Bicycle parking Stationsplein Utrecht: largest in the world
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Dutch Cycling Culture nominated for the National Intangible Heritage List (pdf, 72 kB)
About the largest bicycle parking facility in the world
Utrecht's bicycle parking facility ‘Stationsplein’ has spaces for 12,500 bicycles, which makes it the largest in the world. The Municipality of Utrecht, ProRail and NS (Dutch Railways) jointly develop and manage the bicycle parking facility Stationsplein. The three parties collaboratively ensure an easy to get to and easily-accessible station with attractive, safe and better-utilised bicycle parking facilities around Utrecht.
- 12,500 spaces
- 1,000 OV-fietsen (public transport bicycles)
- Safe, dry and right next to Utrecht Central Station
- Open 24/7
- Free parking for the first 24 hours
- Check in with your OV-chipkaart
- Unique: the only guarded parking facility in Utrecht where you can cycle through on a continuous cycle path, i.e. you can cycle in and out both sides
- There is a one-way traffic system for cyclists with a 15 km per hour speed limit for safety reasons
- Three floors: the lower and upper floors (level +1 and -1) are for day-parkers and the ground floor (level 0) is for people with subscriptions. You can easily access the platforms or the bus or the station hall towards 'Hoog Catharijne' from the bicycle parking facility
- There is a special area for slightly irregular models, such as crate bicycles and bicycles with wide handlebars. Highly irregular bicycles, such as cargo bikes, can be parked for free for the first 24 hours at the other parking facility at Utrecht Central, namely the 'Sijpesteijnstalling'
- A Bicycle & Service Point for repairs, maintenance, parts and accessories.
- Supervision by Service staff who ensure that bicycles are parked correctly and are not left for longer than 28 days
- The digital 'p-route fiets' (bicycle) space indication system directs cyclists to free spaces.
- Utrecht was the first city in which cyclists were directed to free spaces using digital signs (on the street, in six bicycle parking facilities and on an app). This system also helps monitors with enforcement
- The bicycle parking facility is a collaboration between the Municipality of Utrecht, ProRail and NS (Dutch Railways). These three parties and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management have invested in the parking facilities in terms of resources and staff deployment.
- The Municipality of Utrecht is the client for the construction of the parking facility on behalf of the parties and the owner of the largest part of the parking facility. NS owns the former 'Noorderstalling', which is now part of the 'Stationspleinstalling'. The Municipality, ProRail and NS have clear agreements about who manages and maintains what. 50% of this funding is for ProRail and 50% for the municipality.
- Costs: all parties (the Municipality of Utrecht, ProRail, NS and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management) have invested in this parking facility, both in terms of resources and in terms of staff deployment. Excluding phasing and interfaces, and the installation of the bicycle space indication system, the 'Stationspleinstalling' cost more than €30 million. ProRail paid 60% of this, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management paid 20% (through the 'Beter Benutten' programme) and the Municipality of Utrecht paid 20%. In total, these parties contributed more than €50 million to parking facilities in the Station area.
- The occupancy rate in the 1st part was between 80% and 90% on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The parking facilities were often completely full on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 5,000 extra bicycle parking spaces will be added with the opening of the 2nd part
- Around 40 employees work at the parking facility, a percentage of these employees have a disadvantage in the labour market
- Travellers give the parking facility a solid 8 when it comes to the first 24-hour free offer
- Travellers who have to catch the train prefer to park on floor -1. Travellers who work in the area surrounding the station prefer to park on floor +1
- Fixing and changing tyres are the most requested repairs in the Bicycle & Service centre
- 6,000 public transport bicycle (OV-fiets) journeys were made from the 'Stationspleinstalling' every week in 2018
- Travellers can check whether, and how many, public transport bicycles are available using the NS app
- Start of construction: November 2014
- Completion of 1st part (6,000 spaces): August 2017 and in October 2017: (total 7,500 spaces by adding 1,500 spaces)
- Completion and opening of 2nd part (total 12,500 spaces by adding 5,000 spaces): August 2019
- A total of 161 digital signs in the parking facility
- Gross floor area of only the parking is 21,373 m2> That is more than 4 football pitches! (4.3 to be exact)
- If we were to put all the bicycle places behind each other, it would be a row of 25 km long.
- The parking facility already won several prizes after the completion of the 1st part:
- Among others, the bicycle parking facility was awarded the 'Betonprijs' prize in 2017, it was the jury winner of the Architizer A+ Awards 2018 in the 'Transport' category, it was nominated for the national steel prize (nationale staalprijs) in 2018 and nominated for the Dutch Design Awards in 2019 in the 'Habitat' category. The parking facility is also on the cover of the Architecture Yearbook (Architectuurjaarboek) 2018/2019.
- Design Team:
- Architect: Ector Hoogstad Architecten
- Contractor: BAM
- Constructor: Royal HaskoningDHV
- Other parties:
- Building physics: DGMR
- Installation advisor: Royal HaskoningDHV
- Lighting advice: ARUP
- Building management: BBN
- Landscape architect for the square above: Buro Sant en Co
- The facility's gross floor space is 21,373 m2
- Sheet piles 10,000 m2
- Piles 25,000 m
- Earth moved 51,000 m3
- Concrete 17,500 m3
- Reinforcement 2,615 tons
- Prefab columns 232 units
- Prefab stairs and landings 52 units
- Timber frame construction walls 2,227 m2
- Metal cassettes 4,389 m2
- Wooden slats against wall 4,035 m2
- Screed floors 16,000 m2
- Plastic floor finish 16,000 m2
- 3 glass houses with staircases
Floor plan bicycle parking facility Stationsplein Utrecht (1,9 MB)
Questions and answers
Yes, as far as we know, Utrecht's bicycle parking facility 'Stationsplein' is the largest bike parking facility in the world.
The bicycle parking facility 'Stationsplein Utrecht’ was a collaboration between the Municipality of Utrecht, ProRail and NS (Dutch Railways) and it's the third parking facility that will be brought into use as part of the bicycle parking pilot in Utrecht (the first was the 'Jaarbeurspleinstalling', the second was the 'Knoopstalling'). The Municipality of Utrecht is the client for the construction of the parking facility on behalf of the parties and the owner of the largest part of the parking facility. NS owns the former 'Noorderstalling', which is now part of the bicycle parking facility 'Stationsplein Utrecht'. The Municipality, NS and ProRail have clear agreements about who manages and maintains what. NS is responsible for the operation of the parking facility. 50% of this funding is for ProRail and 50% for the municipality.
All the parties (The Municipality of Utrecht, ProRail, NS the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management) have invested in this parking facility (both in terms of resources and in staff deployment).
Excluding phasing, interfaces and the installation of the bicycle space indication system, the 'Stationspleinstalling' cost more than €30 million. ProRail paid 60% of this, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management paid 20% (through the 'Beter Benutten' programme) and the Municipality of Utrecht paid 20%. In total, these parties contributed more than €50 million to parking facilities in the Station area.
Due to its size, its multiple floors, its public cycle path and the fact that you can cycle in the facility, we could not predict how the facility would work in advance. We therefore investigated how signage and safety could be improved even in the initial phase. After opening the second phase, we will continue with that. In the first year, we will monitor how everything works and how it can be improved. The aim is to learn by doing and to make the parking facility more functional.
In the first part, more than 2,700 were available on the 1st floor and 1,800 were available on the ground floor (for people with subscriptions only – including 40 spaces for cargo bikes). In the basement there were more than 3,300 spaces (272 of which were for irregular model bikes in the former 'Noorderstalling').
In the second part, more than 1,500 have been added per floor.
Smakkelaarshoek 2, Utrecht.
There are two entrances and exits: towards 'Smakkelaarsveld' and towards 'Moreelsepark'.
There are approximately 1,000 public transport bicycles on floor -1 (the basement - the old 'Noorderstalling').
Why did the Municipality, ProRail and NS Stations build monitored bicycle parking facilities around Utrecht Central Station?
The Municipality of Utrecht, ProRail and NS wanted to ensure an easy-to-get-to and easily accessible station with attractive, safe and better utilised bicycle parking facilities.
The combination of bicycle and train services contributes to sustainable mobility and the city's accessibility. Utrecht has the three busiest cycle paths in the Netherlands and it's the largest public transportation hub in the country.
Has the city's future growth and the increase in the number of cyclists been factored into this bicycle parking facility?
The 'Stationspleinstalling' was built in an effort to create 22,000 bicycle parking spaces in the Station area by 2020. There will be 12,500 in this facility. In addition to the other, covered bicycle parking facilities, demand has been met for this area. In the longer run, expansion will be needed for 2025. That is being worked on now.
When will the completed cycle path be ready for both entrances to the parking facility on the 'Smakkelaarsveld' side and on the 'Moreelsepark' side?
Work is still being done on 'Hoog Catharijne' on both sides. The construction of 'Hoog Catharijne', the cycle path and the pavements will be ready by mid-2020 on the 'Smakkelaarsveld' side. This will be finished in 2021 on the 'Moreelsepark' side. We will install the cycle path on both sides at the final location as soon as there is sufficient space.
Has the municipality taken into account the quantity of cyclists and pedestrians on the cycle path on the 'Smakkelaarsveld' side coming from the 'Vredenburgknoop' going towards the entrance? Can't a zebra crossing be put in?
A pedestrian crossing on a cycle path does not offer much protection to the crossing pedestrians. Experience has shown that many cyclists ignore this type of street marking. In its completed version, the cycle path will feature a central lane of paving stones instead of red asphalt. The pedestrians can cross to the other side in two phases.
With the opening of the 2nd part, there will also be a 2nd entrance and exit on the 'Moreelsepark' side.
There are spaces for people with subscriptions on the ground floor. A standard annual subscription is 75 euros and an annual subscription for irregular models (cargo bikes) is 150 euros.
The same policy applies to the other parking facilities in the area as for the rest of this parking facility: the first 24 hours are free and, thereafter, it's €1.25 per 24-hour period for standard bikes and €2.50 for irregular models (cargo bikes).
People with subscriptions can park their bikes on the ground floor and do not need to check in and out. If you park your bike on the first floor, or in the basement, check in on the ground floor and check out on the floor on which you parked your bike. Follow the signs to the exit.
How will I find my bicycle in such a large parking facility? Will I receive a receipt/map/app on my phone? How is the huge parking facility arranged so that I can find my bike?
All rows have a number on the floor and on the wall so that you can easily find your bike again. There will be clear signage so that you can find your way around the bicycle parking facility. Tip: take a photo of your bike with a reference number to find it later.
After opening, a map will be available online at utrecht.nl/fietsparkeren and at the Bicycle & Service centre on floor 0 (the ground floor). Maps will also be distributed at the opening and during the 'Smakkelaarsveld' and 'Moreelsepark' bicycle removal campaigns in September.
Is there also room for bikes with wide handlebars/'mama bikes'/crate bikes/cargo bikes/narrow tyres/thick tyres/longer bikes?
Yes, there are special spaces for bikes with wide handlebars or a crate or slightly irregular bikes. The bike racks are a little further apart so that you can easily park your bike there. You need a subscription to be able to park highly irregular bicycles such as a cargo bikes or tricycles here. At the moment, if you want to park your cargo bike/tricycle for free, you can do so in the 'Sijpesteijnstalling' and the 'Laag Catharijnstalling' parking facilities. You can park your highly irregular bike here for free for the first 24 hours. It is an agreement between the partners that no cargo bikes can be parked for free in the 'Stationspleinstalling'.
Will there be more spaces for slightly irregular bikes (child's seat/crate bike) and cargo bikes at the 'Stationspleinstalling'?
After the opening of the 2nd part, a few spaces for slightly irregular bicycles (child's seat/crate) will be added on the ground floor at the 'Stationspleinstalling'. Because there is a lot of demand for spaces for slightly irregular bicycles (crate bicycles + bicycles with child seats), a new solution has been devised at the 'Stationspleinstalling': if OV-fietsen (public transport bicycles) are rented out on floor -1, their spaces will become available for parking slightly irregular bicycles. NS will mark these as 'flexplekken' (flexi spaces) in the parking facility with asphalt tape + communication explaining when these special spaces may be used.
No extra spaces for cargo bikes will be built. There is only room for your cargo bike if you take out a subscription. In the longer term, more space will be considered for highly irregular model bicycles (buitenmodelfietsen, BMF), but it remains a trade-off between capacity and comfort. There are more irregular model locations in the 'Knoop' and 'Sijpesteijn' bicycle parking facilities. The digital reference signs and the 'p-route fiets' (bicycle) app will send you there.
E-bikes fit into the standard racks.
Yes. Monitors ensure that the parking facilities are used correctly, that bicycles are properly in the racks and they ensure that the access to the platforms is maintained. The monitors also ensure that bicycles left in the racks for longer than 28 days are removed and that the other house rules are observed. There are also cameras in the parking facility and someone from the NS (Dutch Railways) is available 24/7.
People who use an electric bicycle, a tandem, a tricycle, a hand bike or another vehicle (not a moped car or car) can park their means of transport on the ground floor of the bicycle parking facility (in the subscription spaces). They can take the lift or escalator to 'Stationsplein' to go to Utrecht Central or 'Hoog Catharijne' from the ground floor parking facility. There are no lifts in the parking facility so people with disabilities will not be able to access the 1st floor or the basement.
Interesting Utrecht cycling videos
Utrecht: Users bicycle parking Stationsplein
Utrecht: Planning for People & Bikes, Not for Cars
You can use these photographs for publication. Please mention the name of the photographer.
Click to enlarge.
About cycling in Utrecht and the Netherlands
Other monitored bicycle parking facilities around Utrecht central station
- 'Jaarbeursplein' (4,900 spaces)
- 'Knoop' (3,000 spaces)
- 'Sijpesteijn' (1,240 spaces)
- 'Laag Catharijne' (300 spaces)
- 'Stationsplein klein' (400 spaces)> will close in the long term
Utrecht bicycle facts
It's not surprising that the largest bicycle parking facility in the world is found in Utrecht:
- It's the largest public transportation hub in the Netherlands
- 53% of all residents who cycle get to the train stations by bicycle
- The three busiest cycle paths in the Netherlands are found in Utrecht
- From the Utrecht Monitor 2018:
- 96% of households have 1 or more bicycles
- 60% goes by bike to the city center
- 87% are satisfied with the accessibility of the city center by bicycle
- An upward trend in the satisfaction of residents about guarded parking facilities at the station
- Utrecht has been in the top 3 of the world's most bicycle-friendly cities for years (Copenhagenize Index 2019)
- The only Dutch city that will have welcomed the three largest cycling races (Giro d'Italia in 2010, the Tour de France in 2015 and the Vuelta in 2020)
- Participation in the 'Tour de Force' (form of cooperation with central government)
- Participation in Living labs (sharing knowledge and experimenting with bicycle innovations)
National bicycle facts
- As a country of passionate cyclists, the Netherlands is the only country in the world that has more bicycles than inhabitants
- The bicycle plays an important role as a mode of transport as more than a quarter of all journeys made by Dutch people are by bicycle
- With the growth of travel within and between cities, the bicycle is increasingly coming into own as a fully-fledged means of transport
- Cycling is environmentally friendly, good for your health and reduces traffic jams
- The Dutch national government (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management) has made 175 million euros available for the construction and/or modification of fast bicycle routes and bicycle parking facilities. In this way, the ideal conditions for travelling by bicycle are being implemented by the central government, together with the provinces and municipalities. The ambition is to get 200,000 extra people commuting by bike
- In 2018, more than 4 million journeys were made with the 20,500 public transport bicycles (OV-fietsen). That is 800,000 more than in the previous year. Whereas there were 'only' 160,000 people with subscriptions five years ago, this figure now stands at 750,000
- There are 300 public transport bicycle collection points nationwide
- There are 530,000 bicycle parking spaces at stations nationwide, of which around 150,000 are monitored. At half of the monitored facilities, cyclists can park their bikes for free for the first 24 hours.
Infographic 'How Dutch identity derives from the cycling culture of its inhabitants'
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