The Future Design of SF’s Bike Racks May Start on Treasure Island

Cityracks3.jpgOne of the racks from NYC’s design competition and a green traffic-separated bike lane on Broadway.

The SFBC and the Department of Public Health (DPH) recently announced a bicycle rack design competition as part of a $100,000 community-based planning grant from Caltrans for the Treasure Island redevelopment plan.

SFBC project manager Neal Patel explained the competition’s objectives are twofold: it is meant to inspire dynamic design for bike racks that could potentially be used in the future throughout San Francisco and it is meant to pique the public’s interest in Treasure Island’s redevelopment, which promises to create myriad bicycle paths throughout the island’s 400-plus acres and a trail along the entire waterfront.

Nearly every structure on the man-made island will be removed in the redevelopment and replaced with 6,000 units of residential dwelling.  While cars will be able to access the island, Muni will run the 108 bus to a central transit hub near the existing guard booth and a new ferry service will connect the island’s residents to the Ferry Building. 

Patel cited the size of the island and the short time it takes to traverse it (15-20 minutes on foot) as ideal factors for making it a bicycle and pedestrian sanctuary.

"We’ve seen a great partnership between bicycle planning and the Department of Public Health," said Patel. 
"There will be a great bicycle network, bike parking, and bike sharing on the
island.  We thought having a unique rack would help identify Treasure
Island as something special."

Patel acknowledged that the competition will not be on the scale of New York City’s recent CityRacks project, but said the DPH identified extra money in the grant they hope to direct toward the distinctive design of the racks.  The winning design will receive $700 and the SFBC and DPH will use grant money to fabricate the rack.  Negotiations with the MTA and city will have to occur if any of the leading designs are to be installed after the bike injunction is lifted.

The timeline for the competition is tight, with the deadline for designs next Friday, March 13th, though the SFBC reports receiving a handful of excellent projects already.  Competition judges will include architect David Baker, SPUR Transportation Policy Director Dave Snyder, Ben Davis of WPI Web, Terri Gardner of SFBC, and possibly someone from the MTA.

Laurie Halsie Brown, the competition curator and founder of the non-profit consultancy Hello World SF, said she was inspired by an exhibition she saw at the American Institute of Architects San Francisco chapter where an artist had built a bike rack the shape and size of a car that would occupy a city parking space.  She then contacted Patel and asked to help organize the competition.  She said she hoped to have a series of events showcasing the winning design and a mobile exhibition that might even be moved by bicycle transport.  

Brown stressed the importance of bike racks as public art, but said they must also be functional and secure.  "This shouldn’t just be amazing
design, but must meet criteria for securing a bicycle at two points, etc.  The designs have to reference Treasure Island, urging people to go there, but they have to activate public
space and be clearly designed as bike racks."

All inquiries and submissions should be sent here.

  • How about bling bike racks, shaped like dollar signs, to represent the wholesale giveaway of public entitlement to Willie Brown’s cronies like Darius Anderson that the TI Redevelopment project is all about?

    Remember how Newsom used TI as bait to entice independent conservative Tony Hall from the Board of Supervisors and appoint conservative loyalist Sean Elsbernd to replace him? Ethics waivers flew like confetti, but once Hall had exhausted his usefullness, Newsom engineered his canning.

    So, yeah, dollar signs really capture the essence of TI.

    But seriously, are there any artists involved in the selection committee or is it all technocrats?


  • Pylondude

    David Byrne came up with some cool bike racks that can be found in NYC. One of them that is on Wall St. is in the shape of a dollar sign – bling!

  • What Marc said. And if you believe that global warming is actually real and that the oceans are going to be rising a bit, why in god’s name would one create “redevelopment” on landfill in the middle of a bay other than sheer greed? It’s ridiculous.

  • Venice on the Bay but without all the history, architecture and culture?

    Last time I remember hearing about it, the subsidy required for bay ferry service came out at about $60 per ride. That, and diesel particulate with shallow water ecosystem disturbance!

    What did Lou Reed once say: “Candy came from out on the island.”


  • urbemus

    The bikerack shown in the picture was awarded 3rd place at the NYC Cityracks international design competition and was designed and developed by Argentine industrial designer Ignacio Ciocchini. The design is available as New York will only use the first place winner. The picture, taken by Marco Castro, shows one of the prototypes at Broadway Boulevard looking towards Times Square in New York

  • baybiker

    Plenty of good inspiration here for fun bike rack designs here too…


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