The Bike Hanger in Seoul Image Source.
Today New York cyclists use bike racks, corrals, shelters and indoor/outdoor parking lots. The question is, will these approaches be enough in coming years? In 2007 the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) expected the number of bicycle commuters to double by 2012 and triple by 2017. Instead, the number doubled by 2011 and with the influx of Citibike, we can only expect the trend to continue.
Here are six solutions from other major cities that sustain a large number of bike commuters. Could New York adopt these solutions?
In London, a Cyclepod locks a bike to the stand by the bike’s frame and front wheel. Cyclepod’s Creative Director James Steward started designing the cyclepod after someone stole his bicycle. He founded the company in 2004 and won the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006.
Today, cyclepods have dozens have locations in the UK and Australia that can be seen on the company’s website under Client Gallery. The image above shows how a single 2-meter wide Cyclepod can be linked with others to create an “island.” Since its launch, the company received the Carbon Neutral® mark and continues to manufacture new products to protect bikes and even scooters.
Indian industrial designer Abhinav Dapke sketched a thinner bike parking system called Tree Parking Bicycle Parking Stand. His bike rack system also secures bikes using a fingerprint sensor. The design has not been implemented yet and Dapke has not mentioned any plans on his website.
In Tokyo, Giken, an eco-friendly Japanese construction company built a bike parking system called ECO Cycle. ECO Cycle is an 11-meter deep well that can store about 200 bikes. When a bike is placed in front of the yellow door, ECO Cycle detects the bike, grabs its front wheel, and finds an empty bike parking spot inside the well. The entire process takes 8 seconds. Giken also makes a similar product that stores cars.
Spain’s B-igloo is entirely above ground and stores 24 bikes at a time. The transaction takes 10 seconds and can fit any size bike. The parking system is built using glass, steel, aluminum and other recyclable materials. Along with several locations in Spain, B-igloo has been installed in Rabat (Morocco).
In Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic, Velo, a Czech bike importer, built a seven-level automated bike tower conveniently near the city’s local railway station. Inside the tower, there are aluminum paddles with cushions that carry bikes to parking space. The storage process takes about 30 seconds. Bikers are allowed to leave their helmets and personal belongings on the bike. The hexagonal tower itself can hold 117 bikes at once.
Bike Hanger is a vertical bike parking system designed by MANIFESTO Architecture P.C., temporarily installed in Seoul and London. It has a pedal generator run completely on manpower. It holds 20 to 36 bikes. A smaller version can hold up to 15 bikes. The system attaches to the side of a building so as not to interfere with pedestrian traffic. The construction of the system costs $100,000 but the maintenance only costs $15 a year. The frame of the system is built out of recycled carbon and recycled stainless steel. The system has a canopy made from recyclable plastic bottles.