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Amsterdam plans underwater bike parks

Floating bike parks also on the cards as city looks to meet huge cycle parking demand

Amsterdam has just announced a plan to excavate a 7,000-space bicycle garage under the IJ lake next to the city’s Central Station, reports Citylab. The aim is to have 21,500 new bike spaces around the station by 2030 with further plans for two floating islands with space for 2,000 bikes each.

Around  57 percent of Amsterdam residents use their bikes daily, with 43 per cent of them commuting. It’s a sign of what can be achieved with the right infrastructure, but as well as segregated cycle paths, that infrastructure also means bike parking spaces.

Bicycle usage in Amsterdam has grown by 40 per cent during the past two decades, with the number of journeys each day growing from 340,000 in 1990 to 490,000 in 2008. The city currently has 881,000 bicycles for a population of 781,000 people.

Parking has therefore long been an issue with 73,000 bikes removed from city streets in 2013. Major transit hubs have been identified as being in particularly great need of facilities and the new bike park under the IJ will therefore be connected to the station and metro system via tunnels. There will also be parking for 3,000 bikes in a dedicated facility near Station Zuid by 2016, as well as another 800 spaces close to other railway stations.

In 2013, we reported how a company called Falco had developed futuristic bike lockers for Amsterdam. The automated facilities come in two forms – as a carousel which houses 24 bikes in a ring and another type which sees your bike whisked away to a separate location.

In the latter case, storage is often underground and this is also the case with an innovative bike park in Tokyo – another city where space is at a premium. Giken’s ECO Cycle system sees bikes automatically slotted away in an underground silo. It can store up to 144 bikes, despite only taking up a relatively small amount of space at ground level.

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