Until a few days ago, the world’s largest bicycle parking lot was in Tokyo, housing 9,000 bicycles inside. But the record had an expiration date. The parking of bicycles at the central train station of Utrecht, in the Netherlands, was partially opened in 2017 with 6,000 spaces. Now, fully built, and officially inaugurated, the parking can accommodate up to 12,500 bicycles, 1,000 of which are for municipal rent. In total, it has 21,000 m3 distributed over three floors, which is equivalent to four football fields.
The building has a bike path that goes through the entire facility to the different numbered sectors, where the bike parks are distributed on three levels. Level 0 is reserved for subscribers, the upper one has a pedestrian access to the street and the lower one has a direct access to the railway station. Parking employs 40 workers, some at risk of social exclusion. Among them, there are mechanics to make small repairs to bicycles.
In the words of the Minister of Infrastructure, Stientje van Veldhoven: “We want to be a cyclist’s paradise, and we still have a lot to do. If you want to get people out of their cars and use public transportation, you have to make everything easy and convenient. The bicycle parking has to be the closest to the train station. »
The facility works as a hub for thousands of people who use the train and the bicycle to make their daily commutes. It’s opened 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Leaving the bicycle parked for the first 24 hours is free with the subscriber’s card and once the limit is exceeded the price is just over one euro a day.
The theory to encourage the use of the bicycle is known: Facilitate segregated circulation, restrict the use of private vehicles and offer both secure parking and a good connection with public transport. It is the recipe for success applied in countries like Holland or Denmark. The will to apply the measures already depends on the priorities of the different administrations.
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