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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bike Hanger: Vertically Rotating, Multi-Level Bike Parking By Manifesto Architecture

by Kimberley Mok
from: http://www.treehugger.com/

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Images: The vertically-hung, space-saving Bike Hanger by Manifesto Architecture

It's a scenario familiar in many cities: ugly, unwieldy and badly-designed bike racks, with the worst of it being that there's never enough bike parking to go around (meaning messy clumps of bikes in public spaces, for example). And with space in urban areas usually at a premium, it makes sense to stack things vertically. The intriguing Bike Hanger from New York-based Manifesto Architecture does the vertical trick, but takes things a step further by hanging off the side of buildings in those underused, residual spaces between them.

According to ArchDaily, Bike Hanger was designed and shortlisted for the 2010 Seoul Cycle Design Competition, which called for ideas to improve the city's bike-friendliness and infrastructure.

The idea is to keep pedestrian flow of traffic free from bike interference, and public spaces free of unsightly globs of locked bikes that look like cycling disasters. Each rack unit can hold anywhere from 20 to 36 bicycles, and the units themselves can be agglomerated, creating rows of neatly stacked public bike racks.

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The canopy and frame would use recycled plastic, stainless steel and carbon frame. The hanger's rotation mechanism would be powered by good old-fashioned elbow grease, by pedalling a stationary bike hooked up into the hanger system, thus keeping energy and maintenance costs low.

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On top of that, Bike Hangers could be designed as urban landmarks in their own right, creating another means of wayfinding for city dwellers.

One question that comes to mind is how a system like this could be protected from vandalism and theft -- after all, we've seen how public bike programs like Paris' Velib have been dealt a blow by irresponsible use. And what about long-term parking? But overall, the Bike Hanger's space-saving virtues, sensible structural format which allows for easy visual identification of each person's bike and its use of recycled materials makes it a pretty clever proposal for solving the bike parking dilemma.

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