Cities all over the world are committed to getting more people cycling for the benefit of the climate, the cities, and the health of the individual. But where do the bicycles go when they are not in use? Many planners, architects, and entrepreneurs forget to consider this problem. The result is often a chaos of bicycles that are both an eyesore and a nuisance to everyone!
Every bike ride begins and ends with a parked bicycle. Therefore it is very important that there are functional, attractive, and sufficient bicycle parking facilities in the right places – in the city, at centres of public transport, schools and childcare institutions, work places, cultural institutions, shopping centres – in short: everywhere people go!
This requires planners, architects, entrepreneurs, etc., to incorporate and establish bicycle parking facilities on an equal basis with car parking. But in many places this is not customary, and there are no guidelines for how to establish good bicycle parking facilities. The result is often too few and poor racks in ill-considered locations for the cyclists’ destinations and needs.
Local authorities can make demands on entrepreneurs regarding the establishment of bicycle parking:
1. The solutions must ensure that the necessary area and number of parking spaces are made available during development and renovations
2. Bicycle parking facilities should be located and laid out to encourage use
3. The solutions must ensure order, system, and balance
In other words, the solutions should signal that the city, the municipality, the company, the organisation, and the entrepreneur value the cyclists’ choice of their means of transport.
The Bicycle Parking Manual
The Danish Cyclists’ Federation offers a bicycle parking manual which can be the basis of such guidelines for establishing good bicycle parking. In the book, a group of Danish bicycle parking experts present both what to do and what not to do with regard to bicycle parking. There are examples of both good and bad solutions in Denmark and the rest of the world, as well as a series of principles for establishing good bicycle parking facilities that will be used.
The principles are:
1. Attract attention – guidance on how to raise the necessary positive awareness of bicycle parking
2. Choose the right location – guidance on the location of the bicycle parking facility and its visibility in relation to the pattern of movement and destination of cyclists
3. Outline a solution that works – guidance on space requirements and accessibility
4. Make sure there are enough spaces – guidance on how to ensure that the number of racks and stands meet the current and future demands for parking
5. Identify the right racks and stands – guidance on choice of good racks and stands for various purposes
6. Make parking safe – guidance on how to design a bicycle parking solution which is safe and secure for the cyclist and the bicycle
7. Consider operation and maintenance – guidance on how to ensure that the bicycle parking facility continues looking good
8. Spoil the cyclists – guidance on choice of design and other facilities.
Download the entire Bicycle Parking Manual in English and get a list of good advice on how to establish good bicycle parking facilities that will be used at www.cycling-embassy.org.
Marianne Weinreich, Head of Mobility, Veksø