John and I met on Monday at the Harold Washington Library winter garden to talk about the Grid website design after our live radio interview on Vocalo. You’ll see some design changes in the coming weeks and months.
We then got to discussing bike parking. John and I essentially performed the same work at the Chicago Department of Transportation, arranging for the installation of bike racks, but several years apart.
Photo of bike racks at the Logan Square Blue Line subway station by Brian Vargas.
I told him that I was never convinced that there existed a conclusive advantage over whether to install bike racks inside the paid area of Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train stations, or in the unpaid area. He was adamant that the paid area was better, but I disagreed.
The number of people who will pass by and notice a bike in the paid area is lower than the number of people who may pass by and notice a bike in the unpaid area. We concurred on this point. I then added that the opportunity for a thief to steal and exit the scene was just as easy in the paid area as in the unpaid area. A thief, while traveling through the CTA system, could remove the bike and take it onto the next train. I couldn’t convince John, though.
He then drew a Venn diagram on scratch paper and wrote, “Putting a bike rack in the paid area eliminates all potential bike thieves who would not pay to enter the CTA system.”
“Doesn’t that alone make it a good choice to install the bike rack in the paid area?” he asked.
I bought it.