Poor bicycle parking is the cyclists’ bottleneck

| May 22, 2015
Photo: Rambøll

Obvious places to park are not always legal. Photo: Rambøll

”My bicycle has to be how Jolly Jumper is to Lucky Luke; it has to be right outside the window, ready to jump on,” says a cyclist from Copenhagen. But then better bicycle parking is needed and that is a problem Copenhagen Municipality and Rambøll are busy trying to solve.

By Casper Wulff, Rambøll

Inadequate bicycle parking is a missing link

In Copenhagen Municipality the ambition is to be the best bicycle city in the world. For many years the number of cyclists in the city has been on the rise and in order to keep up, the municipality has improved the infrastructure, including, amongst other things, establishing more and better bicycle lane. But one challenge is still risking stalling bicycle growth: where can all these bikes be parked? And how do you get the cyclists to park where you establish parking spaces?

In order to solve this bottleneck problem, Copenhagen Municipality has initiated several new parking projects as part of the overall plan ”Better bicycle parking Phase 2”. The municipality is, amongst other things, attempting to create better opportunities for bicycle parking at metro stations and in shopping areas and is examining how to best move illegally parked bicycles.

The projects have one thing in common: they take their starting point in an anthropological behavioural study of the many different types of cyclists in Copenhagen. The purpose of the study is to understand the challenges that cyclists face so that the design of bicycle parking can be improved.

New pilot project adapted to city bikers, retro cyclists and all the others

”My bicycle has to be how Jolly Jumper is to Lucky Luke; it has to be right outside the window, ready to jump on,” says one of the Copenhageners interviewed by Rambøll and Copenhagen Municipality in connection with the study. Cyclists are, like all people, different, and in order for the researchers to put themselves in the cyclists’ place and create the best parking options, six different user profiles have been developed, which are now used to create tailored solutions in the future projects.

Cycle chaos and empty bicycle cellars at the metro station

One of the largest problem areas in Copenhagen is at the metro stations where cyclists quickly toss their bicycles before catching a train. This creates bicycle chaos above ground – and empty bicycle cellars underground.

The behavioural study has shown that if the parking solutions do not suit the users they are not used. Rambøll’s anthropologist, Agnethe Grøn, explains: ”We must back up and improve the way the cyclists are already using the city space instead of forcing them to move in unnatural ways and get them to quit their habits. For instance you cannot force a cyclist to take a detour in order to park in a cellar unless the cyclist gains an extra advantage.”

Working from this conclusion Rambøll and Copenhagen Municipality are now improving bicycle parking in cellars. Another example of one of the new projects, which has resulted from the behavioural study is the possibility of moving illegally parked bicycles, which is presently in the Ministry of Justice to be approved.

Category: Bicycle Parking, Danish Cycling Know How, Infrastructure, June - 2015

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  1. Poor bicycle parking is the cyclists’ bottleneck | Roeselize.me | June 27, 2015