polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Bicycle Stations from Around the World

by Natalia Echeverri

Nearly every biker I know has had their bicycle stolen at least one time in their life. One of mine was stolen last year. Actually, thousands of bikes are stolen a year in the US. Kryptonite lock, releases a yearly list of the 10 wost cities for bike theft. Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and San Francisco are the worst four. Several studies imply that fear of bicycle theft discourages many riders. Some of them give up biking permanently after having their bike heisted.

With biking booming in many cities around the world, secure storage facilities are becoming essential. In the past decades cities have invested in bicycle paths as a process to increase bike commuting and reduce automobile usage, but little attention has been given to storage systems until recently. Instead of of using the typical bicycle cages and parking slabs cities are turning to a new typology of architecture which can give identity and encourage more bicycle commuters.

In Washington DC a new bike station opened recently at Union Station with a storage capacity of 150 bikes. It offers rentals, changing rooms and lockers.

Millennium Park Bike Station stores 300 bikes. It has showers, changing rooms, lockers, bicycle rentals, a bike repair station, a cafe that opens during the summer. There is a long waiting list to obtain a stall.

The Biceberg is an automatic bicycle parking happening in several cities around Spain. By using a chip card, it takes the user 30 seconds to store and retrieve the bike. The Bicebergs vary in size and capacity.

In Groninger, Netherlands the bike parking structure sits in front of the train station. It has a capacity to store 4000 bikes and is an interesting public architecture.

Tokyo's automatic large scale parking can hold 9400 bikes.

Credits: Image of _bike tree from Reinventing the Bike Shed student competition. Image of Kansai Statio, Tokyo from bakfiets-en-meer.nl. Image of biceberg section from www.cooltownstudios.com. Image of Biceberg from www.neo2.es. Image of Bike Station DC interior by jpchan and dendroica cerulea. Image of Millennium Park Bike Station from www.greenbeanchicago.com.