They are all a part of the city’s new “Smart” Parking Meter initiative and with the smaller tops they are a less than ideal place to lock up a bike.
Now you might be thinking, “hey didn’t you tell us that locking your bike to a parking
meter is illegal in Minneapolis?” and the answer is yes, we did, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t do it all the time! But looking at the new system brings to mind a few questions, first, we would argue that now these posts should not be considered parking meters. Instead they should be considered to be street signs, a place where it is legal to park bicycles.
The second question is, now that it is potentially legal to lock up to these posts, would you actually do it? The narrow signs on top of the posts would making lifting a bike and attached lock straight off the top pretty easy.
We think that the city is actually missing a huge opportunity to add an exponential amount of legal bike parking spaces around the city. All that it would take would be adding either a wider parking sign or some sort of tab to stop a lift off attempt. This is what the City of Toronto did, and it looks like it worked pretty well. After-all this has to be cheaper than installing a bunch of bike racks. Luckily, if the city wants to move in that direction they have a local company to work with…