If having more bicycles than the number of people was not enough (1.3 per person), the Netherlands has gone ahead and taken its bicycle affair to the next level. Cranking up its love for bicycles, Utrecht, one of the oldest cities of this amazing bicycle-friendly nation, is all set to open a bicycle garage. Why this garage is important and worth international news? It is going to be the world’s largest parking facility for bicycles!
Sprawling across a massive three storeys, this gargantuan garage, housed alongside the main train station in Utrecht, can park as many as 6,000 bicycles as of now. By the time it’s completed in 2018, it will have the capacity to park a whopping 12,500 bicycles!
The whole idea behind this 40-million-euro garage is to prevent a massive spread of bicycles cluttered outside the train station’s main entrance, thereby limiting the parking space. In the past year itself, the Dutch capital reportedly removed some 24,000 stray bicycles, and over 40,000 were seized for parking violations.
“This is a side-effect of the success of the bicycle in our cities,” city councillor Lot van Hooijdonk told Reuters, while addressing this concern. “We are happy so many people use bikes, but it creates huge challenges for the city, especially around the station.”
“In the city of Utrecht, this is necessary, because a lot of people are coming to the station by bike,” says Tatjana Stenfert Kroese, project manager for Utretcht Station Square. “When you see a city has lots of biking lanes, it’s also a nicer city to be in, because [there aren’t] a lot of cars driving around. It’s much safer with bicycles than when you have a lot of cars around,” she adds.
Want to check out some of the other top countries of the world upping their bicycle game? Click here
With the Dutch love for bicycles continuing on an upward march, shortage of parking space is leading to authorities spending millions of euros on building world-class parking venues and preserving bicycling lanes. However, this does not deter the authorities from favouring a city of bicycles over a city of cars!
This state-of-the-art underground garage will be accessed by a series of ramps that will make parking a breeze! Colour-coded pathways will aide navigation. Now, there is a reason why they call Netherlands the “bicycle capital of the world”!