|The temporary station in 2007. Bicycle parking was outdoors -|
it's in the left of the picture on the other side of the railing.
|There are bins here and they are used. This station is spotless.|
(cleanliness is important for cycle-parking)
|The approximate location of the new cycle-park is shown in blue. The red lines show the new cycle-paths which are part of this development, including the new access under the railway line as shown in the video above. Google Maps does not yet have imagery even of the temporary station.|
|The new station has a shelter built of titanium and it is the|
first in the country to receive a new type of furniture. The
station cost €40M in total and the luxury bike parking is
perfectly in keeping with the rest.
However, I always caution against taking too much notice of exceptional pieces of cycling infrastructure. It's not that I dislike seeing such things, but that they don't mean much in themselves. I think I perhaps need to explain this stand.
It's difficult for a politician to achieve a quick win by proposing, let alone delivering, a truly extensive network so it is far more common to see emphasis placed on what will look impressive in a short amount of time. Sometimes such projects are even named after the person who proposed them. Campaigners need to guard against such vanity. It has been known for at least 30 years that individual paths, bridges and tunnels are not enough to encourage cycling. Building only exceptional pieces can consume a large proportion of the total available budget for cycling, and the high expenditure on large items can hide that overall levels of funding for the more important but mundane cycling infrastructure is actually very low.
No piece of infrastructure, no matter how good, is particularly valuable to cyclists unless it forms part of their route. This is why a comprehensive network is the only way to reach all people. In the Netherlands, there are many piece of exceptional infrastructure and all of them form a part of the already existing comprehensive network. As such, it makes more sense to build them here than it does elsewhere. This example, due to providing a useful new route under the railway line, the building of this station improves the existing grid of cycle paths and therefore is useful for people who don't even use the station itself.
The video was made when I was accompanied to the Europapark station a few weeks ago by Cor van der Klaauw, senior beleidsmedewerker in Groningen and a true expert in cycling matters. He appears briefly in my video. Cor also wrote about the new station in an article on the Verkeerskunde website.