In 2007, I saw this in a residential neighborhood near central Copenhagen:
A rack for 10 bicycles had grown where an on-street car parking space had been. In Copenhagen, where 50 percent of residents commute by bike, on-street bicycle parking was a sensible idea -- fit 10 bikes where one car could go, thus freeing up the sidewalk from a cluster of parked cycles.
Fast-forward several years, and Copenhagen parking has grown up to bigger and pinker things:
This car-shaped storage unit provides secure, rainproof space for four cargo bicycles in a space equivalent to 1.5 vehicle parking spots.
On-street parking takes up a lot of space in North American cities: 5 to 8 percent of all urban land, according to UCLA urban planning professor Donald Shoup. If parking reforms -- like pricing on-street spaces -- reduce the need for curb parking in our cities, what will we do with all that extra space?
As it turns out, Northwestern cities are already trying out some exciting new ideas. In this article, we’ll look at four things parking can grow up to become: bike corrals, International PARK(ing) Day, parklets, and café seating.
In Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, this car-shaped bicycle rack creatively reminds people just how many cycles can fit in a space formerly used to park one car: