22 October 2014

Will Danes Go Dutch On Bike Parking?

In previous posts, I've lamented the bike-parking situation here in New York and in my own neighborhood of Astoria.  But, I must say, our problems pale in comparison with those in Copenhagen:

I don't think I've seen anything like that here.  Penn Station, on its busiest day, has nothing like the cluster of bikes in front of the Danish capital's main rail terminal:


You might say that Copenhagen has become a victim of its own success as a bicycle-friendly city:  In a city with more bikes than people and more than half of those people pedal to work.  Moreover, about 41 percent of those who commute from homes outside of the city to jobs in it arrive at their workplaces on their cykler.

But many cyclists are frustrated by the lack of good parking spaces.  At the same time, some non-cyclists are upset because bikes are sometimes parked randomly on sidewalks, blocking entrances to stores and people's homes.

City officials are looking all over--especially to bike-friendly cities in nearby Holland--for ways to solve the problem. One includes converting disused automobile parking spaces in residential areas to bike ports.  Another is the building of bicycle storage facilities like the one that can hold 10,000 bikes under the train station in Groningen.  It's watched by a guard day and night.  In Utrecht, three floors above the rail terminal offer parking for 4300 cycles.  Soon there will be another facility east of the station, which can shelter 12,000 velocipedes.

What officials are dealing with in Copenhagen is, I believe, one of the last major hurdles in turning cities into places where it's more feasible for most people to ride bikes than to drive or even take municipal buses or trains.  If the folks in the Danish capital can work it out, I think we'll see bike commuting grow exponentially in a number of cities around the world.



  1. Underground parking like the Basel train station could help a lot. Oops, that's Switzerland! http://dfwptp.blogspot.com/2010/07/park-it.html

  2. Steve--A good idea is a good idea wherever it comes from.