Opening of the world’s biggest bicycle parking garage in Utrecht, NL

Opening of the world’s biggest bicycle parking garage in Utrecht, NL


The city of Utrecht welcomed the junior
Minister of Transport, Stientje van Veldhoven, who came to her place of birth,
together with the directors… of both Dutch railway companies
and the Utrecht alderman… for the redevelopment
of the station area. They came to open the
final part of the world’s largest bicycle parking garage, that now has
room for 12,500 bicycles. The first part of this facility
had been opened in August 2017, then for 6,000 bicycles. The first expansion, with 1500 bicycles,
was in October that same year. Which means this facility has operated
almost two years already…. as a parking garage for 7,500 bicycles. Building the final part
took almost two years. For the entire building a total of 51,000 m3
of dirt was taken out of the ground. 17,500 m3 of reinforced concrete was used… and 232 pre-fabricated columns. The total cost was well over 30 million euros, which amounts to more than
2,400 euros per parking space. That may seem a lot, but it is a fraction of
the cost for car parking facilities. The bicycle parking garage is an
integral part of the also new… Utrecht Central Station and
it has won several awards. What’s special is that
you can cycle into the facility. The existing entrance has changed a lot
after the opening two years ago. There is now also
a second entrance. You can even cycle through the garage
if you do not want to park. It is also a main cycle route past the station
on the city center side. Right after you enter the building you can choose
which of the three floors you would like to use. The ground floor is for subscription holders. Level -1, the basement, is often used
by people who want to catch a train, because that level gives access to a tunnel
that leads directly to all platforms. Level +1 is often used by people
with business in the area. They may work in one of
the many offices… or they may want to
go shopping in the mall. From that top level it is only
one flight of stairs up… to the Station square that is
on top of the garage. Signage has much improved now that
the facility is fully operational. Electronic signs display real-time information
about the available places, per floor and also per row and then even for the upper and lower racks. That should make it easier to park your bicycle. To find it back again you must remember
the row number and the rack number. Many people say they take a picture to remember
where they parked their bicycle. Bicycles with baskets and
children’s seats have their own area… where people can put these bikes
on their kickstands. Cargo bikes cannot be parked here. There is a nearby other facility
where cargo bikes can be parked. The facility is open and guarded 24/7. For which the city of Utrecht employs 40 people. If you do not have your own bicycle, you can
rent one of the public transport bicycles. There are 1,000 rental bikes available. In 2018, they were rented out for
6,000 rides per week on average. In all facilities combined there is now
room to park 32,000 bicycles. This is expected to be sufficient until 2025. The city is already working on new parking
for after that year.

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