11 November 2009

7000 New Parking Spots for Bicycles

Bike Racks and Wrecks
The Copenhagen Central Station has been the most massive bicycle magnet in the country for a century. The streets around the station are flooded with bicycles.

Plans were revealed today for a new parking complex with room for... 7000 bicycles! behind the station.

»Now more than ever there is a need for bike parking at the train stations and the problem won't get better with the coming Metro extension construction around the city", said Klaus Bondam - Mayor in charge of the Dept. of Transport.

The idea is to widen the bridge behind the station - Tietgensbroen - so that it covers more of the railyard.

The design for the new bicycle parking will be decided through an architecture competition that will start in the new year. The parking complex is expected to be finished in 2013.

It will be financed by the City of Copenhagen, Danish State Railways and Banedanmark.



Niki said...

Why doesn't the city build one of those underground parking like you showed on your website?

Hans said...

Those parking spots are needed and are very welcome. I like!

ls said...

7000 more, how many will that make altogether?

Birmingham New Street has 12 stands. They must really hate cyclists here.

Paul Peterson said...

Wow! And we have parking for 7 bicycles at Portland Union Station!

Suzanne said...

Funny. I thought you didn't have that problem: http://tinyurl.com/y9p55pe

Mikael said...

Suzanne... you should have went round behind the central train station...

the city is building an underground one in another location. the central station, however, is a massive collection of bikes.

no idea how that will make at the central station. i think at the moment there are a couple of thousand racks.

David Hembrow said...

It's things like that that cast doubt on the claims you make for the degree of cycling in Copenhagen.

By Dutch standards, 7000 isn't actually all that many for a city of 1.1 M people. We have 2300 in Assen, and only 65000 people live here. Groningen, with 180000 people has 6500 and Utrecht, population 300000 (or 600000 depending on how you count), currently has 14000 and is expanding to 22000 spaces.

The Dutch railways are building a total of 100000 extra cycle parking spaces in the next few years.

Mikael said...

david. your scepticism never fails to amuse me. until you visit here, i'll take it all with a grain of salt. Loving the country you live in is great, but being cranky about it loses charm. :-)

These are 7000 parking spots behind the Central Train Station, much like the parking garage outside the central station in Amsterdam, which also houses 7000 bikes.

Kim said...

Here in Edinburgh we dream of having that sort of problem...

David Hembrow said...

Mikael, it's not mere skepticism. It's really quite simple. The published figures for your city don't quite match the claims that you make about the rate of cycling.

By Dutch standards. 7000 at the railway station is small for the population of your city.

You have (or will have when the new park is complete) just one space for every 157 people in the city, when Dutch cities commonly have one place at the railway station for every 30 people.

The Netherlands taken as a whole already has a cycle space at a railway station for one in every 64 people in the country, and this is being expanded.

Mikael said...

You seem so intent on competition, David. Mine's bigger than yours and all that. It's quite tiresome.

In conversations I've had with both your Fietsberaad and Fietsersbond, we all agree that both Denmark and Holland have much to offer the world based on our cycling cultures. And that working together is beneficial to all of us.

These are 7000 NEW parking spots. ADDITIONAL ones. It's all very clear if you read the post.

There are already thousands of parking spots around the central station.

You use some rather strange and desperate yardsticks in your strange and desperate attempt to compare.

Please consider the layout of the city, the number of passengers who arrive at the various stations, etc. In Copenhagen there are three main stations so the passengers are spread out when arriving in the city.

You really should follow the lead of the good people at the Fietsberaad and the Fietsersbond, et al and visit the city before embarking on odd - but entertaining - journeys of speculation.

Erik Sandblom said...

One problem bicycle advocates face is that bicycles are so small. People easily miss how much traffic there really is. Five or ten bikes blend in with the background, but five or ten cars look like a lot of parking.

That's why the bicycle counters going up here and there are such a great thing.

I think it must also be the reason you can live in a bicycle paradise like Amsterdam or Copenhagen and still feel the need for more car parking.

So it's probably a good idea to make people aware of the numbers at every opportunity.

Mikael said...

and the numbers David 'questions' are from the City of Copenhagen. as While I'm not responsible for producing the statistics I can, as a senior consultant to the City's Bicycle Office, attest to their authenticity.

David Hembrow said...

Mikael, you kicked off the comparison lark a few months ago with your wild claims about the degree of cycling in Copenhagen vs. other places. At that point a "55%" figure appeared, apparently as an attempt to match Groningen. Now it's true that I've not been to Copenhagen, but it's equally true that you have not been to Groningen. I go there several times a week.

I may not take such nice photos as you, or make such nice films. However, given my background in engineering I tend to take notice of figures. Unlike those figures I've seen for Groningen and other places in the Netherlands, your figures don't add up.

At the top right of every page of your blog is a good example of this. First you say that "Each and every day 500,000 citizens choose the bicycle in Greater Copenhagen." The population of Greater Copenhagen is around 1.8 M, so this indicates that around a quarter of the population "choose the bicycle" each day. That's plausible, though I'd like to know what the peculiar phrase "choose the bicycle" actually means.

You then go on to say "55% of the population choose the bicycle for all trips. 37% trips by commuters to work and school are by bikes."

Now this is rather bizarre. How exactly do the sums work out for this ? If 55% of the population make all their journeys by bike, shouldn't around a million people be "choosing the bike" each day instead of the lower number you gave before ?

What's more, if it were true that 55% of people made all their journeys by bike, then at least 55% of commutes would also have to be by bike. Unless, that is, this particular 55% of the population neither work nor study.

So, where exactly is the evidence behind your 55% figure ? 55% of what exactly ?

I think I know where you got this from, and I think you've made a serious error in reading what the city published.

Reading the 2008 Bicycle Account the "55%" figure comes up on page 5. It's on a page which is about commuting and it's couched in some really strange language: "If we limit ourselves to Copenhagen Residents working or studying in the city." It's a meaningless was of presenting figures designed to give a high headline number. Two paragraphs further on they're talking again about an objective to reach 50% of commuters by 2015.

It would be rather more helpful if Copenhagen still produced honest figures for the percentage of all journeys by bike in the city, but these are no longer in the bicycle account.

The last figures that Copenhagen produced for "all journeys" that I've been able to find are from back in 2002 when they said that while a little over a third of commutes were by bike, "just under a fifth" of all journeys within the city were by bike vs. over half by car. They were kind enough to illustrate this with a graph that you can find on page 10 of this Copenhagen City document.

It's difficult to believe that the "all journeys" figure has grown by 289% in the same period as commuting has grown by just 8%, and of course it's not actually true. If it were, this figure would surely be prominent in the "bicycle account".

Given that since 2002, commuting has risen by 8% from 34% to 37%, it's reasonable to assume that the "all journeys" figure has risen by about the same amount. This puts it in the low 20s, which is plausibly similar to your initial claim about the number of people "choosing" the bicycle each day.

Copenhagen has achieved a lot. It has the highest cycling rate in Europe outside of the Netherlands. While there is some catching up to do, that's still really very good. I think you've let your enthusiasm get the better of you. Let's stick to accurately reporting the facts.

Alastair said...

I regularly read both David and Mikaels blogs and can only wish for such figures in my home town of Chesterfield in England! As the cycling representative on the travel planning committee for the new football stadium in the town (10,000 seats) we have 20 'Sheffield Stands' around the periphery of a 400 space car park and incomprehensible stares when I suggested they should be nearer the entrance than the car spaces. A huge Tesco has just opened next door, 1000 car spaces, 12 Sheffield Stands bolted down too close to the store wall!
Still we can but dream!
You both deliver inspiration.

ls said...

You will be pleased and impressed to hear that Birmingham New Street station is being redeveloped at a cost of £600 million over 5 years and there will be cycle parking for a whopping 52 bikes, yes 52! Suck on that Copenhagen and Gronigen!