Electric vehicles are great, but there is no better transportation option than a bicycle. Bicycles provide much needed exercise (also saving emissions from a trip to the gym), are more energy efficient than any other vehicle (even an electric car), are enjoyable to ride (fun is permitted), and can save their rider an enormous amount of money (going car-free for 15 years was one of the smartest financial decisions I ever made). Though, enticing people to leave their car at home and ride a bike is not always easy. In fact, it’s often not easy — despite all of those benefits.
The following trick for finding great places for bike parking, and featuring them prominently enough that they catch people’s attention and get more people thinking, is a great one that deserves a lot more attention. It should be rolled out in cities around the United States and beyond. The fietsvlonder (bike platform) temporarily swaps one car parking space for 10 bikes. If deemed a success, the curb is permanently adjusted and it is moved to the next location.
That’s the whole idea, but I’ll highlight a few details I love about this. First of all, the bike parking is raised a little. That gives the bikes and bikers a little more prominence and importance — it’s an implicit signal of respect — while also providing slightly more safety (just slightly more). Also, I love that this one (and presumably others) is right in a very visible portion of the street. True, some bikers may not love that, but it makes everyone driving by look at the bike parking and think about biking themselves. It should also help broadly to just make drivers more aware that they are sharing the road with bikers. Naturally, the fact that you can move these portable bike parking stations around is great since it allows you to find the places in the city with the most natural demand for bike parking and then stick permanent bike parking docks in those spots.