This underwater parking garage fits 7,000 bicycles
According to The Verge, a big underground bicycle parking facility recently opened at Amsterdam’s Centraal Station.
To assist with the first or last mile of rail trips, the structure has 6,300 spots for private bicycles and 700 additional spaces for bike shares. After a second garage opens in February, about 11,000 bicycles will fit.
The four-year, $65 million initiative may sound silly to anyone outside of the Netherlands, but in Dutch cities, it’s just another day at work as they gradually turn private automobiles into relics of an incorrect past when communities were planned with cars, not people, in mind.
Statistics consistently show that 35% of people in Amsterdam and 50% of people in Utrecht ride bicycles every day.
The city of Amsterdam released a time-lapse film that shows the development of this engineering marvel. Workers had to first drain the water from the 19th-century station before building the garage floor and setting the gigantic columns that had been transported in by barge to support the roof that would eventually be submerged.
The majority of the 200,000 people who visit Amsterdam’s Centraal Station every day arrive by bicycle. The other half go by bus, subway, tram, rail, and boat to get there.
According to the report from the publication, they used to park in many of the disorganized above-ground bike racks that are still scattered throughout the station and will be removed soon. Although the greatest of them is so enormous that it has become a tourist attraction in and of itself, locals see these as stinky monuments that frequently have no open areas due to a high number of half abandoned bicycles. Regular commuters therefore increase their chances of having their bikes stolen by locking them to nearby trees, street lamps, and signposts or by setting them down on any open slab of concrete.
According to Thomas Ricker of The Verge, the brand-new underwater parking facility is pristine and, at least temporarily, has obvious 2001: A Space Odyssey vibes. He noticed a number of OVFiets bikeshares and perhaps a few hundred personal bicycles available for rent within the facility, which is manned 24 hours a day. A daily cleaning crew is also hard at work in the building, and there are a few friendly employees who are willing to walk you through how everything works.
Parking in the garage is free for the first 24 hours; thereafter, it costs $1.46 per day. That makes it convenient for people who commute every day and acts as a potent incentive for people to remove their bicycles as soon as possible.