Capital Bike and Walk has been working on a grading system for racks and a numeric evaluation tool for evaluating individual installations.
Our "rate a rack" page will provide an opportunity for interactive assesment of individual rack designs to help advocates and service providers identify good product and/or generic designs available for replication or installation in their community.
Site evaluation case studies will be useful accessories to our generic, typical installation diagrams that will help illustrate important principles for good site design. Ensuring bike parking facilities are efficient and meet the needs of the target user group is essential to make the most of your investment in bike racks and destination facilities.
The illustrated installation in Portland rates a 95 out of a possible 100 points. Points lost are based on placement of the foreground rack where the rack may be anchored too close to the building. The concrete building curb behind the rack likely interferes with bikes parked on the building side of the rack. Clearances from building features and other obstructions should be more generous to allow users to park bikes with room to manouever for locking bikes or loading/unloading gear or panniers.
All other elements of desirable site design are well taken care - the "staple" rack is a good choice; racks are placed in close proximity to likely destinations (cafe or offices within building); pedestrian traffic into and out of the building, plus the cafe also provide constant, informal surveillance essential to security; the installation is aesthetic and well placed to keep the pedestrian environment clear of obstructions; and the added value of weather protection provided by the building design is a key feature that will attract sustained use.
This installation is an example of very well thought out and opportune design. Good racks are well placed and show good use of building design and other elements essential to provide effective and desirable facilities.