If you’ve ever seen The Bicycle Thief, you know how painful it is to have your bike stolen. For some people, the bicycle is the basis for their well-being, and with bike theft continually on the rise, practical innovations must continue to be made in order to protect bikes. This means that locks have to become stronger, and storage facilities have to become smarter.
Treehugger recently posted a list of seven different innovative municipal bike storage structures, all of which can make cycling safer and more practical in cities around the world. Commuters and visitors to cities who want their bikes protected from the elements – natural, human, and otherwise – greatly appreciate such well-engineered structures. They also send out a message on behalf of the host cities: please ride your bike, we encourage it. If a city encourages cycling, more people will feel safe riding their bikes, which means more people buying bikes, using bikes, getting healthier, and driving less.
The structures on Treehugger’s list include Washington D.C.’s Bicycle Transit Center, Edogawa Ward Kasai Bicycle Parking in Japan, the proposed Bicycle Tower in Malmö, Brazil’s $5-per-month Ascobike, Amsterdam’s MacBike, The Bicycle Cellar in Tempe, Arizona, and the easily-recognizeable B-Igloo in eight different Spanish cities. All of these structures are technologically innovative, promote bicycle riding, and are relatively affordable.
Most of these structures are found outside the US because Americans still have an aversion to cycling, though cities like like Chicago, San Francisco, and even Boulder, Colorado often appear on bike-friendly city lists. As Green philosophy continues to rise and become more widely accepted, the world’s opinion about cycling will also continue to change. And, unlike other products of the industrial age, cycling is still relatively the same as it has been since its inception.
Though, even if cycling hasn’t changed that much, the technologies that surround it have, which is perhaps a good thing for cyclists in a changing world. Bike storage is important, and cities send a good sign to cyclists when they promote practical ideas for bike storage. Plus, if a storage unit is well-designed, it also can become somewhat of a tourist destination – and who can complain about tourist revenue?