Sunday 26 May 2013

Vending machines and free of charge indoor cycle-parking

Last week we hosted a study tour group from Norway. There are always a few things that we discover that we've not seen before. This is one of them. A bicycle light vending machine.

Bicycles parked at the university in Groningen - the indoor cycle-parking with the vending machine is just around the corner and helps to reduce stress here.
If you leave your bicycle outside
of a rack it will be "towed away".
The reason why we found the vending machine is that it was inside a free facility that we visited in which 725 bicycles can be parked indoor and are guarded. Like all cities in the Netherlands, Groningen has a bit of a problem finding enough space for all the bicycles to be parked without them being in the way. This is why bicycles are threatened with being "towed away" and why there are such initiatives as red carpets on sidewalks to reserve space for pedestrians. Ultimately the bicycles have to go somewhere, and providing indoor cycle parking which is free to use is one way of dealing with a part of the problem rather than simply punishing people which might lead to less cycling. That's why Groningen has built several such facilities in peak cycle-parking areas, such as next to the university and next to a cinema.

Most Dutch cities have indoor guarded cycle parking, and many of them are free to use. For example, this cycle-park which opened last year in the rebuilt library/theatre/cinema complex in Assen:

When we were at this cycle-park last week on the study tour, there was someone vacuuming around the bicycles. Making sure that cycle-parking is clean and attractive and doesn't smell improves social safety and is part of what makes it work.

See other examples of guarded cycle parking in other places.

A blog post including details of the study tour will appear on Tuesday. Until then, read blog posts about previous study tours.

Previous blog posts show a vending machine for inner tubes and a vending machine for complete bicycles. We sell much better bike lights than those available from that machine.


Clark Nikolai said...

I saw a vending machine for lights, patch kits and tubes built into the wall outside a bike shop in Landsmeer, Waterland last year. Nice to see.

Kevin Love said...

There is a business in New York City that specialises in putting bike parts vending machines in high-traffic areas. See: