Electric vehicles are great, but there is no better transportation option than a bicycle. Bicycles provide much needed exercise (also saving emissions from a trip to the gym), are more energy efficient than any other vehicle (even an electric car), are enjoyable to ride (fun is permitted), and can save their rider an enormous amount of money (going car-free for 15 years was one of the smartest financial decisions I ever made). Though, enticing people to leave their car at home and ride a bike is not always easy. In fact, it’s often not easy — despite all of those benefits.
The following trick for finding great places for bike parking, and featuring them prominently enough that they catch people’s attention and get more people thinking, is a great one that deserves a lot more attention. It should be rolled out in cities around the United States and beyond. This tweet explains the concept:
A light, quick, cheap solution so good, it should be copied the world over:
The fietsvlonder (bike platform) temporarily swaps one car parking space for 10 bikes. If deemed a success, the curb is permanently adjusted and it is moved to the next location.https://t.co/LvhdNiIKgl pic.twitter.com/We88Cml71m
— Melissa & Chris Bruntlett (@modacitylife) August 19, 2022
That’s the whole idea, but I’ll highlight a few details I love about this. First of all, the bike parking is raised a little. That gives the bikes and bikers a little more prominence and importance — it’s an implicit signal of respect — while also providing slightly more safety (just slightly more). Also, I love that this one (and presumably others) is right in a very visible portion of the street. True, some bikers may not love that, but it makes everyone driving by look at the bike parking and think about biking themselves. It should also help broadly to just make drivers more aware that they are sharing the road with bikers. Naturally, the fact that you can move these portable bike parking stations around is great since it allows you to find the places in the city with the most natural demand for bike parking and then stick permanent bike parking docks in those spots.
Last, but not least, it’s worth noting and remembering that you can put 10 bikes in the same space as one car parking space. Bicycles are so much more space efficient than cars, and this extend across transportation infrastructure, not just with parking. The more that the population of a city or town switches to biking, the more space can be saved and converted for more attractive and enjoyable uses. There can be more outdoor seating, more greenery, more fountains and statues, more … people.
Other great bike planning stories:
- Bicycle Infrastructure Policy Needs To Change To Increase Ridership, Improve Public Health (Harvard Study & My Own)
- Bicycle- & Pedestrian-Inclusive Infrastructure Projects Create 46% More Jobs Per Dollar Than Road-Only Projects
- EU Road Deaths Dropped By 36% While US Road Deaths Increased By 10%
- The #1 Cause Of Death In Children & Adolescents In The United States
- City Planning Rock Star Janette Sadik-Khan Talks Urban Planning Leadership — #CleanTechnica Interview
- Protected Bike Lane Stats, Galore!
- Decade-Long Study Confirms Significant Public Health Advantages Of Walkability
- Oslo Booting Cars From City Center
- Bicycling, Transit, & Public Space Initiatives Boost Local Economies & Businesses, New Report Finds
- Study Confirms: Drivers View People More Negatively
Featured image: Temporary portable bike parking platform, courtesy of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
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