Bikes want to be free – so why would we want to corral them? Well, when we are dipping into the nearest dairy for a liter of milk, or stopping at a cafe for lunch, of course.
Auckland Transport is trialling their first “bike corral”, replacing car parking with bike parking – and it is going in on 264 Ponsonby Road from June.
Here are a few designs for how it will look. Sing out if you have any comments, as CAA will have a chance to make comments back to AT before it is installed (We won’t give you our own thoughts on tweaking it yet, as we’d like yours to start with).
CAA recently attended a public meeting regarding the upgrade of the Mount Albert Train Station. Shown at right and on the Auckland Transport website, the tired old station will be brought up the the same quality standard as many of the other newer stations around Auckland.
What isn’t shown (to the frustration of some of the residents at the meeting) is how the station will link with the planned Mt Albert town centre upgrade.
This much more ambitious project however is not ready for the limelight yet (unlike the direct train station upgrade, which needs to be done before electrification) – so the poor Local Board and Auckland Transport staff had to tell a somewhat sceptical populace that this wasn’t just business as usual, and that for example the tight access along Carrington Road bridge (where the footpath is as narrow as the road is for cyclists!) was not yet being dealt with.
However, they strongly hinted that such issues WERE very much on their minds – they just couldn’t tell us how they intended to proceed until the signatures had been done for all land purchases for the town centre upgrade. Partly for this reason, CAA also didn’t (yet) raise the lack of cycle parking. The current train station corridor is literally so tight, any cycle parking would just be an un-loved add-on tucked into some small corner, serving 2-3 bikes – if one was courageous to leave one there for a whole day.
Instead, like the locals, we are putting our hopes into the town centre upgrade. If this goes ahead in the way it was hinted at, the scope will be a lot larger – including, we hope, opportunity to provide much better bike parking. Maybe even a secure bike storage cage accessible only by swipe card, like Victoria’s Parkiteer cages?
Even as someone who has designed a few for a living, I must admit that parking buildings don’t necessarily offer much to get exited about (they can get bloody complicated though, which is when it gets interesting again – at least for an engineer). But oh, this one is different. The very scale of it alone speaks of how the world works when bicycles are part of it as matter of course.
Too many bikes around? Store them like other places store cars.
Antwerp Central Station bike parking, via Copenhagenize.Com.
IF THE EMBEDDED VIDEO DOESN’T WORK FOR YOU, GO STRAIGHT HERE TO THE VIDEO.
Cycling and trains go together well. By using your bike to get to the train station, you don’t need to first wait for a bus that goes there, or drive there your car, hoping that that you can find a car park. Even if you don’t live close to a train station, it’s likely in easy cycle reach (just look at the slide at the right – it shows how much of the Isthmus is covered by just a 3km cycling radius around each train station). So “bikes to the train” should be a slam-dunk choice for many.
But during peak hours, you can’t take your bike ON the train (or at least you can’t DEPEND on them allowing your bike), because the train might be too full. That won’t change, even with the bike-carriage options in our new electric trains. So you have to leave your bike at the train station. And that is where the Auckland experience breaks down.
Overseas, train stations are often surrounded by well-utilised bike parking. Whether in a small village train station in Europe, or the one in an apartment suburb of Japan – acres and acres of bikes parked up there. In Auckland? Maybe a lonely bike or two*. I can’t believe that’s just because we still have too few cyclists. Something else isn’t working.
*(Contradict me if the situation is different at your train station – I’ll be happy to be proven wrong.)
Continue reading 'Bike parking at train stations – what works and what doesn’t'»
The recent recognition of the AHB Skyway project in Auckland Council’s new budget means we can look forward with more certainty to cycling and walking across the Harbour. Meanwhile, increasing numbers of cyclists line up at ferry terminals to commute to the Downtown Terminal.
Devonport ferry terminal has over 70 bike parks; most are sheltered from rain and all are full each workday. In addition, peak hour Devonport ferries carry up to 20 cycles. Birkenhead, Northcote, Bayswater, Half Moon Bay, West Harbour, Half Moon Bay, Pine Harbour and Matiatia (Waiheke) Terminals cater less for bike parking, but where the ferries carry cycles, numbers are booming in peak hours. New bike parking installed at the Downtown Terminal late last year (beside the AirBus bus stop) are already full on weekdays.
Luckily Fullers Ferries are staunch cycling champions. Cycles travel for free on ferries and the new Waiheke bus bike racks, and ferry crews are helpful and friendly; but as pressure on cycle space mounts, it pays for us to be especially courteous, so other passengers are not inconvenienced.
We hope Auckland Transport is monitoring this increasing demand to carry bikes on ferries as part of its integrated transport planning. We were relieved to meet John Joachim, (Auckland Transport’s Wharf Facilities leader) by chance last week. After talking to him we began to think of him as a guardian angel, as he is totally dedicated to ensuring our ferry wharves are welcoming and good to use. He had a hand in installing the drinking water dispensers at Waiheke and Devonport wharf, and is a keen supporter of cycles and ferries. He knows we want more bike parking at all terminals, especially spaces that are handy, sheltered and secure – and he’s doing his best to provide it. We say ‘More power and budget to John’.