for something that can actually be used. Who knows, maybe people who work at City Hall might start biking to work themselves if they had a place park. 
You can help me by tweeting at Shoreline City hall to demand change, or by making hilarious videos of locking up to the rack and post them on the web.

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