Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Parkinson's Law Reloaded

In Freiburg we are reinventing not the wheel but the bicycle stand. The state elections barely checked off, our municipal council enters a more serious debate about the Freiburger Bügel (Freiburg bracket) so far used with success to park and fix bicycles.

Freiburger Bügel "delicately" bent in Freiburg's prison by inmates (©Bamberger/BZ)
Red Baron still remembers the famous bicycle shed that was extensively discussed in C. Northcote Parkinson's book of 1958 on the Pursuit of Progress. While a board of directors simply rubber stamped the construction of a £ 10,000,000 atomic reactor (hear, hear, but in 1958 such a project was still politically correct) it debated for hours the installation of a bicycle shed for £ 350. The crux was not the amount of money involved but the fact that each director had an expert opinion on the bicycle shed and wanted to put in his two cents' worth.

Parkinson's Law in Freiburg? The debate on how the city's bicycle stands should look in the future has just started. Here is one most symbolic proposition: Place 10 bicycles in the space for one car.


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