The New Free Bike Racks Popping Up in Montrose

Bike Racks at Hawthorne Square Shopping Center, 3407 Montrose Blvd., Montrose, Houston

Montrose District Bike Houston Bike Rack, Montrose, HoustonIn case the names carved in steel plate on each don’t make it clear to you, the Montrose Management District and Bike Houston want you to know that they are the parties behind these new bike racks going up around Montrose; they’re part of an effort to “improve bike safety” in the neighborhood (or at least keep the ones being used around for longer). New racks went up in front of MV DiY beer, wine, coffee, and candle café at 3224 Yoakum last month; this week a few more were installed in the Hawthorne Square shopping center at 3407 Montrose Blvd. graced by Starbucks, Einstein’s Bagels, and Berryhill Baja Grill (see photo at top) as well as Gratifi Kitchen + Bar at 302 Fairview:

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Bike Racks at Gratifi Kitchen + Bar, 302 Fairview St., Montrose, Houston

Next on the schedule for installs: the Montrose Mercantile, at 3321 Stanford. The racks are being offered free of charge to establishments who’ll sign a waiver allowing the organization to drill and bolt them in place. “We have a limited supply currently, but will likely order more if they’re popular,” a district spokesperson tells Swamplot.

Photos: Montrose District

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18 Comment

  • Love my neighborhood. Now if only you could allow businesses to reduce the number of required parking spaces by 1 by having parking for say 8 bicycles or by 2 if they put a B-Cycle station in.
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    I can’t wait for hard trolling from commonsense because he hasn’t beat that horse enough lately.

  • Why hold bike racks to an 8:1 ratio? The average Houston Escalade has like 1.01 people in it. I’d say replacing at 2 bike rack spots per 1 car spot is a win all around.

  • I sensed a disturbance in the force, someone needs me. May the trolling be strong with this one.

  • These are not free. The Montrose management district pays for them. And their money comes from business and apartment owners (who pay the “assessment” by passing the fee to customers and renters).

    So like every case, nothing is free. Montrose shoppers and renters are paying for these racks.

  • These are so nice, simple, beautiful, inexpensive and practical. Just like life is at its best. They also stand out and might gently prod passersby with the idea about riding a bike. Much like the $3K per inch light rail does about taking public transportation.

  • @Sid I pulled 8:1 out of the air not to punish business owners but because I wanted to reward cyclists with convenient parking. Not to show my hand but I’d settle for 6.

  • How about letting business owners control how many spots they feel they need to serve their customers. How many bike racks, parking spots, or anything else. I do t want to have to get permission from someone in city hall because I want more parking, or less parking, or more bike racks, or a spot of skateboards or unicycles.

  • @Cody Baby steps. Not saying I disagree with you, just baby steps. I know your a big fan of walking in our neighborhood and the same thing could be said about sidewalks (not that they are in great shape). I’m all for limited government regulation/interference but think the neighborhood could be improved if current parking requirements were eased to allow other modes of transportation.

  • Normally agree with Cody but not on allowing business owners to self regulate parking. I know of many business owners who have opened with the COH bare minimum parking and their attitude is that the customers can find parking. And they do but it is usually in another businesses parking lot which then causes them problems or it is on the street which creates a whole different set of issues. Parking problems and congestion are becoming a fact of life that we cannot change. Death, taxes, Houston congestion. Houston parking problems.

  • Thanks Common. I just laughed for the first time today.

  • You’re right Cody, peasants with pitchforks always want something for free, or want the big evil businessmen to pay for it, but they always fail to comprehend that ultimately THEY are the ones paying for it.

  • I don’t consider parking on the street a problem. I consider it a public good that is underutilized in most Texas cities. For some reason everyone in our big cities thinks they own the curb in front of their house. They do not.

  • @commonsense With the same rational, if you park on the street you have to pay for that too. Free and paid parking. The City doesn’t lay asphalt for free. If you park in a business’ lot you have a more direct way to contribute for that convenience by patronizing their store. When you pay for more street parking through taxes, you are paying for other parking that you may or may not use. If no take away all private parking, you will just get pay lots like in Boston or even our own downtown that charge $8 an hour / $45 day. Point being, since you love your car so much, you are paying for the parking spot no matter who provides it.

  • While well intended and nice to look at, how has no one commented that these are some of the least practical bike racks that could be chosen? Rather than the normal ‘slots’ for putting in a front wheel perpendicular to the rack, these designs limit capacity by forcing riders to attach bikes parallel to the plane of the rack.
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    Yours truly,
    Negative Nancy

  • Maybe just me but the location of the ones at Hawthorne Square down that cooridor seem questionable at best. One side I understand but on both sides you create a gate, not to mention, do you really need that many?

  • I personally don’t approve of any on street parking for businesses. Your business plan should accommodate enough parking spots for your customers (provided your customers arrive by car). Roads are made for transit, not standing. Street parking creates traffic congestion, more accidents, faster street deterioration, more trash, etc.
    I don’t remember last time I parked on a street to go into a business, not for moral objections, it’s just very inconvenient and frankly not worth the trouble.

  • I’m with HeightsDR/Negative Nancy. These bike rakes make look pretty, but are not very practical for locking up more than a handful of bikes. Functionality must remain relevant when designing something.

  • I disagree with Fernando and Heights dr/negative nancy. These are the most practical style of rack. Racks that take the front wheel are unsafe as it is nearly impossible to lock the frame to the rack using the most secure locks. Locking only the front wheel commonly results in the frame – the most expensive component – being stolen. The best bike racks allow two points of contact with the frame, allowing multiple lock up points and limiting the bike rotatating from it’s locked position. Short of enclosed bicycle lockers, these are the most secure style of rack.