Kenniscentrum voor fietsbeleid

Town centres

As is the case near train stations, the concentration of large numbers of parked bicycles is an awkward problem in many town centres. It is not easy to find sufficient space, nor to prevent hindrance to other visitors of the town centre. In general the aim is for many town centres and high streets to have as few bicycles parked on the street as possible, at least at the busiest shopping times. Concentrating the bicycles in a limited number of locations is often the objective. Often - and preferably - at the edge of the shopping district, immediately adjoining bicycle routes to the town centre. In guarded parking facilities (which automatically provide the desired concentration), but also on sizeable parking locations with unguarded stands.

An overview of the range of policy options surrounding bicycle parking is provided by Bicycle parking policies in town centres. It is also obvious that decisions on allowing bicycles to be parked in shopping districts is closely linked to decisions on allowing cycling there. In actual practice mismatches between these two issues  can be observed (no parking, but cycling allowed; parking allowed, cycling not), but this is generally not very logical. An empirical guideline has evolved concerning allowing cycling in shopping areas: When can cyclists and pedestrians no longer mix?

In the range of measures there occurs quite often a ban on parking bicycles in shopping streets. Awkward for cyclists requiring but a single purchase. Lately it has become obvious that honey is more effective than vinegar - honey mainly consisting of free guarded parking facilities on good central locations: Free and guarded in actual practice (Gratis bewaakt in de praktijk). This is one way of ensuring that bicycle parking policy in town centres does not evolve into anti-bicycle policy. This tendency can still be observed regularly, although it is remarkable that retailers clearly prefer cyclists: Retailers realise importance of cycling to shops (Detailhandel ziet belang van fietsen naar de winkel). A win-win situation: more local cyclists means more car parking capacity for regional visitors.

Godfried de Graaff - dolte stedenbouw e.a. , Gemeente Utrecht
2010 Parking bicycles inside the Albert Heijn supermarket instead of in front. A red carpet marking the entrance to a bicycle parking facility. Or a car parking space transformed into a parking space for ten bicycles. Some of the many suggestions to be found in Inspiratieboek Fietsparkeren, by dolte stedenbouw as commissioned by Utrecht local authorities.
Karin Broer , Fietsverkeer nr. 18
2008 Short survey of a number of towns where guarded bicycle parking was made free of charge.
Frank Borgman, Fietsersbond , Fietsersbond
2010 Fietsersbond investigated in Fietsbalans among others the bicycle parking provisions in 43 towns. There proved to be a large shortage of bicycle stands in over a third of the various cycling destinations.
Martijn te Lintelo, Gemeente Nijmegen
2009 Evaluation by Nijmegen local authorities of the 2007 bicycle parking policy. The situation in the town centre is satisfactory; in the station area not yet.
Notice 2001 A study into the choices for cyclists in town centres in favour of guarded, unguarded or stand-alone parking.