Thursday, January 14, 2010

Protecting Bicycles with Innovative Modular Storage Systems

The Palo Alto, California-based company, Bike Arc, was born out of a shared reverence for the bicycle and the environment. The design evolved from the collaborative efforts of celebrated U.S. bicycle advocate Jeff Selzer and Joseph Bellomo, an architect renowned for his leadership in holistic, green design. Bellomo and Selzer worked together on the Palo Alto Bikestation at the Caltrain depot. Bike Arc is patented in both the United States and in Europe.


The concept of the Half Arc stemmed from the need to offer cyclists’ security as well as weather protection for their bicycles. Using the Arc design from the original Bike Arc, the Half Arc once again offers outstanding security in a light, small footprint.

The Umbrella Arc organizes bicycles in a beautiful and efficient manner. It combines the ease of use of the Rac Arc with sculptural organization. It offers an efficient use of space while providing shelter for bicycles in inclement weather. The Umbrella Arc effectively and securely parks 8 bicycles in less than 25 square feet.

The Tube Arc is the flagship of the Arc offerings. Each of the other Arcs was born out of this modular elegant design. The Tube Arc offers exceptional security, ease of use, and complete protection for the bicycle from the elements. The design was conceived to offer flexible, easy-to-install (assembled on site) bicycle parking structures with a “light” approach. The Tube Arc is adaptable from 16 bikes to upwards of 60+ per unit.

The Rac Arc was designed to offer basic, affordable, and attractive bicycle parking. It is a unique design that organizes and honors the bicycle while offering superb security. The design offers a variety of configurations adaptable to commercial and public realms, but is equally effective for use in a single-family home. The Rac Arc can also cantilever over existing or proposed landscaped areas.

The Loop Arc offers simplicity, affordability, and usability. Similar to the rest of the Bike Arc family, it maintains the organization of bicycle parking by providing each bike a designated “parking spot.” As the Loop Arc is two separate pieces, one that supports the front wheel and one that locks to the frame and back wheel, it can be used in a variety of locations and situations including sloped areas or on uneven ground. The Loop Arc works with all different types of bikes (including those with baskets) and no lifting is required.

The Car Arc provides covered shelter for vehicles including electric cars and electric bicycles. The structure is formed from the same curved 1”x3” tubes as the rest of the Arc family, but further extruded to provide enough protection for the entire length of a car. On top of the polycarbonate roof is a layer of solar film, which captures solar energy and converts it into power for the vehicles. The Car Arc is an affordable solution that has the potential to be used in commercial, public, and residential applications and can also be added to an existing car park to provide shelter due to its light load.

The Bus Arc is a further iteration of the Half Arc, generating both a bike storage facility and a waiting area. Recycled resin sheets are rolled and simply attached to the steel ribs, allowing people to sit under protection. An added benefit are the energy inverters, which produce energy that users can plug into while waiting for the bus.

The Ad Arc is a street level barrier screen that has the potential to display a variety of imagery depending upon the use. Each screen is fabricated from galvanized steel flat bars (fixed Ad Arc) or aluminum (removable Ad Arc) framing a transparent polycarbonate printed screen. Each panel can be easily and affordably replaced on a regular basis allowing users to frequently update their display such as a restaurant owner revising a menu or retail products. The size of the seating screen is also flexible, ranging from 2’ to 4’ in length and 3’ to 5’ in height to fit into every application.

The Transit Arc promotes bicycle routes along transit corridors providing safe and continuous bike commute corridors. For example, we believe there is an opportunity for bike connections to exist alongside electrified commuter train corridors with high-speed trains elevated aesthetically beautiful above such as the San Jose to San Francisco new High-Speed Rail and Caltrain.

The House Arc is a modular off-the-grid housing solution where the pieces are shipped (ideally, fabricated locally) to the site and erected by the user or community. The first House Arc prototypes to be built will be on the Big Island of Hawaii; completion is anticipated in 2009. We hope organizations dedicated to finding the most affordable off-the-grid modular housing solutions will consider the House Arc.