Automated bike parking garage – very cool

Amid the biking craze in many cities around the world, if you’ve been biking around urban destinations lately, such as the DC neighborhood of Adams Morgan, you may find parking at a premium. In Japan, 700,000 people bike everyday, more than in the U.S., so one can imagine bike parking can be an unprecedented drag. Of course, the Japanese have already used their renowned technical ingenuity to not only solve this problem, but encourage even more people to bike.

The ward government of Edogawa invested $67 million to build a 9400-bike automated bicycle parking garage (see the video above) around its main commuter train station that allows you to both drop off your bike and pick it up in about 10 seconds. For those familiar with car and bike sharing, it involves the swipe of a magnetic card, which costs a mere $18/month.

It’s already resulted in a 20% spike in neighborhood bike use around the Edogawa station.

Btw, check out the ‘bike-friendly stairs’ in the video. They sure have got it going for bicyclists over there.

For a more extensive portrayal of the bicycling economy around the world, peruse the Washington Post article, For Bicyclists, a Widening Patchwork World.