When completed, it will have a capacity of 22,000 parking spaces
Where is the worldâ€™s largest bicycle parking garage located? Most people would probably answer in Amsterdam, and they would be mistaken as Tokyo is the current record holder with its fully automated 9,400-capacity Kasai underground station. Nevertheless, another Dutch city will soon outdo this record. The city of Utrecht just welcomed a new bicycle parking garage, which can currently house 6,000 bikes, but when construction works finish by the end of 2018, its capacity will reach 12,500. Taking into account both the garage and its surrounding area, there will eventually be enough parking spaces for 22,000 bikes! A digital system, powered by the chip-embedded card used for the cityâ€™s public transportation systems, will help riders find their spots.
The worldâ€™s largest bicycle parking garage will be divided into three levels: the top and bottommost will be used for day-time storage, while the middle floor will offer longer-term parking. There will also be a special parking area for unusual bike models, such as tandems or bikes with wider handlebars. The building will also host a bicycle service station for repairing, which will sell parts and accessories too. It will be open 24/7, while parking will be free for the first 24 hours, and cost â‚¬1.25 a day thereafter.
"It is the ultimate wish to have as many bicycle racks as there are bicycles, so that all cyclists can park their bicycle in a rack," the city proclaimed as their goal in a statement. Still, there are people claiming that even a garage of this size will not be able to cover the residentsâ€™ needs in the near future. â€˜The 12,500 places at Utrecht station are all very well, but with 43% of journeys under 7.5km (4.6 miles) being taken by cycle in Utrecht â€“ creeping up from 40% five years ago â€“ they simply arenâ€™t enoughâ€™, said Martijn van Es, spokesman for the Dutch cycling organization Fietsersbond.
The bicycle garage is part of a large redevelopment of the Stationsplein central railway station, a project designed by Ector Hoogstad Architecten and undertaken by the City of Utrecht, ProRail and NS (Dutch Rail).
Images source: Archdaily