The large number of bicycles and e-scooters is forcing municipalities and the Ministry of Transport to create bicycle paths in order to separate the bikes and scooters from pedestrians. Another problem is parking places for the bikes and scooters when they are not in use, which requires planning and special infrastructure.
The Ministry of Transport now requires bicycle parking for every building, whether residential, office, or public. Zvika Rusho, CEO of Rusho Engineering and Development, which is managing the Dan Town project, the commercial section of BSR City in Petah Tikva, and the nearby Shop Time project, believes that ten times more parking spaces are required than the Ministry of Transport's regulations call for.
Not all buildings take into account all of the riders' needs, including convenient charging of e-scooters and guarding and protection of the expensive bicycles and scooters. Rusho says that a parking lot with 2,000 spaces for bicycles is being built in the Dan Town project, together with showers and charging stations.
"Globes": One of the advantages of e-scooters and e-bicycles is compactness. Can't they be taken into the office?
Rusho: "In my opinion, no self-respecting office building should allow e-bicycles in the elevators. Considerations of dirt and maintenance of the building also mean that they should be left below where there are electrical outlets and they are under guard.
"Today, I see people walking around with their batteries in most office buildings. In the large high-tech companies, they have already realized that there is a challenge here, and have set up an organized bike cage," says Yossi Shalev, CEO of management company Waxman Govrin Geva.
Rusho: "In the near future, a parking space for bicycles will cost money. The advantage of the spaces we're building is that the employees will be able to park quietly, without having to sneak the e-scooter or e-bicycle into the elevator and chain them up in the office. They can simply go to a regular parking lot for NIS 80-100 a month."
How did you arrive at that price?
"According to the cost of operating such a facility, in which they can charge the battery and take a shower before going up to the office."
Real estate appraiser Gil Maayan, CEO of Mekdan Management and Maintenance, which manages properties with two million square meters of aggregate space and office buildings in Israel and Europe, agrees that traveling to office buildings on e-bicycles has important consequences. He says that riders should not be allowed to take them on elevators. "They wreck the panels in the elevators and obstruct people's movements," Maayan explains. "It causes damage and is irritating.
"Another hazard is charging the batteries at office work-stations. Standard electric boards aren't built for it. Our solution is a parking lot with passageways, areas in which a bicycle cage can be built, and a closed compound with a number of charging and locking stations that can be entered using chips. Another solution is charging boxes that a person can return to at the end of the day when the battery is fully charged."
Is this included in the management fees?
"At the beginning, it was ad hoc, and we go into the question of cost. Now, I presume that we'll charge for it at some later stage."
We are talking about office buildings. Do you think that this will be part of the upgrading and the management fees for residential buildings in the future?
"Absolutely. It's unavoidable."
What if an occasional user wants to use the facility?
Rusho: "We're already thinking about parking for occasional users. In the future, part of the parking lot will be allocated for this at a nominal price. The need is clear."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 13, 2019
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