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Utrecht becomes home to world's largest bike park

The Municipality of Utrecht, ProRail and NS have jointly developed and will manage the multistorey Stationsplein parking facility which can hold 12,500 bicycles.

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The multistorey bike park, which features spaces for more than 12,500 bicycles
The multistorey bike park, which features spaces for more than 12,500 bicycles

The latest phase of what claims to be the largest multistorey bicycle parking facility in the world has been completed in the Dutch city of Utrecht.

 

An additional 5,000 spaces have been added to Stationsplein, which is jointly developed and managed by the Municipality of Utrecht, ProRail and NS (Dutch Railways), providing it with capacity for 12,500 bicycles.

 

Guarded parking

 

The partners also point out that it is the only guarded parking facility in Utrecht where cyclists can enter and leave on both sides. The continuous cycle path also operates a one-way traffic system with a 15km per hour speed limit for safety reasons.

 

Utrecht claims it was the first city in which cyclists were directed to free spaces using digital signs (on the street, in six bicycle parking facilities and on an app).

 

At the new facility, a digital “p-route fiets” (bicycle) space indication system directs cyclists to free spaces.

 

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Stientje van Veldhoven, a junior infrastructure minister, said the country is "striving" to make it a cyclists’ paradise. She added: “I’d like us to make better use of what I call this secret weapon against congestion, poor air quality in cities and climate change that is also good for your health and your wallet.

 

“If you want to get people out of their cars and into public transport, you need to make sure using public transport is easy and comfortable. It needs to be very easy to park your bike as close to the train as possible – and you don’t want to be looking for half an hour for a space.”

 

Day-parkers and subscribers

 

The glass and concrete structure has three floors: the lower and upper floors are for “day-parkers”; and the ground floor is for riders with subscriptions.

 

There is a designated area for irregular models such as crate bicycles and bicycles with wide handlebars. Other irregular bicycles like cargo bikes, can be parked for free for the first 24 hours at another parking facility at Utrecht Central (Sijpesteijnstalling).

 

The partners report an occupancy rate in the initial period was between 80- and 90 per cent on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The parking facilities were often completely full on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

 

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The bike park features a one-way traffic system for cyclists
The bike park features a one-way traffic system for cyclists
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