View Full Version : Urban Neighbors Bike Rack project

06-10-2008, 07:18 AM
I'm posting this JR article in OKC Metro Area, because our project encompasses the whole triangle area, not just "Bricktown", but of course, the local media only knows how to misuse the word "Bricktown".

Bike racks could be headed to Bricktown
Journal Record
June 10, 2008

OKLAHOMA CITY – Without bike racks it’s hard to get people to leave their cars at home and opt to pedal when they come to Bricktown. That was the dilemma Urban Neighbors decided to address in what has become a pet project for the group of downtown residents who say that bike racks will encourage more people to move about downtown on bikes and stop for dinner or see the sights in Bricktown.

The group plans to address the Bricktown Urban Design Committee on Wednesday with a proposal for a revocable permit to install 30 to 40 bike racks around Bricktown. The racks would be east of E.K. Gaylord Avenue and extend north of Bricktown to Northwest 10th Street.

Funding is already secured for the racks, which will cost about $200 each, and the estimated $600 for yearly maintenance of the racks will be picked up by the Downtown Business Improvement District.

John Calhoun, with the city Planning Department, said things in the right of way have to have a revocable permit, and in Bricktown those items have to be reviewed for comment by the Urban Design Committee.

Mark Gibbs, secretary of Urban Neighbors, has led the bike rack initiative for his benefit and that of others.“I’m a cyclist,” he said. “Although this bike rack project has already been around, I kind of picked it up and ran with it, but it’s still a work in progress.”

Urban Neighbors has partnered with Downtown OKC Inc. for the project and received a $20,000 grant from the City of Oklahoma City Neighborhood Partnership Program. Additional matching funds are coming from donations of money and volunteer time from Urban Neighbors members and downtown businesses.

If approved, the group plans to install the racks themselves.

Jim Cowan, executive director of the Bricktown Association, said he hopes the proposed bike racks will encourage Bricktown merchants to also put up bike racks on their property.“I think everybody loves it,” Cowan said. “The biggest thing we need to do is help them get those going and we hope that will also help stimulate other businesses to put up bike racks as well.”

Cowan said he has received positive feedback from numerous Bricktown entities on the idea of bringing more people to Bricktown on bikes.“What this does is embrace those people that live within biking distance of Bricktown,” he said. People do come to the district on bikes now, but have to share one or two existing racks, or chain their bikes up wherever they find space.“People now are chaining their bikes to whatever they can,” Cowan said.

The Urban Neighbors plan calls for black steel inverted-U and loop supports to hold two bikes each. Each site will have one to eight racks, depending on available space.

Additional approval will need to be obtained from property owners, utilities and the city. But Gibbs isn’t worried about opposition to the project, based on positive feedback so far.“We’re all about being good neighbors and we’ve received a tremendous amount of support,” he said.
Mark Gibbs, secretary of Urban Neighbors, poses for a photo with his bike Monday in Oklahoma City. Urban Neighbors is planning to install 30-40 bicycle racks around Bricktown.

06-10-2008, 07:32 AM
Great idea. Now if only I had a bike! Sigh.

06-10-2008, 09:06 AM
Anti-theft tips until the racks arrive (courtesy Bicycling Magazine):
Foil the Getaway

If you must leave your bike for a moment, and you have no lock, park it where you can see it and fasten your helmet strap through the front wheel and down tube to buy a little time should a thief happen to strike. Smart Tip: Booby-trap your bike by shifting to the smallest gear and then, without pedaling, upshifting three to four gears. Also, open the quick-release lever on the rear wheel--any thief who hopes to make a quick getaway on your bike will just pull the wheel out of the frame and crash, doing far more damage to himself than to your bike. (Just remember to close the QR before you hop back on.)

Break the Pattern

The same $2,500 mountain bike parked in the same rack at the same time every day is an easy target. Shake it up: Park in different locations, ride different bikes and use different combinations of high-security locks. Smart Tip: Take the front wheel with you one day, lock it with the bike the next. Unpredictability makes you less of a target.

Plead Your Commuter Case

The best place to put your bike if you ride it to work is inside your office, but that's not always feasible. Ask HR about a secure storage room or a rack in the building's garage--many are equipped with surveillance cameras or other security. Smart Tip: Point out that riding a bike to work saves parking spaces for other employees and that an active lifestyle leads to fewer health problems.

06-10-2008, 09:13 AM
If only my bike hadn't been stolen.

06-10-2008, 10:42 AM
Are the folks who were starting up a bike rental enterprise still here?

We've been discussing easing back into bike riding at places like BT and local lakes (I for one certainly can use the exercise, if it doesn't slay me that is.) Turning BT into a pedal munch progressive type dinner sounds like a right decent eve.

06-10-2008, 11:42 AM
I've thought about (as well as a friend of mine) doing a small bike rental company out of downtown. Problem is finding a cheap method of storing the bikes/having a storefront. I have several bikes and wouldn't mine renting them out, but it's not worth buying an overpriced storefront in Bricktown. We really need a downtown business incubator to offer affordable options.

06-10-2008, 11:51 AM
There is a program in Paris, France where you can "rent" a bike from a free-standing rack and then ride it to another free-standing rack that is close to your destination.

There are several of these racks scattered about the city. The bikes (all uniform in size, color, etc.) are somehow locked into the rack. A person has to drop money into the rack (kind of like the cart rack at the airport), which "unlocks" a bike. They can then ride the bike to a rack that is close to their destination and "lock" the bicycle back into the other rack.

The biggest problems the city faces with this is flat tires on the bikes (there is a team of people that ride around in a smart car for repairs), and locking mechanisms that sometimes don't work - people put their money in, but no bike comes out.

Sadly, I think in our society thieves would get the better of the system.

06-10-2008, 12:10 PM
Does Portland still have community bikes?

06-10-2008, 12:53 PM
Does anyone have a recommendation for a cheap but well built bike in OKC? I have checked out Target, Wal-Mart, Academy, and Toys R Us. Also I have checked several pawn shops but have been disappointed in the selection. I realize that the timing is not great (weather and gas cost) but any recommendations would be helpful. Thanks

06-10-2008, 01:15 PM
oklahoma city bicycles classifieds - craigslist (

there are always bikes no craigslist. I would buy a used name brand bike before I would buy a department store bike