Another headline in our local newspaper. The amount of outdoor cycle parking is to be more than doubled. At present there is space for 750 bikes outdoors, and another 800 are to be added this year. This is in addition to the 754 places which there are now in the indoor guarded cycle park (which was more than doubled in size last year).
The total is now to be over 2300 places. Assen's population is 65000, so that's one place for every 28 residents in this one location (naturally there are also thousands of other places to park your bike spread around the city, including another large guarded cycle park in the shopping centre). By comparison, London has only around 2800 spaces for eight million people.
The additional space for bikes in Assen is to come in part by removing fifteen car parking spaces.
The article goes on to say that the local government is committed to stimulating more use of bicycles and public transport. However, they are also going to be more active in making sure that bicycles are parked correctly. It is a problem at present that because there are more bikes parked at the station than there is space for them, there are many incorrectly parked bikes which can get in the way and look rather untidy. Badly parked bikes really can cause a problem here because there are so many of them.
The local paper also is running an online poll about the cycle parking. Three responses are possible. a) Good Idea, b) Not necessary, c) Why don't they do it straight away ?
Currently the poll results stand as 45% wanting immediate action, 32% saying it is a good idea and just 23% saying it's not necessary.
For an example of somewhere with a higher proportion of spaces per person, and a discussion of the amount of cycle parking provided at British railway stations, see this earlier post.
Update 29/1/2009. Here's the outcome of the poll in the paper, published a week later.
47% say it's a good idea, 41% say the local government is dragging its feet and that this should be done immediately and just 12% say it's not needed.
The number of cycle parking spaces at the station will soon have more than doubled from the situation last september when I last wrote about it. There are other posts about cycle parking and integrated transport.