Why Automated Cycle Parking?

Cycle parking is an unavoidable necessity that takes up much space and offers little security against theft. Nick Knight explains how automation can bring broad benefits.

Cycling is witnessing a revolution around the world, with renewed interest in two wheels instead of four spurred on through promotion of the sport and leisure riding, as well as a means of transport.

It’s generally accepted that cycling can help relieve traffic congestion whilst also tackling vehicle emissions, which is a necessity in the desire to keep a check on global warming. The third benefit associated with cycling is health; both for the individual cyclist as well as reducing the burden on a states health service provision through a more physically active society.
Proactive
cities recognise that specific infrastructure is required in order to encourage people to cycle, especially for commuting to work, as health and safety on the roads is continually cited as the key reason keeping people away from giving it a go. Where junction improvements and segregated cycle lanes are installed, then the uptake in cycling can be substantial.

Cycle Parking
With cycling comes cycle parking. Parking tends to take up much space, both within the public realm and within buildings, and it is often scaled back or not included as part of the cycling infrastructure at all. It is generally planning authorities that set the parameters of cycle parking, however, the benchmark is usually what quantity of bike spaces are required within the scheme, with little attention paid to the quality other than the spacing of stands.

Traditional cycle stores usually consist of Sheffield-type stands (tubular hoops) or two-tiered racks (double stackers), for which there are a variety of makes and models. No matter whether the tiered racks have gas strut assistance, the upper tier is often avoided due to its cumbersome nature and many authorities insist on a mix of racking that includes a higher proportion of single-tier parking that’s space hungry.

Security
Cycle stores that are restricted for the private use of the buildings occupants are still considered ‘semi-public’ areas and suffer from theft. Just the perception of theft means that many commuters use cheaper secondary bikes for travelling to work, and residents will tend to avoid the stores provided and take the bikes into their own apartments, scuffing walls, lifts and dirtying carpets as they go.

Nick Knight is Managing Director of Eco Cycle
info@ecocycle.com

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