For Lack of a Rack

This weekend I had to run a quick errand in the Back Bay and ran into a problem.

For Lack of a Rack

While I prefer not to lock to railings either other options are not always provided. And the number of racks in Boston hasn’t grown as fast as the number of bikes. So even when there is a rack…

For Lack of a Rack

Enough is enough. I’ve decided to of take the matter into my own hands.

For Lack of a Rack

So whenever I need to lock up I won’t be lacking a rack.

For Lack of a Rack


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48 Comments on "For Lack of a Rack"

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Jonathan Krall

Thanks for this. Where I live there is a bike path that gets about a million users per year, but the local business community has minimal interest in marketing to cyclists. They do have a sign indicating a local bike shop, but that’s it. Newsflash: cyclists eat food, not bike parts.

Trying to get my local business community interested in bicycling has been like trying to give money to someone who doesn’t know what money is.


Based on the Kawakami’s portable parking spot for cars you might consider a “bike parking only” sign that you attach to the nearest railing (overtop any other pesky signs if necessary) as a lighter weight alternative :->

Uncle Robot

Similar situation in Amsterdam and other Netherlands cities EXCEPT that there are so many bikes that there is no enforcement of the no bike parking signs. So maybe our solution is to overwhelm every place with more bikes. Maybe we should organize a Critical Bike Park event in strategic places, or a Boston Bike Parkey event???

Serious question: does anyone cite “historic character” in opposition to bike racks? I ask as an outsider to Boston but one familiar with the Back Bay neighborhood, so I know about it’s “historic” character, but I’m not plugged-in to that community any more. If they do cite the historic nature of the area, then they oughta do something about those cars lining the roads; they’re not very historic, are they? I ride almost exclusively in the suburbs and the small-town downtowns. I’m usually the only cyclist parked at a business anywhere. The problem is not insufficient bike parking; it’s NO… Read more »
Eric Herot

In fact this did happen in Back Bay. In their defense, the argument was against allowing bare, gray steel racks in a neighborhood where every other piece of public infrastructure is required to adhere to a certain aesthetic. The solution is simple of course: Use pretty bike racks (the common Dutch Tulip rack comes to mind).

Somewhat ironically the reason Back Bay has this bike parking problem is the removal of all of the parking meters (which were notably NOT historic-looking), which used to be a popular thing to lock bikes to.

Eric Herot

Oh, also, due to the “historical” requirements, Back Bay has no ordinary sign posts. Instead almost all traffic signs are affixed to 8-inch-wide lamp posts that no U-lock will fit around.

Jay B

So what people do (on streets other than Boylston & Newbury St.) is to lock their bikes to the pretty railings that surround the pretty gardens.

Foot. Shoot.


What will happen when Boston removes parking meters for smart pay?

I hope the meter poles will be converted to hitching posts but I cannot get an answer from the mayors office.