Bikes evolve. When will bike storage catch up?


It’s a Treehugger mantra that three things are needed for the e-bike revolution: decent and affordable e-bikes, a safe place to ride, and a safe place to park. Toronto-based Brown + Storey Architects tackled the latter with a proposal for bicycle shelters near commuter train stations as part of a 2017 design competition. The interesting structure was both secure and transparent .

They wrote:

“This prototype bicycle storage offers a new innovation for bicycle infrastructure. The idea of ​​the structure is to keep the openness without defining the interior and exterior space too much like in a container. This anti-container approach uses strips frames to create an open but framed mesh, while providing security and protection for bicycle storage.Suggested in its construction and visual effects, this frame speaks to cycling as an evolving and growing mode of user transport. expansion.

The interior of a bicycle storage room.

Brown + floors architects

The storage room plan included “urban double stackers”, a bicycle storage system that doubles the capacity. The interior renders showed road bikes with drop handlebars, probably chosen because that was what was available in the rendering software and they hadn’t given much thought to it at the time.

James Brown and Kim Storey, the duo behind Brown + Storey Architects, recently launched a social media marketing campaign and tweeted the bike shed and were unprepared for the backlash. A lot has changed in the cycling world since 2017, and there are what seem like a bunch of serious cycling missteps here. Road bikes! Where are the upright commuter bikes that normal people ride? Double stackers! An e-bike revolution is underway and they are too heavy to lift. Look how close the bikes are to each other! These are useless front wheel locks! And where do you park the cargo bikes?

A rendering of a front wheel toast rack.

Brown + Floor

A tweeter zoomed in and saw the front wheel toast rack outside. The horror! Becky says“You should remove this type of rack from rendering and not design it into projects.”

The architects quickly revised and added a section acknowledging the problem, writing: “The bike shed concept is easily adapted to meet the needs of the growing e-bike community. The weight of e-bikes makes them difficult to be lifted into stacked storage racks. Instead of being stacked, the e-bikes can simply be stored parallel to the stacked bike room in their own horizontal rows.”

Oonee prototype of vertical bike storage.


Brown + Storey isn’t alone in dealing with these rapid changes in the bike world. When Shabazz Stuart introduced Oonee bike storage to New York, its first iteration had upright bike storage. I noted at the time: “I’m a little concerned that all the parking seems to be vertical. It’s obviously more space efficient, but many e-bikes are heavier and many riders are older and can – not strong enough to lift the bike up.”

Oonee told Treehugger that this is their prototype and that they “plan to design new frameworks of many different form factors.” Their new facilities are much more flexible.

The cycling community on Twitter is a bit obsessed with parking, often with good reason; it seems that cycling facilities are rarely designed or installed by people who have cycled before.

A recent fascinating Twitter thread from the UK asked about bike parking and got dozens of replies. The consensus was that the world had changed; there is no longer a standard bike but an explosion of different types, different lengths and widths.

A diagram of a Sheffield-type bicycle carrier.

Dublin cycling campaign

One of the participants pointed out a guide to bicycle parking facilities from the Dublin Cycling Campaign which shows what is called the “Sheffield” type bike stand. The consensus seems to be that this is the best design; you can easily get a padlock around any part of the bike.

Lloyd Alter

Cities are so bad at this. Even Toronto, which has a decent bike ring designed by architect David Dennis in the 80s, place these ridiculous things in an upscale commercial area that makes it impossible to use a U-lock, the most common and secure type. Fortunately, I always have three padlocks on my electric bike.

Dublin cycling campaign

For several bicycle parking lots, these Dublin dimensions are going to be difficult. It’s clear that putting 39 inches (one meter) between bikes with five-foot-wide traffic aisles is going to take up a lot more space than planners allow at this time. This type of plan translates to a bike parking space of about 3 feet by 11 feet including traffic, which seems like a lot until you compare it to a car space of 10 feet by 30 feet. , including traffic.

Bicycle parking in Munich, Germany.

Lloyd Alter

But this is the future of bicycle parking. If we’re going to get people out of cars, we’re going to have to start being as accommodating to bikes of all kinds as we are to cars, giving them places to park, places to charge, with enough space to do everything comfortably and safely.


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