Tel Aviv mulls underground bicycle parking lots

Underground bicycle parking in Amsterdam Photo: Shutterstock ASAP Creative

A survey shows that one reason why people stop riding bicycles to work is lack of secure parking.

The Tel Aviv Local Planning and Building Commission recently discussed a revision of Plan 8 for Tel Aviv parking standards. The revision expands the plan to accommodate construction of underground public bicycle parking.

A survey of bicycle riders conducted by the Israel Bicycle Association found that one of the main reasons why people stop riding bicycles to work is the lack of an organized and secure parking place. In order to illustrate the matter, 25,000 bicycles were stolen in Tel Aviv in 2016, 24% of the total number.

Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Meital Lehavi, who holds the City Council transportation portfolio, explains that the plan under discussion arose from the realization that bicycle riders had a problem and that encouragement of bicycle riding and use of public transportation requires suitable parking near bus stations, the light rail, cultural institutions, and Tel Aviv University. "The program, began with a study I initiated that revealed that there were more and more cases of bicycles being stolen. No less important is the quality of the public space, which has been affected by disorderly parking in all sorts of places. I believe that spacious parking lots should be provided in municipal areas that will make it possible to arrive without a vehicle," Lehavi declared.

She added, "The district outline plan bars construction of elevated parking lots for both cars and bicycles. We had offers from commercial concerns, which we turned down. Parking belongs underground next to the mice and the rats."

Plan 8, which dates to 1992, states that developers can obtain building permits without providing parking if they pay into a parking fund. The municipality can use the fund to build a parking lot 500 meters from the project location.

The revision of Plan 8, devised by architect Chen Ivgi of the ARC78 firm, is actually a planning procedure that allows construction of underground bicycle parking lots in all areas of the city.

Shira Spokojny from the Tel Aviv municipality engineering administration says, "This is a new mutation. These parking facilities have never been seen before in Israel. We have infrastructure for bicycles, bicycle paths, but there is no parking solution. There are parking solutions in the private sphere, but this initiative combines underground parking of roads and parking. The statutory problem was the obstacle that prevented us from creating these parking facilities."

Spokojny takes care to make it clear that the plan is in principle; there are no definite specific places yet where it will be carried out. "In any case, this will be determined according to the demand and will be coordinated with the city architect," she notes.

Israel Bicycle Association director Yotam Avizohar says that many places in the world have a standard for bicycle parking. "Bicycle parking lots are an excellent solution and even generate demand. As soon as there is a secure place to park bicycles, you see the demand for them increase. It's like opening fitness rooms and footpaths; all of a sudden, everybody is working out. There are all sorts of solutions; there are elevated parking lots and underground parking lots. I myself take every part that can stolen off my bicycle. A secure parking space that will protect the bicycle is a great thing," Avizohar says.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 7, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Underground bicycle parking in Amsterdam Photo: Shutterstock ASAP Creative
Underground bicycle parking in Amsterdam Photo: Shutterstock ASAP Creative
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