With urban cities not having enough street space for setting up proper bike storage infrastructure, the problem of overcrowding and illegal parking can cause potential hazards for emergency situations and general pedestrian navigation. in japan, an earthquake-resistant underground bike parking system has been developed by giken to help resolve the issue, approaching the situation through their design concept, which is based on culture above ground, and function underground. known as the ‘eco cycle’, the project is engineered as individual cylindrical shaped structures measuring 8.5m x 11.6m below the street surface, where a mechanically operated carrier lifts and organizes bikes into any of the open 204 stalls. the design utilizes a staggered arrangement with loading pallets that maximize the amount of storage with a minimal spatial footprint.
City dwellers know the worst part about commuting via bike is the dearth of secure places to stow your ride. Some municipalities, like Montreal or Vancouver, are introducing bike share programs that partially address issues of theft and space, but nothing compares to Japan’s genius approach to the problem.
Called ‘Eco Cycle’, the bike parks’ concept consists of a “robotic valet system”—where riders submit their bicycles to the machine for it to be parked underground, in exchange for a ticket.
This underground automated parking system ensures the bike’s safety, and protects the bikes from getting stolen and vandalized, and from the bad weather.
With one machine able to hold up to 200 bicycles, Eco Cycle also allows more space on the surface for other things—which makes the city appear “cleaner”.
To retrieve their bikes, users just have to scan their ticket for the machine to identify the bike and return it to the surface within seconds.
Users just have to be careful not to lose their ticket.
Access to the system isn’t free, but it’s much more affordable than getting your bicycle stolen. A month-long membership costs 2,600 yen, about $26, and students receive a fifty-percent discount. Members will then receive an RFID card which they use to insert and retrieve their bikes.