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        Showing posts with label parking. Show all posts
        Showing posts with label parking. 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.

        30 December 2015

        Oslo - Subversive Bicycle History

        Oslo Bicycle History
        Location: Bygd?y Allé, Oslo // Photographer: Andreas Beer Wilse // Year: 1943 // Norwegian Folkemuseum

        A new article in our Subversive Bicycle Photo Series. Images of cities back when the bicycle was a normal transport form - as it was everywhere for decades. Subversive because if news got out that our bicycle history was long and well-established... well, then... The 99% might start doing it again. Lord knows THAT would be a catastrophe. So keep this to yourself.

        The good people at the City of Oslo's Sykkelprosjektet (The Bicycle Project) - which is effectively Oslo's bicycle office - understand one of the main challenges facing us when trying to reestablish the bicycle as transport in our cities.

        The short-term memory of humans.

        Everywhere I travel with my work I hear the same thing - often from people who should know better. That urban cycling isn't possible "here". The usual myths about climate/topography are mentioned (and promptly busted) but also tales of how they have "never cycled here".

        Sigh.

        Luckily, intrepid followers of this blog started to delve into the local photo archives and a great many photos have been harvested and presented in this series from all over the world.

        Now it's time for Oslo. Sykkelprosjektet found some photos in the archives of two museums and put them on their Facebook group.

        Cycling. A normal transport form in the Norwegian capital. For decades. On regular bicycles. Don't tell Captain Spandex and his crew, let alone the car lobby. And to think the City is actual throwing money at e-bike subsidies, but totally and completely ignoring the kind of bicycle that served the city for almost a century. Wasting taxpayer money on putting more motorised vechicles on the streets is rather ridiculous.

        But let's let these photos from a rational, intelligent age speak for themselves, shall we?


        Oslo Bicycle History
        Location: Drammensveien, Oslo // Photographer: Andreas Beer Wilse // Year: 1940 // Norwegian Folkmuseum

        Just traffic.
        Oslo Bicycle History
        Location: ?vrevoll Galoppbane, B?rum (horse racing track) // Photographer: Andreas Beer Wilse // 
        Year: 1941 // Norwegian Folkmuseum

        Bike Parking at the horse races in B?rum.

        Oslo Bicycle History
        Location: Ingierstrand, Oppeg?rd // Photographer: Andreas Beer Wilse // Year: 1941 // Norwegian Folkmuseum

        Bike parking at a beach near the city.

        Oslo Bicycle History
        Location: Katten, Oslo // Photographer: Unknown // Year: 1950 // Oslo Museum

        Bike parking at another beach near the city.

        Oslo Bicycle History
        Location: Dronning Blancas vej, Bygd?y, Oslo // Photographer: Andreas Beer Wilse // Year: 1943 // Norwegian Folkmuseum

        Just traffic.

        Oslo Bicycle History
        Location: R?dhusplassen/City Hall Square, Oslo // Photographer: Arne Tjensvold // Year: 1950 // Oslo Museum

        Just a normal bike and a regular citizen outside City Hall.

        Oslo Bicycle History
        Location unknown // Photographer: Andreas Beer Wilse // Year: 1943 // Norwegian Folkmuseum

        Great skirtguards. Normal thing all over the world back then.

        Oslo Bicycle History
        Location: Skaugum Asker // Princess Astrid, Princess Ragnhild & Prince Harald. // Photographer: Andreas Beer Wilse // Year: 1939 // Norwegian Folkmuseum

        Three mini royals on wheels.


        16 December 2015

        Arrogance of Parking Space - Copenhagen

        Arrogance of Space - Copenhagen Parking
        Even in Copenhagen there are examples of an ongoing Arrogance of Space. Bizarre but true. Even here we are still battling to reverse decades of destructive urban planning at the misconceptions that came along with it.

        In Copenhagen, only 22% of households own a car. No, not because it's expensive and there is a high tax on cars. The rednecks in the provinces buy them all the time and both cars and gas are cheaper than in the 1970s during the oil crises. Only 10% of Copenhageners use a use a car to get around each day. 63% ride a bicycle. The rest take public transport or walk.

        It costs 50,000 DKK (ca. $8000) to make a parking spot and maintain it. But a parking permit for residents only costs 720 DKK (ca. 110) per year. That is bad business. The non-motoring majority are basically subsidizing a destructive, archaeic transport form used by a old-fashioned minority.

        Nevertheless, there are still three parking spots for every one car in Copenhagen. Despite the logic and the numbers. The current Lord Mayor Frank Jensen - in an attempt to appease the right-wing who only have car parking to fight for anymore in the City of Cyclists - insists on putting back in parking spots for phantom motorists.

        In the graphic, above, you can see what it would look like if we took all the car parking spots in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg and slapped them together.

        Arrogance of Space - Copenhagen Parking
        In this graphic, we can see roughly how much space a parking lot featuring all the parking spots would require - if we provided the necessary extra space for access and what not. You know, driving into the lot and finding a spot, etc.

        Almost the entire city centre of Copenhagen would be paved over.


        The news this morning in Copenhagen that the City is removing 80 car parking spots along the historic Frederiksholm Canal is great to wake up to. The City will be making a promenade along the canal to create better public space. Fantastic.

        At the moment it feels like you are stuck in the mid-60s along this stretch so this improvement is much welcomed. Read more about the project - in Danish - on the City's website.

        By and large, there are constant improvements for public space and bike infrastructure on the go in Copenhagen. Missing links are being fixed and small but effective examples of Reversing the Arrogance of Space are showing up on the streets of the city.

        As we can see in the graphics at the top, however, there are more pressing issues that require bold, political leadership if we are seriously going to modernise for the next century of transport.

        11 November 2015

        Amsterdam City Council Agrees to Remove More Cars

        Amsterdam Cycle Chic_14
        After all the buzz about Oslo going car-free a couple of weeks ago, yet another city is making the move to modernise.

        The news out of Amsterdam today is that the city council has agreed to further limit car traffic in the city centre. Earlier this year, their agreed to establish a new design for the Muntplein square. With a recent traffic study of the city, it has been established that it is possible to improve the plans even more.

        Through a car number plate analysis, it was possible to get a detailed picture of the traffic in the city centre. The study showed that traffic is atypical. There are many taxis, vans and visitors but there is no longer a pattern. 65% of the motorised traffic in the city city centre has no business there. 20% uses the roads to get to surrounding areas. 15% use the streets as a transit route on A to B journeys that have nothing to do with the city centre. 30% just drive around in circles - this is primarily taxis, especially at night, doing loops while waiting for customers, as well as people looking for parking.

        The plans will direct this parasitical traffic to other roads outside the city centre, while keeping the area accessible to local traffic and deliveries. This will improve the flow and create more space for pedestrians and cyclists. The city is also looking at how to get taxis from driving aimlessly around at night.

        Additional Measures
        In the final design for Muntplein, cars will disappear at the end of Vijzelstraat and in an easterly direction along the Amstel River. On Singel, between Munt and Koningsplein, it will remain car-free. This is part of the City's Red Carpet programme. In order to make the end of Vijzelstraat and the last stretch of Singel completely car-free, one-way traffic will be implemented along the river between Muntplein and Blauwbrug. The municipality is in the process of working out the details and ensuring that there is still accessibility for goods delivery.


        The accessibility paradigm for the City of Amsterdam.

        Traffic impact
        The primary goal is to reduce car traffic in the city centre by 30%. Even by rerouting traffic the city does not anticipate a deterioration in the traffic flow. Traffic coming from outside the ring still has good alternatives. Traffic on short urban trips (about 10% of journeys) will have to take frequent detours. Most of the extended travel time will be experienced by occasional visitors. The taxis of Amsterdam are the group that will experience extended travel times the most. Although it is calculated that they will spend only six more minutes of driving each week per vehicle. Residents and commercial vehicles will experience extended travel times of two and three minutes each week, respectively.

        The plans are expected to be carried out in 2016 and the City Council will vote on it next year, but they have - until then - agreed on it.

        Here is a recent article about how the city wants eight new parking garages in order to get cars off the streets and free up space for people.

        It could be said that the City is a bit behind schedule. There were protests and a referendum in the city back in 1992 about halving the number of cars. Some measures were implemented, however, but five years later, it was called a farce.



        Here is the original text from the City of Amsterdam.

        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".

        Velo
        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.

        17 June 2014

        Bike-Train-Bike - Connecting Bicycles and Trains in Europe

        5.5_BiTiBi_project_website_banner_CIZE_20140604_zzz
        Copenhagenize Design Co.'s team, all the partners involved in BiTiBi - Bike-Train-Bike – and the European Commission are glad to launch today our new EU project.

        BiTiBi is an EU-funded, three year project to promote the intermodal use of bicycles and public transit in urban commuting throughout Europe. Indeed, the future of urban mobility is a return to a tried and tested combination of bicycles and trains. Combining the two most energy efficient modes of transportation, the bicycle and the train, provides a seamless door-to-door transport connection. The project aims at improving the livability of European cities and improving the energy efficiency of our transport.

        It is not realistic to expect everyone to bicycle 15km to and from the office, but to cycle a few kilometers each way and hop on the train for the bulk of the trip could dramatically provide countless economic, social and environmental benefits for urban regions. From 2014 to 2017, BiTiBi will work with partner municipalities, train operators, bike share schemes and other actors involved in achieving a more energy efficient commute throughout several European cities.

        Innovative pilot projects will be implemented in the regions of Barcelona, Milan, Liverpool and in Belgium with the help of ten partners, in order to inspire all European cities to consider a modern, multimodal approach to transport.

        5.5_BiTiBi_project_website_banner_CIZE_20140604_yyy2In the Netherlands, the OV-fiets public bike system is available at the train stations. It will be used as the model inspiring the development of the pilots in the other cities. Indeed, BiTiBi services will use the Dutch model in general as inspiration in promoting the bike-train-bike modal merger over cars and the combination of cars and trains. The project aims to solve the typical issues such as lack of parking for bikes at stations; no last mile solution when taking the train; ineffective fare integration or worse, none at all; bike services not corresponding to user needs; no bicycle friendly access to train stations; lack of knowledge about the available services and cultural barriers to use a train-bike-train combination.

        In cities of Spain, England, Italy and Belgium commuters will find in the coming years an efficient way to reach every morning the train station and then their final destination.

        In three years, in the scope of the pilots, safe and convenient bike parking facilities at train stations will be implemented, public bikes and integrate payment system of bike and rail services will be provided. During all these years, partners will communication the advantages for combining bicycles and trains and share the results of these intermodal experiences.

        You will be able to follow all the news concerning BiTiBi on the dedicated website. Moreover, the Facebook page /biketrainbike – and the Twitter @biketrainbike will allow to keep in touch with the newly launched project.

        Discover the BiTiBi Vimeo channel and the Instagram #BiTiBi.

        Please find on the website, the presentation of BiTiBi in Catalan, Dutch, English, French, Italian, and Spanish.
        We're looking forward to sharing with you all along the three years interesting news about how Europe in moving forward regarding combining bike and train.

        19 April 2014

        Bicycle-Friendly Cobblestones

        Bicycle Friendly Cobblestones
        Ole Kassow from Purpose Makers - and brainchild behind the Cycling Without Age movement - gave us this great shot from a street in the ?sterbro neighbourhood of Copenhagen. The City has a new thing they're doing. Replacing the old, bumpy cobblestones on certain streets with smooth ones. Just a strip, like down the middle on this one-way street - to make it a smoother ride for bicycle users. The city keeps a number of streets cobblestoned because of aesthetics and historical reasons. History can be a bumpy ride, though.

        We like how the new cobblestones are elegantly woven into the existing ones.
        Bicycle Friendly Cobblestones
        On a street in the centre of Copenhagen, there are now smoother strips along the curbs for bicycle users to use. Above is a delegation from the City of Groningen, who we took on a Bicycle Urbanism tour of the city a few weeks ago. Apart from their fascination with the curb-separated cycle tracks (they filmed them in order to convince their engineers that they work... yes, they're from Groningen), these smooth cobblestone strips were an object of fascination and I had to drag them away in order to get to lunch in time.

        I love how even established bicycle cities can continued to be inspired by each other. There is no complete bicycle city - yet.
        Car-centric ?sterbro
        Have a look at the street in the top photo again. It is a one way street but it's clear that the Arrogance of Space exists even in Copenhagen. Stupidly wide street and that means the sidewalks look like this. Cars are prioritised still - at the expense of the pedestrians and bicycle users and basically everyone in the city. And this in a neighbourhood with only just over 20% car ownership.

        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.


        DSC_0029



        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.


        DSC_0035


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

        DSC_0057
        One of the waiting areas, with water fountain.
        DSC_0026


        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. 


        DSC_0098




        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.

        DSC_0050
        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

        10 January 2014

        Visiting Trondheim

        Trondheim Harbourfront
        I travelled to Trondheim, Norway earlier this week, to give a keynote at the Tekna Kursdagene conference. This engineering "Course Days" conference has been held for over 50 years in the city. There are many categories for many branches of engineering, including urban development and - the category I was speaking at - traffic. I was, unfortunately, unable to take in other categories like "Fatigue of risers and pipelines - offshore" or "Lavkarbonbetong/Milj?betong". Hey, you gotta stick to what you know.

        While I was in the city, I simply had to have a look around. I've heard so much about Trondheim through the years. The number of trips by bicycle is pushing 10% and, by all accounts, it is one of the best bicycle cities in Norway. While Trondheim is trying to move forward, the rest of Norway is lagging behind and is like the USA of Europe with its focus on automobile infrastructure and unwillingness to embrace more intelligent transport forms.

        So here's a little bicycle urbanism travel reportage from the oh so beautiful city of Trondheim one January day in 2014.
        Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure
        Allow me to get a bit excited about this pedestrian/cyclist bridge right off the bat. It's a great place to start. Nice design over the river with bold pictograms. Getting TO the bridge by bicycle wasn't at all intuitive. Bicycle users had few facilities on the approach and have to use the pedestrian crossing.

        The bridge reminded me of another bicycle/pedestrian bridge in Trondheim and of one of the most brilliantly positive campaigns we've seen in the past six years. Read about THAT right here.

        Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure
        I love the flower boxes hanging on the side and would enjoy seeing them in full bloom in the spring and summer. Low and behold, in the middle of the bridge, was a text that warmed my heart. Directly inspired by Copenhagenize Design Company's communication template developed for the City of Copenhagen's Bicycle Office. It reads, simply, "Thank you for cycling" (Takk for at du sykler).

        Nice.
        Trondheim Bicycle Lift (Elevator)
        One thing that put Trondheim on the bicycle urbanism map was their Bicycle Lift. We wrote about it back in 2007, with a little film. Now it was time to see it. Except, uh, it was closed for the winter. Oh well. As a few people said on Twitter, "Make sure you see the bicycle lift that nobody uses!". So I did. It was a great idea back in 1992 and has been useful for a whole lot of hype. But I can't see how this has been a game changer, apart from the branding value.

        The bicycle lift was renovated a couple of years ago and a French company took over the production of them. I've seen these bicycle lifts exhibited at a number of conferences/fairs since 2009. Has anyone ever seen one implemented in a city since 1992?

        Nah. Thought so.

        Trondheim Bicycle Lift (Elevator) Trondheim Bicycle Lift (Elevator)
        It was, however, fun to see it. On the photo at right, a citizen is just muscling his way up the hill on a vintage upright bike, past the out of service bicycle lift.
        Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure
        On the way back from dinner, I saw something quite cool. A grade-separated cycle track. In NORWAY! Not very wide, but hey. It was there. My colleague with whom I was walking back to the hotel with commented that technically it was iillegal to ride on it. Apparently the State Road Directorate - Statens Vegvesen - still think it's 1961. In the handbook they publish (recently updated), such Best Practice infrastructure isn't allowed.

        Indeed, in the Q&A at my session at the conference a woman from the Road Directorate said in no uncertain terms - responding to a question about why Best Practice isn't in the book - that "you can't just take ideas from other countries and import them to Norway."

        She actually said that. So... Norway rejects Best Practice bicycle infrastructure based on a century of experience. Surprise, surprise... the country is one of the only ones in Europe where cycling levels are falling.
        Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure
        So these stretches in Trondheim, where the cycle track continued and was accompanied by a stretch of traffic buffering cobblestones, as well as skirting around a bus stop (at right) are subversive protests thumbing their nose at the Norwegian State Road Directorate. Activism in Asphalt. We approve.

        The report that Copenhagenize Design Co. and Civitas produced for the Norwegian Transport Ministry in 2012 (pdf link) was commissioned by the Ministry simply because they were tired of hearing the same old, same old, last century, car-centric nonsense from the Road Directorate.

        Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure
        On to the old neighbourhood of Bakklandet. Quaint, wooden houses along the river. Cobblestones galore. But a couple of nice strips of pavement tiles for cycling down the street. It's in the details sometimes.

        Trondheim Bike Parking Trondheim Bakklandet
        Peering through the open door to a back courtyard with both offices and homes, I spied the bicycle rack, at left. The weather was unseasonably warm when I was there. There were impressive numbers of people still riding bicycles all over the city, but it's clear that many have also hung up their wheels for a couple of months. At right, some lovely bicycles remain on the street, ready to go.

        Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure
        Some more infrastructure. Painted lanes, albeit with a reddish colour, are seen many places in the city. Most run along the sidewalk, like they should.
        Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure
        At left, however, is a bit of a brain fart. Here the bike lane forces bicycle users to act as a buffer to protect the parked cars on the right. Looking at the stretch of street, it really wouldn't have been so difficult to have continued the bike lane along the sidewalk, leaving the cars on the left. Protecting cyclists instead.
        At right, another stretch of bike lane over a bridge. Reassuring.

        Trondheim Hotel Clarion Trondheim Hotel Clarion
        The Clarion Hotel and Congress is a shiny new hotel on the harbour from 2012, designed by Norwegian architects Space Group. It is a splendid building from top to toe.

        But...

        What really frustrates me is how architects design a building in excruciating detail and then forget to plan for bicycle parking. The result? Someone who actually understands mobility needs has to put up a bike rack outside the excruciatingly designed building. Usually a bike rack that doesn't match the architectural integrity of the building, just one that works. Because they need it in a hurry.
        Two @cyclehoop bike racks spotted here in #trondheim !
        There were two bike racks from Cyclehoop a couple of hundred metres away from the hotel. I love them but while they may not fit exactly the design of the Clarion, they would certainly look better out front.

        It boggles the mind that so many architects - by and large city dwellers - fail to plan for the stuff that is going to end up in front of their building. In many cases, stuff they can control. Stuff that that is needed. Stuff that is going to end up there anyway. Like bike racks.

        Where is the architect that plans for this eventuality and designs cool, practical bicycle parking in line with the total architectural vision to avoid unecessary ugliness in the form of cheap racks?

        Trondheim Train Station Stairs
        Then there's the new bridge over the railway by the central station. LOTS of stairs. And yet, no simple addition of a ramp for bicycles. In a city with almost 10% of trips by bike. It boggles the mind.
        Bicycle Ramp Ramp
        It's not rocket science. Build it in from the blueprint stage, or add it afterwards. Preferably option #1.
        Trondheim Cyclelogistics Trondheim Cyclelogistics
        Last but not least, a couple of lovely Cyclelogistics encounters to calm me down. Two trailers, both used for advertising. A climbing center and a strip club. Hey, don't think Norway is boring.

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