Design forward bike parking is nice, but secure parking is better
For a few months, I've meant to blog about seeing more "design forward" bike parking ("Best (or at least better) practices in bike parking and bicycle facilities implementation," 2011), especially in the U Street NW area. But then in the area last Friday, I noticed a high rate of vandalism on many of the bikes parked on such racks on U Street between 7th and 9th Streets.
Design forward bike parking at the northwest corner of 13th and U Streets NW, Washington, DC
Design forward bike parking isn't necessary any more secure than regular bike parking, west side of the 700 block of U Street NW in the Shaw neighborhood.
Secure parking options are very limited in DC, except in office buildings and apartment buildings. In each case, such parking isn't normally available to visitors.
Even so, a lot of interior bike parking may be secure from the elements but can still be insecure from theft, depending on the quality of the installation, whether or not it is accessible only by key or card access, insecure access to parking ramps, etc.
Design forward bike parking at the Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1500 block of P Street NW, Washington, DC