Inventory and needs analysis for bicycle parking
Increased bicycling is positive, both for cities and the individual. City life is enhanced by cyclists; they create movement and vibrancy, and bikes offer a quick and environmentally friendly way of transportation. The city of Gothenburg, located on the Swedish west coast, has a vision to become a more bike friendly city: the goal is to triple the number of bicycle trips from 2020 to 2030. The process of creating a better cycling environment consists of a number of different areas, and in this assignment AFRY has focused on one of these: parking.
Bicycle parking is an important part of the basic infrastructure, which should make it easy and safe to choose the bike over other means of transportation. AFRY was commissioned to carry out an inventory and a needs analysis, in order to identify deficiencies and needs for the bicycle parking in Gothenburg. The findings will be used when planning and implementing upcoming investments.
“More and more cities are conducting inventories on bicycle parking and bike lanes. What’s new here is that we are providing analyses with GIS tools in order to get fact-based evidence of the actual needs – we are not just guessing,” says Joakim Bjerhem, one of AFRY’s consultants in the project.
Implementing the inventory and needs analysis
AFRY carried out an inventory of bicycle parking in five districts in Gothenburg and determined both where bicycle parking stations were located and where bikes were spontaneously parked. Additionally, we examined different types of bicycle racks, number of spots, capacity utilisation, if the bicycle racks were damaged and if the parking stations had lightning or not.
The needs analysis assessed which locations are prioritised for bicycle parking. Based on GIS-based urban building analyses throughout the whole central city, places and paths with high theoretical accessibility for bicycle trips were highlighted. Subsequently, places and paths were weighed against concentrations of target points, workplaces and population base to determine where the need to stop when travelling by bike should arise.
Recommendations for future investments
The assignment resulted in a number of recommendations regarding which places in the city that should be prioritised and what future investments should contribute to. The recommendations include, among other things, improving access to bicycle parking, replacing front wheel racks with more secure alternatives and continuously evaluating the city’s bicycle parking. In order for cities to achieve their goals of increased cycling, we need both strategic localization of bicycle racks – based on people’s needs – and properly designed racks that fit all types of bikes, from small children’s bicycles to large cargo bikes.
“A common reason why people quit cycling is that their bike is stolen. Therefore, bicycle parking must be available where we know the needs exist – not where we think they are,” Joakim Bjerhem concluded.