Monday, March 28, 2016

Vanity is the quicksand of reason

On March 2015 Phillypedals.com published a bombshell editorial from Michael McGettigan, owner of Trophy Bikes and former Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia board member. In it he took the BCGP to task about how they “might need to be a little less “insidey” and work on their advocacy chops a bit” (http://phillypedals.com/bicycle-coalition-needs-shift-higher-gear/).


Once again the BCGP has catered to its wealthy donors with a vanity project that does little to help the average Philly cyclist. This time it is artistically designed bike racks or art racks. A standard bike rack, pictured below, is what every cyclist prefers.



Unfortunately racks like this are not sexy if the BCGP asks you to donate money. So instead they have installed and are raising funds for additional art racks, known as “Gilded Gates” (http://bit.ly/1WRkQNU). At an estimated cost of $3215.00 per Gilded Gate, based on the cost at this site for a double gate (http://bit.ly/1RtdwEE).


In addition art racks have the inherent problem of not being recognized as a bicycle rack. So much so that a sign has to be placed near it so people will know.



When designing anything, especially something that serves both a practical and artistic purpose. There is a guideline that should always be applied, form follows function. In other words when you design something at the end of the day it should be easily recognizable as to whats its purpose is.


There are alternate solutions like having local artists paint unsexy racks to make them sexy. Similar to a recent project by having local artists turn parking meters on 52nd St. in Philadelphia into mini murals. Just think how many more existing bike racks could be turned into works of art










Just imagine how many existing bike racks could be transformed for the cost of one Gilded Gate.



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