At Amsterdam's Centraal Station, a sizable underground bicycle parking garage recently opened, reported The Verge.
The building features 6,300 spaces for individual bicycles and 700 additional spaces for bike shares to help with the first or last mile of rail excursions. Almost 11,000 bicycles will be able to fit after a second garage opens in February.
Outside of the Netherlands, the four-year, $65 million project may seem absurd, but in Dutch cities, it's just another day at the office as they slowly but surely turn private autos into remnants of an erroneous past when towns were designed with cars, not people, in mind.
Statistics constantly show that 35% of Amsterdammers and 50% of Utrecht inhabitants use bicycles daily.
A timelapse video made public by the city of Amsterdam depicts the construction of this engineering marvel. Before constructing the garage floor and setting the massive columns that had been carried in by barge to support the roof that would eventually be submerged, workers had to first drain the water from the 19th-century station.
Around half of the 200,000 daily visitors to Amsterdam's Centraal Station arrive by bicycle. The other half arrive by train, ferry, tram, bus, and subway.
They used to park in many of the disorganised above-ground bike racks that are still located around the station and will be taken out in the coming weeks, as per the outlet's report. Locals view these as stinking monuments that frequently have no open spaces due to a high number of partially abandoned bicycles, despite the fact that the largest of these is so enormous that it has become a tourist attraction in and of itself. As a result, regular commuters run the risk of having their bikes impounded by locking them to adjacent trees, street lamps, and signposts or by placing them on any free slab of concrete, which raises the likelihood that they will be stolen.
The brand-new underwater parking structure is spotless and has definite 2001: A Space Odyssey vibes, at least for the time being, said Thomas Ricker from The Verge. He observed several dozen OVFiets bikeshares and possibly a few hundred personal bicycles available for rental inside the facility, which is staffed around the clock. The facility also has a daily cleaning crew hard at work and a few amiable staff members prepared to explain how everything operates.
The first 24 hours of parking at the garage are free; after that, it costs $1.46 each day. That makes it handy for folks who commute every day and serves as a powerful incentive for people to swiftly remove their bicycles.
The above-ground entrance of the underwater garage is designated by a sizable blue sign and bicycle logo, making it obvious from a considerable distance.
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