Parking for Bicycles

Dedicated bicycle parking facilities are widely observed in Asian cities. Japan, the world’s leading nation in providing bicycle parking areas, has thousands of bicycle parking facilities, of which many are multi-storey and fully computerized. In other cities, bicycle parking facilities are provided on sidewalks, in residential areas, and at common destinations. Many parking spaces are provided without charge, but some parking lots are guarded and charge cyclists at daily or monthly rates. It is also observed that many Indian cities also provide bicycle parking at offices, railway stations, factories, as well as shopping centres and markets.

As bicycles are the most popular mode of mechanized transport in India, the supply of bicycle parking facilities should balance its demand, and as far as possible, such facilities should be provided free of charge or at low tariffs. If supply cannot meet demand and cyclists use footpath space to park their bicycles, pedestrian flows will be obstructed and safety will be jeopardized as pedestrians overflow into vehicle carriageways. Multi-storey bicycle parking and bicycle racks can provide high capacity bicycle parking in narrow and unutilized spaces as shown in Figure 9.

An innovative approach to excessive bicycle parking is to reduce the population of cycle units by common sharing among users. For example, an advanced share-ride system in Paris called Velib uses IT and GPS, however, it can be a costly option as it requires relatively high set-up and operating costs. Rent-a-cycle systems near railway stations are also adopted in Japan and Netherlands. The units are rented on hourly bases, and the same units can be used more than once in a day.

Figure 9 Bicycle Parking
(a: Uncontrolled bicycles at railway stations in Tokyo, b: Velib, shared bicycle service in Paris)

Figure 9 (continued) (c: Multi-storey parking, d: Bicycle racks)

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