New urban trend: underground cycle parking
While Russia cities struggle to make the cycle traffic safe and organize it into the regular vehicles traffic, European cities encountered a new level of challenges regarding this matter. The popularity of the cycles due to the ecological reasons and the reasons for wellness caused the serious lack of suitable parking lots.
In several countries like the Netherlands, the fondness for the cycles is a part of the local culture. The environmental concern is a part of most urban programmes for the comfort living developed recently. The necessity to solve the challenge of construction of additional cycle parking becomes more evident with each year.
Advanced techniques in Japan
Apparently, Japanese specialists created the most impressive solutions so far, the Tokyo automated cycle parking. In Japan, the leader in many areas like automobile production industry, the public transportation system is perfectly adjusted but cycles are still very popular, especially for the advantages they provide in the dense traffic conditions. Regretfully, the lack of parking lots is permanent and impressive, including those for bicycles. So people leave them often on the pavement creating obstacles for the bypassers.
Back in 2010, the Japanese company Giken Seisakusho, involved in the flood protection systems originally, created 5 underground centers to keep bicycles. The underground structure was named ECO-Cycle. It takes 8 seconds to park your bicycle there. ECO-Cycle has a form of a cylinder and it is deep enough to accomodate 200 bicycles at one moment.
The fee for one month of use is 1800 Japanese yen (students fee is 1300), the payment goes through the personal card. To park a bicycle one should put it into the box above the surface and pass the card through the terminus. When the card is registered the bicycle is transported underground. The whole process takes 8 seconds for both directions.
The system is very popular, as the Japanese people are highly intelligent in the matters of order, it is reported that the number of the abandoned chaotically bicycles in the streets dramatically decreased in the places it exists. Also, in Japan, any bicycle abandoned in the not allowed places might be removed by the road police. The penalty fee would be 4000 yen. While ECO-Cycle provides a perfect safety measure and helps to protect any vehicle from the bad weather conditions.
In 2018, the number of these parking systems came closer to 50, in Tokyo. There are 19 more in other cities. The construction of one parking costs about 150 million yen, according to Giken Seisakusho (equal to 1.5 million dollars), and the constructions period is about 2 months.
Watch the video of ECO-Cycle
Automated parking in Singapore
On January 5, 2018, the automated parking for cycles similar to the Japanese ECO-cycle appeared in Singapore. The multi-purpose complex Kampung Admiralty is located near the station metro and it got the system SecureMyBike with the capacity of 500 vehicles. The Ministry for Transportation aims to vacant space on the surface and to promote cycle walks. The authorities hope to expand the project should it meet popularity. The only obstacle is the cost and the construction period. In Singapore, it takes 4 years and 4.7 million dollars to create a structure like that, although, of course, the capacity of this parking was larger.
The month ticket costs $48, or one may pay 45 cents per hour. The price is considered exaggerated for the tudents and the owners of cheap bicycles who are not ready to pay an extra fee for their security.
The Netherlands experience
In the Netherlands, the cycle is almost the national attribute. There are hundreds and thousands of parking sites for cycles. Their solutions might be not so intricate, but they are more extensive.
In 2017, the underground parking for 12,500 cycles was opened near the Central Railway Station of Utrecht. It has 3 underground levels. The vacant lots are indicated on the electronic panel. It is free of charge for 24 hours, then the cost is €1.25 per day.
Besides, the construction of the underground parking for 8,500 vehicles was announced in Hague. In Amsterdam, the parking is about to be constructed for 4,000 bicycles. The authorities announced that the cycles left unattended on the streets would be moved and the penalty fee would be charged.
Nevertheless, according to the later public planning, about € 250 will be invested in the construction of cycle lanes and parking. The authorities aim to turn 200,000 drivers into cycle driving. By 2030, there will be 140,000 parking lots of cycles in the country and many of them will be constructed underground.
Underground parking in Israel
It was announced recently, that the decision was made about the construction of underground parking for bicycles in Tel-Aviv. It was based on the public opinion poll, which proved that many citizens did not use bicycles because of the lack of parking lots for them.
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