Innovative Bicycle Parking Facilities in Europe
Article by Erika Lindemann

photo of Andrea at Biceberg

Andrea White, Executive Director of US-based Bikestation,
smiles inside a Biceberg bike parking entry slot in Barcelona, Spain.
 

  • People who aren't bicycle enthusiasts look at me with part curiosity and part astonishment when I tell them I recently went to Europe to learn about innovative bicycle parking systems. But you, dear readers, will understand the thrill of exploring grand cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam and Copenhagen with an eye for innovative street designs that accommodate and even cater to bicyclists. I know you would have shared the satisfaction I felt when I saw people of all ages, many in the latest classy fashions, children in tow, riding their bikes for transportation.
  • In addition, I was accompanied by my colleagues and dear friends from the Bikestation Coalition, Andrea White and Todd Boulanger. Bikestation is a US-based not-for-profit organization that offers secure bicycle parking and related services to make cyclists' lives easier. The group will soon begin operating Bikestation Santa Barbara, in the new Granada Garage, as our first 24 hour un-staffed facility.
     
  • phtoto of bicycles on ferry

    Here's an example of the huge demand for bike parking in Amsterdam.
    The ferry in the foreground is free and designed so bikes and motor scooters can roll on and off.
    Each trip is filled with bicyclists crossing this short passage.
     

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: We all know that Amsterdam is teeming with bicycles, but many don't know that bike parking and theft are big problems that city officials and bike planners are still working to manage. We visited a number of facilities operated by a group called BikeLocker. These facilities provide secure, underground parking and most are staffed so as to provide bike maintenance and general facility upkeep.
  • Barcelona, Spain: On a bright sunny day in Barcelona, we met up with Jamie Palacios who showed us his innovative bike parking installation called Biceberg. His ingenious design takes up about four car parking spaces on two floors where it can hold up to 92 bikes, which are organized in individual pie-shaped containers on turnstiles. This allows the user to leave bike gear in the container along with the bicycle, and the parking is completely secure and shielded from the elements. Visit www.biceberg.es to understand the system.
     
  •  photo of bike storage in Munster

    Bicyclists use the ramp from the street level to access
    underground bike parking for 3500 bicycles in Münster, Germany.
     

  • Münster, Germany: Although the Westfalia region of Germany has over fifty Radstations (Bikestation in German), the facility in Münster is by far the largest and most impressive. It holds up to 3500 bikes and is located directly adjacent to the main train station. A bike specific ramp leads down to the underground bike parking area and the building's architecture is reminiscent of the Louvre in Paris. There is a full-scale bike shop, and rental bikes are available.
  • I plan to put together a slide-show of photos from my trip, so stay tuned if you are interested in hearing more about my bicycle parking adventures in Europe.