Bicycling Dutch Video Response

As I mentioned earlier, we were lucky enough to have Mark Wagenbuur from Bicycling Dutch come and speak to our class. His youtube does a far better job than I can of describing and contextualizing the history and infrastructure of Netherlands cycling.

In the video above, you can see the large cycling facility under the new train station in Delft. We’ve stored our bikes there a couple times and it is an amazing facility. There were already 5000 spots available underground and they were expanding to have another 5000. Plus the many spots above ground. Small monitors on the racks even allow the removal of bikes that have been there for over 14 days.

I think everyone in the class was impressed by the number of bikes and the relative ease of storing your bike. I imagine if there was something like this in Surrey or Richmond, bicycling could become a partial solution to the last mile problem. Subscribers to the bikeshare can even borrow an OV fiets (the public bike share) for 24 hours to finish your ride to work or home, if you don’t have a bike. The whole facility was set up to make it easier for riders to transition from bike to train and back again.

Mark mentions that this facility isn’t guarded so it isn’t as safe (as a bike valet, I assume?). However, the foot traffic, lighting and OV fiets station and bike repair shop do provide CPTED and it felt safe to grab our bikes, even when we had to pick them up at 0200 after returning from Eindhoven. And because we didn’t have to pick them up from anyone it was very easy to grab our bikes. I think this is why many end of trip facilities in North America.

We need more facilities like these which combine significant parking with some passive monitoring of bikes. A cafe or bike repair shop (like Tandem in Vancouver or Mojo Cafe in San Francisco) could easily be attached to this type of parking. The redesign of the Main Street/Science World Skytrain station could have been a great opportunity for this as Translink really wanted to add cycling parking. However, rather than combine the cafe and bike parking on the east side of the station, these are completely separate. Consequently, it is rare to see bikes parked here.

Perhaps this would have even become an ideal place to allow a not-for-profit to operate a cafe and bicycle shop allow these station to serve the population already in the area. Or, perhaps this could have been a social space for the seniors of Chinatown where those who had moved out of the neighbourhood could visit them using the Skytrain line (or even by bicycle). Simply providing bike parking is not enough for end of trip facilities. Secure bike parking at transit stations should be combined with other uses.

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