13 February 2011

Bicycle Parking at Train Stations in Denmark

I've been helping out John Pucher from Rutgers University with some statistics for a new book he's writing. We were looking into bicycle parking in Denmark. I found the numbers to be interesting.

The infographic above (hopefully) spells it out. Total number of parking spots at 297 Danish train stations and the number of spots reserved for bicycles and cars, including the occupancy rate of those spots.

It applies to the national rail network and the S-train network serving Greater Copenhagen. I've combined the two in the stats. There are many trains that have, not surprisingly, occupancy rate of + 100%. A town like Lystrup has a bicycle rack occupany rate of 283%; 250% in Mørke, 147% in Odense, 208% in Svendborg, 121% at Copenhagen Central Station.

The country's busiest train station - with S-trains, Metro and regional trains - is Nørreport with 102,189 passengers a day (53,004 arriving/49,185 departing). It has 996 bicycle parking spots (it's going to be renovated and will include more) and an occupancy rate of 97%.

There is no car parking at the station, nor is there at the nation's terminus, Copenhagen Central Station.

In comparison, John Pucher tells me that there are 38,280 bicycle parking spots at train and bus stations combined in the United States.

John was looking for stats not only for regular parking spots but also bike cages, bike lockers and bike stations (manned parking). We don't have any bike lockers in Denmark but there are 82 bike cages at various stations where you can lock your bike up in a secure 'cage'. There are only one or two bike stations in the country, including one a the Central Station. The idea simply hasn't caught on here. I can't see myself using one. I want quick access to my bicycle, but that's just me.

I'm looking forward to the next publication by John. Until then, he and Ralph Buehler have updated their overview article entitled, "Walking and Cycling for Healthy Cities," Built Environment, Vol. 36, No. 5, December 2010, pp. 391-414. It opens as a pdf.

Here's the abstract:

Walking and cycling are the healthiest ways to get around our cities, providing valuable physical activity for people on a daily basis. These forms of active transport also generate indirect public health benefits by reducing the use of automobiles, thus diminishing air, water, and noise pollution and the overall level of traffic danger. This paper provides a broad overview of the role walking and cycling can play in making our cities healthier. First, we summarize the scientific evidence of the health benefits of walking and cycling. Second, we examine variations in walking and cycling levels in Europe, North America, and Australia. Third, we consider the crucial issue of traffic safety. Finally, we describe a range of government policies needed to encourage more walking and cycling: safe and convenient infrastructure such as sidewalks, crosswalks, bike paths and lanes, and intersection crossings; traffic calming of residential neighborhoods; integration with public transport; land-use policies that foster compact, mixeduse developments; people-friendly urban design; improved traffic education; strict enforcement of traffic regulations; and reductions in motor vehicle speed limits.

Source for infographic: Danish Ministry of Transport


dr2chase said...

We've got a "cage" near here that I've used a few times (Alewife station, Red Line, Boston MBTA), and the delay is not bad. The gate opens with a prox card, and there's video on the bikes, and the theft rate in the cage is apparently low.

So yay us, we may have done something right for bikes here in the US.

bikefish said...

Bike parking is an alien concept at the Amtrak station in Seattle. There isn't any.

guss said...

Copenhagen is very sustainable so many citizens have gotten cycling. But still too many cars, 40% is too much. Citizens can no longer bear much toxicity of the pollution from cars.
For failure to stop a stroll in the car, we are intoxicated.

David Hembrow said...

And here in the Netherlands ? There are now 330000 cycle parking spaces in total at Dutch railway stations. 84500 of them are guarded, 15500 are lockers and the other 230000 are unguarded.

Ezra said...

I think it's important to note how many of those bikes in the overloaded stations in Denmark that are actually in use. Recently, I was at Nørreport and I would guess that around half of those bikes were tagged as abandoned. The other half, I figure, just hadn't been tagged yet.

Bike parking will also shift depending on a number of variables including if it is possible to take your bike on the train and, if so, what it costs. Dutch bike parking at train stations is huge. But that's because it is ridiculously expensive to take your bike on the train and there is nowhere to put it once you get on the train.

It's an interesting metric, no doubt. But we should take these figures with a grain of salt. The rates of over 100% are indicative of a problem, not a cause for celebration. Of course, rates significantly under 100% are also a problem. A better question might be, what is the optimal churn rate and how could we get there?

Mikael said...

Ezra. A problem, perhaps. But it's a luxury problem that other cities are itching to have.

And Hembrow... no surprise you'd add your two cents. It amuses me to no end this playground boasting. Please keep it up.