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        Showing posts with label bike racks. Show all posts
        Showing posts with label bike racks. Show all posts

        22 November 2019

        7550 New Bike Parking Spots at Copenhagen Central Station

        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        For all of Copenhagen's badassness as a bicycle city, there remains one thing that the City still completely sucks at. Bicycle parking at train stations. At Copenhagen Central Station there are only about 1000 bike parking spots. Danish State Railways can't even tell us how many spots they have. They're not sure.

        Even in Basel they have 800+. In Antwerp they have this. Don't even get me started on the Dutch. 12,500 bike parking spots are on the way in some place called Utrecht. Amsterdam has a multi-story bike parking facility, floating bicycle barges round the back and are planning 7000 more spots underwater.

        Even at the nation's busiest train station, N?rreport, the recent and fancy redesign failed miserably in providing parking that is adequate for the demand. Architects once again failing to respond to actual urban needs.

        It is time to remedy that. Here is my design for 7550 bike parking spots behind Copenhagen Central Station. Steve C. Montebello is the architect that I worked closely with.

        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        By exploiting the area over the train tracks and using Tietgens Bridge as the transport spine, we have created an iconic bicycle parking facility with ample parking spots at this important transport hub where trains, buses and - in 2019 - the Metro converge in an inter-modal transport orgy.

        In our work on the EU project BiTiBi.eu - Bike Train Bike - we have been focused on parking solutions at train stations. It was a natural evolution to use that experience in developing this project.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        The structure is supported by columns and utilises the existing platforms below, which dictated the shape that we decided upon.

        There are:
        - 6880 bike parking spots in double-decker racks. This can be expanded with 1360 more if necessary.
        - 30 dedicated cargo bike parking spots featuring.
        - 640 secure, indoor bike parking spots in the green roofed building at left (above).
        - A bike shop for repairs and maintenence.
        - Ticket machines and displays for departures and arrivals of trains and buses.
        - At the end of the long point, the belvedere will be the world's premiere, dedicated lookout spot design for trainspotters.

        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        Here is the view of the area as it is today.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        There are four on/off ramps from Tietgens Bridge for ease-of-access.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        A secure bicycle parking facility will house 640 bikes.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        We used 3D models of bike racks courtesy of our colleagues at the Dutch company Falco. They know a thing or two about bike racks.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        There will be a space for a bike shop for repairs and maintenence located at the entrance, next to ticket machines and displays featuring departures and arrivals for trains and buses.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        The parking with have signs with areas divided up alphabetically, so you can find your bike again.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        There is access to the three platforms below by stairs that will, of course, have bike ramps. Duh.

        This facility will right so many wrongs and will thrust Copenhagen into the 21st century regarding bicycle parking at train stations. If we are  to maintain the momentum of a blossoming bicycle-friendly city, we need to up our game regarding parking.

        25 February 2015

        World's First Automated Underground Bike Parking

        Amsterdam Bike Parking - Automated
        The very best thing about my work is the people I meet. While working on a project in Amstedam's dystopian Zuidas area earlier this month, I met Arjan. That's him on the right, with his Dad on the left. He showed me some of the bicycle-related products that their company, LoMinck, make. Then he surprised me.

        "We made the world's first automated, underground bicycle parking system."

        "What about the Japanese?", I said, having seen the many films on YouTube about robotic underground silos for bike parking.

        He just smiled. "We were first. Ten years ago."

        I had to see it and we met the next day at the spot where the free ferries from Amsterdam Central Station arrive at Amsterdam Noord. I knew the non-descript little building where Arjan and his dad were waiting. I had no idea that it was, in effect, an important spot in bicycle history.

        Amsterdam Bike Parking - Automated Amsterdam Bike Parking - Automated
        Down into the bowels of the beast we went. Which was a short ladder trip, basically. This bike parking facility isn't a silo but rather a horizontal room underground. If you look at the photo on the left, it extends from the building to the pole on the right.

        We were in a simple room with 50 bikes hanging on hooks. It all looked so simple. Like good design should look. Up top, his Dad put an OV Fiets bike into the system and we watched as the machine gripped the front wheel and it descended, placed on a hook like a drycleaned suit. Then up again it went.

        This modest facility was opened by the Dutch Minister of Transport in 2005. Subscribers pay €9 per month and LoMinck takes care of the remote monitoring, maintenance, customer service, breakdown service and subscription management. The city of Amsterdam pays an annual fee for this service.

        It doesn't have to be underground. It can also be implemented above ground or into buildings. The minimum required width is 3,5m, the minimum required height is 2,75m. The length is variable and determines the capacity of the system; every additional meter creates 4 additional bike positions.

        Amsterdam Bike Parking - Automated

        I asked Arjan and his Dad what they thought about the Japanese systems. Arjan translated the question for his Dad who just smiled and replied, "Overcomplicated".

        But hey. There's more. Check this out. This is everything I believe in, in design. Simplicity and functionality. Stairs can be tricky with bikes. Most stairs in Denmark and the Netherlands have gutters to let you roll the bike up and down. How to improve the ease of use? Start with a broom.

        Tasked by the City of Amsterdam to solve the issue of a particularly steep set of stairs that cyclists were avoiding, the Minck family went through some designs and then found a broom in the kitchen. They cut it in half. Stuck the bristles together. Presto.

        Going up the stairs? How about a mini conveyor belt? Be still my designer heart.

        Don't even get me started on the VelowUp bike racks.

        Simple, functional design solutions. More of that, please.

        Check out their stuff on the LoMinck website.

        05 January 2015

        IJ Dock Amsterdam - New Urban Space

        Amsterdam IjDock_25
        On my recent visit to Amsterdam I decided to try a new hotel. The Room Mate Aitana Hotel located on IJDock, a short walk from Central Station. I'd heard about this newly redesigned quay from a friend and was thrilled to discover that it's open for business. To be frank, it was four days of architecture/urban design porn.

        Amsterdam IjDock_5
        It's a dead-end island - one road in and out, although with another pedestrian/cyclist bridge for easier access - so it's not like they're fighting traffic. Nevertheless, looking down from my hotel room, it's clear that cars are told how much space they can use. No arrogance of space here. The allocated spots are outside the hotel entrance, for taxis and pickup/drop off. There is also an underground car parking garage on the island.

        Amsterdam IjDock_29 Amsterdam IjDock_28
        There is underground bike parking to be had as well. Clearly marked with a big pictogram and a lovely pictogram set in stone. I wandered in and it was virtually empty. But bikes were always parked up on the street... near the pictogram. You can see what I mean in the photo at the top of the page.
        Amsterdam IjDock_7
        I parked on the sidewalk outside the Aitana hotel, where there is a weird abscence of bike racks, even though there were always loads of hotel bikes and rental bikes, including my OV Fiets. When you're working on the BiTiBi.eu Bike-Train-Bike project, you ride an OV Fiets bike share bike in Amsterdam. It would be rude not to. Plus it's just a brilliant system.

        Here are some photos from inside the Aitana hotel. Loads of design details and goodness. Although I could live without the psychadelic hallways, but hey.

        Amsterdam IjDock_23 Amsterdam IjDock_16
        Outside the hotel, whichever way I looked at the architecture and design on the island, it looked amazing. In every light and even at night.

        Amsterdam IjDock_14 Amsterdam IjDock_10

        Amsterdam IjDock_18 Amsterdam IjDock_3
        So many details to behold. The view of the river only added to the potpourri of images. A constant flow of ships and barges.

        Amsterdam IjDock_2
        IJ Dock is mixed use. I could see life in some of the 56 luxury apartments and some shops and cafés were open (grab breakfast at Bagels and Beans instead of the hotel, which is otherwise a fantastic place to stay). It looks like there are still vacant offices in the various buildings, so the place is just heating up with activity. The Palace of Justice is at one end and a police station at the entrance, so this is not the place you'd want to engage in criminal activities.

        Amsterdam IjDock_9

        The brown space, above, will be transformed to green as a vertical lawn once spring comes. A nice detail.

        Bizarrely, it's tricky to find helpful information about the little island, despite the efforts to build such interesting buildings. There is a website, but it's only in Dutch - http://www.ijdock.nl/. Here's the location on Google maps.

        Amsterdam IfDock
        Nevertheless, IJ Dock is a wild, weird and beautiful place. I've definately found my new home away from home when I'm in Amsterdam. Check it out if you're in town.

        03 January 2015

        Reversing The Arrogance of Space in Copenhagen

        Reversing the Arrogance of Space
        What you see in the above photo is a classic symptom of decades of car-centric planning. A wide, rounded corner that expedites the movment of cars, without jeopardising their speed. Wide sidewalks narrow at the corner, where bicycles are often parked. It is a prime example of The Arrogance of Space. It's the corner of Gammel Kongevej and Skt. J?rgens Allé.

        It is possible that this corner was designed as such for the tramways of Copenhagen that operated in the city from 1884 to 1972, when one of the most destructive Lord Mayors in the history of Copenhagen (in an urban planning sense) - the ironically named Urban Hansen - killed them off. I've been unable to find out which tram route might have turned down this street at this intersection.

        Nevertheless, this corner remained unchanged ever since. I know this spot well. It's always been an irritating bottleneck, especially when walking with a baby carriage, as I did often when Felix was a baby.
        Reversing the Arrogance of Space
        There is little need for this corner. As the green lines indicate, there is a considerable amount of space that is unused. There is a cycle track on the street running left to right - you can see a cyclist at bottom right. To be honest, it was a great corner for cyclists, too. Too much speed, however, coming around that corner wasn't good for pedestrians at the crosswalk.

        For the twenty years I've lived in Copenhagen, this intersection remained unchanged. Until recently. Today, to my pleasant surprise, there has been an intervention at this location. The City of Copenhagen decided to right a wrong.
        Reversing the Arrogance of Space
        As you can see from this photo from today, the rounded corner has been sharpened off to a 90 degree angle. The usual, strict design guide regarding sidewalk design in the City was not adhered to in the built out section, but let's let than one slide. New curbstones were put in and the area was filled out with asphalt, widening the sidewalk nicely. Racks for 15 bicycles were put in, providing a further buffer against the traffic.

        In addition, at bottom left there is a build out towards the traffic, narrowing the street further and creating another buffer. The cycle track was widened at the same time. Not as wide as in many spots in the city, but still enough for conversation cycling - two cyclists cycling and talking and room for another cyclist to overtake.
        Reversing the Arrogance of Space Reversing the Arrogance of Space
        A simple solution. Reversing the Arrogance of Space in one location. It's not a complete painting, but it is a good stroke of colour. In my perfect world, however, pedestrians wouldn't be forced to do a dog's leg - instead moving the pedestrian crossing to the corner to allow them to continue along a straight desire line on this route to the city centre. The location is, however however, safer, slower and better.

        Here are some other examples from Copenhagen of narrowing the road space for cars and adding bicycle racks.

        08 May 2014

        Copenhagenize's New Bike Racks from Veks?

        New Bike Racks at Copenhagenize Design Co.
        We recently moved in our new offices on Paper Island (Papir?en) on the harbour in Copenhagen. A fantastic place to work, populated by wonderful, creative people.

        There was one little detail missing. You can't very well be a fancy, blah blah blah urban design company like Copenhagenize Design Co. and NOT have bicycle parking outside your offices. It was wrong, so very wrong. What to do?

        New Bike Racks at Copenhagenize Design Co.
        Ole, from Purpose Makers and Cycling Without Age / Cykling uden alder, lending a hand.

        Simple really. You call Veks?. A legendary Danish company that started in the 1950s, producing bike racks for the Danish schools. A company that has made literally hundreds of thousands of bike racks over more than 60 years. Then they branched out into other urban furniture like covered racks and busstops, digital bike counters, footrests like the ones in Copenhagen, air pumps and tilted garbage cans for cyclists.

        All of it in the kind of aesthetic design you'd expect from a Danish company with the slogan "Enriching Urban Life".

        If you stood on a random, busy street in Copenhagen and removed the Veks? products, you'd be hard-pressed to find your busstop, throw away your rubbish or park your bicycle.

        Check out Veks?'s online catalogue right here: Enriching Urban Life

        New Bike Racks at Copenhagenize Design Co.
        Testing the racks out and finding the right placement width.
        New Bike Racks at Copenhagenize Design Co.
        Veks? came all the way from Jutland - Fredericia - to deliver our racks. Thanks!
        New Bike Racks at Copenhagenize Design Co.
        We put the racks where people were parking their bikes anyway. Right by the entrance. Useless to place them anywhere else.
        New Bike Racks at Copenhagenize Design Co.
        Paper Island's "Mr Clean" came past when we were placing the racks. He grabbed a broom and said, spontaneously, "shouldn't I sweep now that it looks so nice?" Yes, please and thank you!

        And thanks to Veks? for helping us bling up our parking.

        14 February 2014

        Malm? Opens Fantastic Bike&Ride Parking at Central Station

        13 Février 2014Copenhagenize Design Company was pleased to have been invited across the ?resund to the grand opening of the City of Malm?'s brand new Bike&Ride parking facility at the central station. On a sunny morning, the ceremonial ribbon - strung between two cargo bikes - was cut. Malm? is Sweden's leading bicycle city - so much so that it features in the Top 20 on The Copenhagenize Index of Bicycle Friendly Cities. It is a premier bicycle city with around 30% of the population using bicycles each day to go to work or education.

        This brand-new Bike&Ride facility will host more than 1,500 bikes and there are even - be still our hearts - dedicated spaces for cargo bikes. There are loads of details; two air pumps, a bike shop, lockers, numerous screens showing train departure and arrival times, restrooms, a lounge if you have to wait for the train. There is even a single shower for the odd "cyclist" who might fancy a spandex ride. Generally, the facility is geared towards the Citizen Cyclist population of the country's third largest city.


        Parking is free at Bike&Ride and there is 24/7 access. It is patrolled by station guards throughout the day. 

        There is, however, a separate section for those who want some extra protection. A secure parking area for 700 bicycles based on a subscription service. It costs 80 kroner a month and you get a chip card. Although if you have a transit card, you can combine it with that.

        There are numbers painted on the floor to help users remember where they parked so they don't have to wander around looking for a black bicycle in a sea of black bicycles. All of it with a fresh orange colour and cool, Nordic graphic design.

        One great detail is the height of the bars in the cargo bike area. Too low for regular bikes to be leaned against them.

        Our über intern Dennis, who studies at the University of Utrecht, was impressed with the second tier bike racks. Excellent ease of use, he says. There is a low bar on them to lock your bike to and they require little effort to lift up and put into place.


        Access to the secure parking area is, of course, wide enough for cargo bikes, too.

        One of the waiting areas, with water fountain.

        The Bike&Ride is located under the bus station and connects directly with the train platforms. It's partially underground but it is lovely and bright because of excellent lighting and windows and glass doors. 

        All the signs, pictograms and colours (orange and green) used make the facility attractive and user-friendly. We mustn't forget to highlight how important it is to use architecture and design to make sure facilities fit the users. 


        In comparison, the Bike&Ride parking located at Hyllie Station on the outskirts of Malm? that opened in 2010 seems less appealing even if it has the same facilities. 

        The upper level of bike parking is hardly used because you have to use a set of stairs with a ramp and the connection to the platforms is not at all direct. In the daily routine of a commuter, anything that makes it more inconvenient, however detailed, will not encourage them to consider changing their mode of transport. A2Bism is what we've always called it and Hyllie Station lacks that.

        Let's hurry up and get back to the new facility at Malm? Central. That's the main focus here. The City has proved how serious it is about improving conditions for cycling in an already exemplary cycling city. Their new Bike&Ride should embarrass the City of Copenhagen and they should be incredibly proud of it.
        Another 200 parking spaces are located outside, under a XIX century style roof. These spots are closer to the train station but, above all, they are important for the image of cycling. The City wanted to make sure that some bicycles remained outside the station. You don't want to remove them all. It's still important for everyone passing by to remember that Malm? is a bicycle city.

        Malm? has a vibrant bicycle culture and, in April, the City will recieve the results of a massive survey dealing with transport habits and we will know how the modal share of cyclists has changed over the last few years. Gathering data is something the Danes and the Swedes take very seriously.
        DSC_0059The bike shop called Bicycle Clinic.

        The ticket machines located conveniently at the bicycle parking.

        While we're dishing out love for Malm? here on Valentine's Day, we should also recall their brilliant behaviour change campaign - No Ridiculous Car Trips.

        Heja Malm?! 

        Here's what the parking around Malm? Central looked like until recently:
        Malm? Central Station Malm? Train Station Parking
        The Bicycle Island