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Cluster Rack Installations

Getting the footprint right

    Planning rack installations and getting the footprint right are important to ensuring good bike parking options are available for cycling commuters.

Cluster rack installations will accommodate multiple bikes but as often as not, racks are poorly placed, reducing the effective capacity of many rack designs. A prime example is the "CORA" or "coat hanger" rack. The coat hanger element is closely spaced and the rack is designed to be accessed from both sides. Rack ends are also used to support and lock bikes.

Racks may be pushed up against walls, crowded by street furniture or other features of the location making access from one side difficult, or in some other ways reducing the capacity of the rack. Illustrations in this case study show examples of racks compromised by poor site planning.

Racks should be placed with ample circulation space around the installation, generous clearances from walls and other fixed objects and within easy access of destinations to be most effective.

Municipal codes that spell out numbers of bike parking spaces that are required for various destinations and uses may need to be more prescriptive in terms of site planning and other issues. In some of the examples shown, the intent of installations to provide a minimum number of spaces is compromised by footprints that reduce the actual capacity of rack designs.

Other issues include distance, visibility and informal security issues associated with rack placement. Getting the most out of any installation investment requires good planning and adherence to sound principles for quality bicycle parking.