Guadalajara Activists use Business to Fund & Promote Cycling

This Ciclo Puerto was built by Bicipublica and is designed for 6 bikes to fit in the space of one car parking spot. ©Ryan H.

When cycling activists in Guadalajara, Mexico were frustrated with the lack of bike parking in their city, they decided to build it themselves! A group of Cycling activists in Guadalajara, Mexico called Bicipublica have taken an innovative approach to the lack of cycling infrastructure in their city. These cyclists decided to start an enterprise building bike racks and selling them to local businesses. A win-win situation for the community, Guadalajara now has 230 “Ciclo Puertos” or ‘Cycle Ports’ at businesses throughout the city and the sales of the racks help fund the activists and their cycling ambitions.

We met with Mario Delgado Padilla and Sra. Itcell Islas, respectively the director and graphic designer for Bicipublica. Their organization was started from a group of Industrial Designers that would commute by bike. These designers were interested in issues regarding mobility and urban design. At their workplaces, there was no bike parking and they began to devise ideas to create efficient bike parking. Mario Padilla told us how, “Our idea was to design bike racks that were capable of fitting as many bicycles as possible in the space of one automobile.”

“Initially, our plans were without political support from the government, so we designed bike parking to sell to private businesses.” They designed a very odd looking, but efficiently designed rack that held each bike at a different height. This allowed more bicycles to be parked, by having the handlebars of each bike at a different level. Each of the Cilco Puertos could hold six bikes in a former car parking space.

Bicipublica successfully marketed, sold, and installed these Cycle Ports to private businesses around the city. Each Ciclo Puerto has a sign printed with the logo of the business, a bike map, and cycling route finding for the area around each business. Because of the City Government’s failure to envision other modes of transit, it was up to individual businesses to install infrastructure to attract customers traveling by cycle. Bicipublica filled this void and has installed 230 of these cycle ports throughout Guadalajara. Continue reading