Archive for the ‘Bicycle parking and storage’ Category

Bicycle Tree Parking

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

bike-in-tree.jpg

bicycle-tree-parking.jpg

Coincidence? I don’t think so!

bicycle tree parking” (second photo) via swissmiss where you’ll find lots of interesting design stuff, some of which is bike related… others just thought provoking or beautiful.

Automated bike parking in Tokyo

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Automated bicycle parking garage in tokyo

A friend sent me a link to a new robotic bike parking system in Tokyo, reminding me of one of my favorite topics: where to put all the bikes when everybody cycles. The Tokyo system is very cool and executed on quite a large scale. It apparently has space for 9400 bikes. Just for reference a parking garage for 9400 cars would be enormous – a quick calculation suggests that it’d be at least 150,000 m2 in surface area or perhaps much more considering all the entrance and exit paths necessary to keep it flowing.

The video of the parking garage in action here can be found on a gazillion sites already so here’s a French language blog with a thorough description with photos and videos of the Tokyo system at Kasai (train) Station. The photo above is from this site and the author is apparently busy with an English translation. There are also many nice pictures and descriptions of the 2008 Sakura, the cherry blossoms the Japanese are crazy about.Cleanliness and technical perfection aside I’m skeptical about whether such an elaborate, high-tech bike parking system is really necessary. For example, the humble fietsflat in Amsterdam holds about 4000 bikes on any given day and its nothing more than a three level metal structure with a lot of bike racks. Of course the fietsflat and its users are not so kind to your bicycle.

Amsterdam bicycle parking garage

There are also other automated bike parking systems. This Dutch system called “Fietsmolen” (Bicycle Mill) is simpler and seems to offer much higher density. A couple examples have been built in Holland. The fietsmolen is basically just a carousel with one or multiple concentric rings of bikes. Each ring rotates independently of the others and gets its own entrance. A two ring system holds 100 bikes and according to the creator rings can be placed inside and outside the basic module. That would offer space for about 200 bikes per unit, comparable to the 180 bikes per unit in the Tokyo Kasai system.

fietsmolen bicycle parking carousel

The Fietsmolen system can be placed underground or above ground, as needed. Of course multiple Fietsmolens could be installed together as has been done in the Tokyo Kasai system. When installed back to back the Fietsmolens pack together very densely.

The Fietsmolen site is in Dutch and not especially handy either. Keep clicking and you’ll find photos and examples.

Amsterdammers whining about Bakfietsen

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

lots of bakfiets cargobikes parked on an amsterdam sidewalk

Just like we predicted a few years ago, bakfietsen, Cargobikes and transport bikes are now an unavoidable part of the Amsterdam street scene. They’re especially popular in some neighborhoods with many young families. But all changes bring complaints and this one is no exception; Childless residents are complaining that the sidewalks are covered with big bikes.

My opinion: Its true, the bikes shouldn’t be crowding pedestrians on the sidewalks. They should be crowding cars off the streets! I vote for gradually converting automobile parking spots to bicycle parking spots. Problem solved.

Of course such a plan is great for the livability of the city, but will obviously find many opponents since the city derives considerable revenues from the parking permits and meters. Parking a car in Amsterdam is very expensive, but I’d expect any plans to charge for on-street bicycle parking to go over like a lead balloon. Besides, bicycles aren’t even registered here (anymore) making it nearly impossible to manage anyway.

Photo by Lukas Göbel from the Volkskrant (newspaper) 10.11.2007. In this photo you can spot the following:

  • Bakfiets.nl Cargobike Long and Short
  • Bakfiets.nl Biporteur (an early transport bike from Maarten van Andel)
  • Christiania trike
  • Sparta Pickup
  • Kronan (looks like it might even be in working condition!)
  • Lots of kids bikes
  • Lots of panniers (we leave them on the bike here)
  • Lots of front carriers
  • Plenty of child seats