San Francisco, California — Joseph Bellomo, a Palo Alto architect, designed the Bike Arc.
Three years ago, Jeff Selzer, general manager of Palo Alto Bicycles and a board member of Bikestation, a national chain of garages for commuter bicycles, approached the architect to design Bikestation’s Palo Alto branch. Bellomo suggested a better bicycle rack.
Nine months ago, he and Selzer unveiled the rack prototype, produced by their new company, Bike Arc.
“I wanted bikes to have the same cachet and respect as expensive cars,” Bellomo said. “I was tired of seeing them tangled together in makeshift racks.”
He created Tube Arc, a modular bike storage bin with doors that lock. Because it is modular, it can be expanded to house hundreds of bicycles — in neat rows. Inquiries about the Tube Arc are coming in from Redwood City; Long Beach wants 60 Half Arcs; and the city of Palo Alto recently approved eight Half Arcs for Lytton Plaza to be partially funded by private donors.
Heartened by such interest, Bellomo’s office unleashed other Bike Arc designs that could be produced: Car Arc, a carport shelter that protects bikes as well as cars, and has a polycarbonate roof with solar collectors to power electric bicycles or cars; Bus Arc, which also has a translucent solar roof, bike racks, a bench and a socket to power laptops for commuters waiting for a bus. The Umbrella Arc, which is composed of eight C-shaped arcs back-to-back to store eight bicycles in less than 25 square feet of space, is already available.
Then came Bellomo’s House Arc. The tubular steel armature of the House Arc can be built over concrete piers or a wood deck, and is sheathed in translucent polycarbonate plastic coated with a solar film, which powers light bulbs and home appliances.
The home is a prototype. If produced, it will cost about $100,000 for 800 square feet.
“The component arcs can be made of lightweight carbon fiber to make them easy to transport,” Bellomo pointed out.
For more information, go to www.bikearc.com.