If you ride a bike, you’ve probably found yourself locking that bike to a tree or a sign post in a less than desirable area, exposed to the weather and preying eyes of bike thieves. Even worse, maybe you’ve even had your bike stolen!
Believe it or not, there are a few places in the world where people don’t have to worry about this, and that might be the near future for everyone. Research shows that recent years have seen significant increases in the number of people biking. Less people driving cars is great for the environment and livability of our cities, but we need bicycle infrastructure to grow as well. While we’ve seen new bicycle infrastructure in the form of bike lanes and paths, the demand for more bike parking and bike security is on the rise as well. These issues are magnified in very populated cities where space is limited.
Luckily, a few cities are already implementing what could be the future of bicycle parking. Here is an overview of the most unique bicycle parking we’ve seen:
Underground Bicycle Vaults
ECO Cycle, founded in 2008, is located in Tokyo. With an individual cost of 2600 yen per month, which equals just $26, the facility has a storage capacity of 9400 bikes.
A very similar system named Biceberg was installed in several cities across Spain in 2003 such as Zaragoza, Huesca, Blanes, Vitoria and Barcelona. Unlike the EcoCycle, this one allows you to store accessories such as a helmet or bag along with your bike. It takes about 30 seconds to retrieve your bike from the vault. Access to Biciberg requires a monthly service charge of €6 which is about $8 USD. Some locations have a small fee for each use, while others are free.
The storage capacity can be either 23, 46, 69 or 92 bicycles. Biceberg claims that their 92 bikes design, has a footprint equivalent to 4 automobile parking spaces. Not bad!
Robotic Bicycle Parking tower
This Bicycle Tower was created in 2008 and is located in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. The tower can hold up to 117 bicycles on seven tiers, and costs just a quarter of a dollar to use.
It may not be as fancy as the previous designs, but it’s very efficient, allows bikes to be parked along with accessories, and it’s above ground design makes it look pretty impressive.
Bikestation Washington DC
Bikestation in Washington DC was opened in 2009 and is a manual bicycle parking facility that houses over 100 bicycles in 1,600 sq. ft. of free-standing, ultra-modern glass and steel design.
In addition to secure bike parking, the facility also provides a private changing room and day-use lockers for rent, as well as bike rentals, repairs and retail sales.
Your city might not have amazing bicycle parking yet, but it seems only a matter of time. Keep riding your bike and pedal everywhere possible. And if it’s on a Montague bike even better, because you always have the option to fold it and keep it in a safe place.