We're all aware that bike-riding is pretty popular in the Netherlands. In Utrecht, 96 per cent of households have one or more bikes at home, and 43% of all journeys shorter than 7.5km are made by bicycle. And when it comes to those longer journeys that require them to hop on a train, an estimated 40 per cent of people make their way to the major train stations on bike too. This month saw the opening of the first part of a new parking garage for the city's most popular vehicles. It currently offers space for 6,000 bicycles and its capacity is due to be extended by another 6,500 parking spots by the end of 2018, making it the biggest parking garage - solely for bicycles - in the world.
Located underneath the city's central train station, it's part of the urban planning project CU2030 that started in 2008 and is planned to run until 2020. The first 24 hours of parking are free, after which a fee of 1.25 EUR per day is charged. And although 12,500 bicycle parking spots might sound impressive enough, after construction is finished, planners will already have to be start thinking about where they can find more space.
In the Netherlands there are 1.3 bikes to every inhabitant and the proportion of traffic that is made up of bicycles is also consistently on the rise. The Hague, Delft and Amsterdam are also planning to build huge cycle garages with around 5,000 to 8,000 parking spaces.
A Tour Through Utrecht's Bicycle Parking Lot
Feel like spending more time on two wheels? Check out our pick of the best cycling apps here.
This article is a translation by Marisa Pettit of the original which first appeared on our German-language site.