In Holland’s central city Utrecht, a raised city square with space for 12,500 bicycles beneath it, became the futuristic eyecatcher of the new central railway station.
The city square itself accommodates outdoor cafes and shops. Cyclists are be able to cycle under the square, park their bike on one of three levels, and immediately gain access to the station or the town centre.
Both the square and the parking facility have clear lines of sight (no blind spots) and are properly illuminated. Each floor of the parking facility will have a parking administrator's office. The parking facility opened in 2019.
The Dutch bicycle parking garages identify vacant storage places at bicycle parkings and informs cyclists of them, as is commonly done by car parks. As soon as a bicycle is parked, built in switches in the bike racks send a signal to a computer. Various monitors in the facility show up-to-date information to cyclists about available parking spots.
The system also detects bikes which are not collected by their previous owners any more. The facility manager can see how long any particular bicycle has been parked. If that period exceeds the announced time limit of ten days, the manager can act on it. Since the start of the experiment the number of available bike storage places increased to 30% by removing abandoned bicycles. All of this creates a more efficient use of bike storage places.
Utrecht is not the only city with a multiple storie, full electronical functional parking garage.
Good chances you will come across one when making your cycling tour in the Netherlands!