Bike parking forms an undisputed part of bicycle transport. What possibilities of bike parking exist?
Where and how should bike parking stations be designed and installed?
Those are the kind of questions each community and city should be considering when facing the responsibility of creating transport infrastructure. But this issue also affects private subjects – e.g. service providers and employers. Bicycle infrastructure should also be a matter of great importance to architects and urban planners, who form the first step in the planning process and therefore have the chance to point out the necessity of bike parking to the investor.
At present (contrary to car parking) there is no legislation governing the construction of parking possibilities for bicycles. In practice, the consequence is that the needs of cyclers are often disregarded, or only covered by the simplest solution – bicycle parking racks. However, these often do not meet the requirements of bicycle parking. They are unsuitable from the point of view of how long the bike can be deposited there, security and how far the cyclists can distance themselves from the bike; last but not least they offer no protection from the weather conditions.
Parking in terms of duration
- examples: visiting local authorities, short shopping
- depositing the bike for a few minutes
- location: as close to the entrance as possible
- possibility of locking the bike
- most suitable parking type: lockable boxes in which the bike can be stored safely and comfortably
- examples: parking at work or at school, more extensive shopping, longer visits to the local authorities, visiting sports grounds, cultural events, depositing the bike at the railway station for a one-day trip
- parking within the framework of the Bike and Ride system at transport hubs
- depositing the bike for anything from twenty minutes to several hours
- location: within a reasonable walking distance, an accessible and well visible location
- solely lockable parking can be used, the storage of personal items of the cyclist should also be taken into account
- most suitable parking type: lockable boxes that also protect the bike equipment against theft and vandalism
- parking should include the possibility to recharge electric bicycles
- examples: depositing the bike at stations during weekends and bank holidays, storing the bike in shared areas of apartment houses, over-night deposits during cycling trips in the biking sector
- depositing the bike for days, weeks or even months
- good accessibility
- maximum level of security
- necessity of covered area protected from weather conditions
- suitable parking types: joint bike rooms or bike deposits
- ideal parking type: lockable boxes where individual bikes can be locked independently
- parking should include the possibility to recharge electric bicycles
Parking in terms of quality requirements
The presence of a modern parking station for biking tourism attracts visitors, leads to a prolonged stay of tourists at the given location and thus ensures secondary financial effects.
Independently of the type of the parking equipment, the utmost priority is always the ability to safely lock the bike away. However, a modern parking place does not only enable the depositing of other sporting equipment, but also accepts the need to deposit personal items, including those which do not directly correlate to biking tourism. If the parking is conceived as being multi-purpose, construction costs will be easier to justify for a greater group of persons. The parking should therefore also allow people to put away their shopping, prams, children's ride-on toys and balancing bikes, scooters, wheelchairs, and, especially during the winter season, also skis, toboggans and sledges. Parking should include the possibility to recharge electric bicycles. A public parking space should be designed so as to prevent misuse in the form of being blocked by one person over prolonged periods of time.
It has to be born in mind that many people are already used to communicating electronically in social nets, and if a certain area is publicly classed as risky, the visiting rate to that place drops significantly.
The presence of a modern parking space for tourism attracts visitors, leads to a prolonged stay of tourists at the given location and thus ensures secondary financial effects.
The size of the parking space should reflect the maximum size of a bike, sporting equipment and common personal items.
- width: 80 cm minimum
- length: 200 cm
- area: 1,6 m2
It is possible to save space by arranging the bikes at various heights, in a diagonal line etc. There also has to be enough space for comfortably placing the bike on the rack and for safe and easy access to the stored bike.
Please note: unsuitable sizes and layouts of parking areas can lead to injuries of users or damage on the bike or other stored equipment.
A number of present, out of date parking areas do not reflect the real needs of tourists. Older parking areas cannot be used for parking bikes with wider tires, parking areas ignore the presence of disc brakes, which have already become standard bike equipment, and do not facilitate the storage of the tourist's personal items. This leads the fact that such parking spaces are rarely used at all.
Also, it is necessary to bear in mind that many people are using electrical bikes, and if no charging is possible in the final destination, the visitor will avoid this place thus leading to a significant drop in the visiting rate.
The parking area should grant easy access and be well visible.
In case that this is not possible, the path to the location needs to be well signposted. The Bikebox parking spaces are delivered together with an urban signposting system comprised of a unified parking logo known by cyclists.
- Signpost locations: main communication hubs (railway stations, bike paths, shopping and sports centres)
- Parking locations: in the arrival direction to points of interest, not behind them or aside
Parking places located on ground level with easy access will be made use of more often.
Steps or narrow pathways reduce parking attractiveness. The ideal case will grant barrier free access.
For medium- to long-term parking, it is preferable to cover the parking area with a roof.
The bikes will be better protected against theft and vandalism, if they are located in well visible and lighted areas.
Lighting can be sourced from public lighting or solar energy.
Bike lockers which offer the storage of other cycling equipment (bags, backpacks, helmets) are an advantageous solution. Even greater bike parking comfort is provided by a self-service station equipped with basic tools, bicycle pumps, inner tubes in automatic vending machines and similar, thus enabling cyclists to repair their bikes throughout the day. Bikebox parking stations are standardly equipped with basic tools; air compressors, vending machines for snacks, drinks and basic spare parts can be additionally installed on request. Bikebox parking stations can also supplied as charging stations for electrical bikes.
Parking in terms of type
Racks serve for short-term placements of bikes, usually only under direct supervision of the cyclist. These racks do not protect the bikes against theft, but only provide a simple support for the bike. A suitable location for such a parking type would be a children's playground. The installation of racks is very simple.
These extend the possibilities of supporting racks by protecting the bikes against weather conditions. These racks do not protect the bikes against theft, but serve only as a simple support for the bike, which is protected against the effects of weather. The costs for erecting such a parking type are equal to installing Bikeboxes, which however have the additional function of protecting also the personal items of the cyclists from the weather.
Boxes are strong lockers or rows of lockers, which facilitate the storage of bikes inclusive of other equipment, whilst at the same time protecting the bike against adverse weather conditions. The boxes are primarily designed for the long-term deposits of bikes, but can also be used for a short- to medium-term placement of bikes. The boxes can be locked mechanically - by a traditional lock - or electronically. The electronic lock enables the management and administration of access to the boxes.
This is the most frequent room type in apartment houses, usually converted from former drying rooms or other common areas. This type of bike room is not safe, and for that reason, it is practically not used at all by bikers nowadays.
However, bike rooms can also be constructed by companies for their employees, authorities for employees and visitors, schools for employees and students, or transport companies for their clients. Safe bike rooms can be created by installing a greater number of Bikeboxes, which, for example, enable their use only by a certain group of persons.
These can for example be found in shopping centres, department stores, at historical monuments or in city centres. A deposit room usually means a room for mass storage operated by an attendant. This outdated type of storing requires the permanent presence of an attendant and only operates during limited open hours. The operation of this type of deposit is not economical. A modern, attendance - free and operationally entirely uncomplicated deposit can be created from electronically managed variable Bikeboxes, which can be in long-term operation. Modern deposit rooms can also be used for storing prams and putting away shopping and other personal items for short periods.
For example near railway stations and important traffic hubs, at significant historical monuments, in city or shopping centres. This type of modern bike parking system facilitates the secure storage of many bikes on a relatively small space. If the parking facility is constructed as immovable building, the entire project becomes very expensive and usually requires planning permits. Furthermore, building foundations and electrical connections have to be constructed. This type of automated parking house with a bike dispenser is a single-purpose facility, with no option to store personal items, nor to recharge bicycle accumulators. An immovable parking house cannot be transferred to another location in case the demand for bike parking drops in the previous one. In contrary, a parking station composed of Bikeboxes is a very economical project, with no need for building foundations. The entire installation takes place within one day. If needed, this type of parking station can be moved to another, more attractive location. In addition, the Bikebox parking station can be also be used for storing other personal items and sports equipment.
When selecting the most suitable parking facility, a whole range of factors should be considered.
We will be happy to advise you on your choice and to propose a solution based on a study, which will respect your requirements for the number and quality of parking spaces, as well as the given financial possibilities.