Saturday, October 24, 2009

The importance of bike racks

According to Christoph Chorherr's blog entry from April 2009 (a Green politician) there are about 1 Million bicycles in Vienna but only 18.000 bike racks available. This is of course far to few and explains
a) why many bikes get stolen (locking the bike frame to a fixed object is essential) and
b) why so many bikes are locked to street lamps, traffic signs, fences etc.

Well, this number is old. Recently I have seen many new bike racks, especially in the city center. The city of Vienna builds bike racks in two different types, both of which are pretty safe if one uses them correctly (see how to secure bicycles).

The most common type of bike racks in Vienna and many European cities.
Do you have such public bike racks too? Or does your city build other ones?

But it's not just the sufficient number of bike racks that is important, it's also the accessibility that plays a key role. I don't mind walking 500m from the bike rack to my destination if I leave my bike for a few hours (e.g. if I go to the cinema, theater, dinner or so), but if I just have to buy a milk or post a letter (which takes less than 5min) I want to be able to park my bike right outside of the shop.

This is something that is certainly missing in Vienna. There are very very few shops with bike racks, even in major shopping streets like Mariahilfer Straße bike racks are rare. There is, however, one positive example that sticks out:

Bike racks at U6 Floridsdorf: subway and train station
and a big shopping mall are right beside the racks, which are even canopied!


Talking about it, other important spots for bike racks are of course public transport stations, especially train and subway stations. Vienna lacks many bike racks in these places as well as in front of schools and universities. But the city builds many new racks these days and is certainly improving, something that I can only appreciate :).

Still, the best and most bike racks ain't help if they are occupied by someone else. So I kindly ask all moped and motorbike riders: please park your vehicles somewhere else and don't block the few racks that are available for safe bike parking.

Thanks in advance.

20 comments:

l' homme au velo said...

In Ireland ours are like those,they are called Sheffield Stands. We also have ones that we call Wheel Benders that are Low on the Ground that you are supposed to stick your Wheel into,but if you do the Vandals can Bend your Wheel. These ones are mostly outside Supermarkets and are owned by the Supermarket. A couple of Supermarkets one in Swords and one in Dunleary Dublin have a few Beautiful ones that realy Support your Bike when you have a Load of Groceries and are more Bigger and Stronger than the Official Council ones. But we Chronically Lack enough Bicycle Stands,there just is not enough in Dublin. They are improving the situation bit by bit and have Promised us a lot more. We also have the New Dublin Bike Vélib since September and it is extremley Popular with over 5,000 Subscribers but only 450 Bikes. It is being Run by the French Advertising Group J C Decaux who have Advertising Billboards on 5 metre High Metal Advertising Stands around the City. http:www.dublinbike.ie

Anonymous said...

The city of Vienna wants to build new bike racks, but does not know where. ARGUS Vienna is trying to help them to find appropriate places for bike racks.

You can make suggestions here:

http://www.argus.or.at/radstaender-wunsch

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