What is a dense city like Tokyo to do when it runs out of space for cyclists to park their bikes? Build a bicycle parking tower! At about the 40 second mark, you’ll see what I mean.
I don’t remember seeing a lot of cyclists on the streets when I visited Tokyo a couple years ago, but I do remember the clusters of parked bikes that lined the sidewalks when I was in Osaka. What surprised me was how many of them were left unlocked. A number of the bikes also had yellow cards attached to their handles — these were parking tickets, my Japanese friend informed me, most of which would be ignored. With few other places to put their bikes, it seemed cyclists had no choice but to ignore the laws that dictated where they could park. (Perhaps readers who have spent more time in Japan can provide more insight into the cycling culture there.)
As neat as this tower is, right now I’d be happy just to see a few more ring-and-posts here in Toronto. As more and more people begin to ditch their car (or, in my case, streetcar) for a bike, however, providing bicycle parking spaces will soon need to be taken a lot more seriously. Could a bicycle parking tower be the answer?