Sunday, 8 November 2009

Solving the Urban Bike Parking Problem

Bicycles are good. And they're one of the few things our incompetent, spendthrift government doesn't tax yet (other than the VAT if you buy one).

The major problems with bike ownership though, certainly in UK cities, are theft and storage. To counter this, a number of funky and clever solutions are being developed.

Here is the 'Bike Tree', a solar powered solution that operates with 'smart cards', and is promoted as a 'clean intermodal transportation system' by its developers.

Another neat invention is the Bicycle Parking Tower from Japan, an automatic storage system for cycles that can hold up to 6,000 bikes. The product is built and constructed by Japanese company JFE, whose engineering works division first started them in 2007.

Similar to the bike tree, retrieval is done with a swipe card and the process takes only 15 to 30 seconds. Of course, construction requires lots of money so its not cheap - current monthly fees in Tokyo run at approx 1,800 yen (£12.00)

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