This Beta Project will look at whether we can better support people in storing their bicycles outside their homes.
If commenting on social media please add #BikeHangarBeta to help us follow what people think of the idea, and all feedback and suggestions!
Beta Project Stage A – Awareness (of issue / opportunity)
- We (Dublin City Council) have strongly committed to prioritising increasing cycling in Dublin in the current 2011-2017 Dublin City Development Plan.
“…place a [strong] emphasis on sustainable forms of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport, particularly for short trips and journeys to work and school.”
- People are finding ways of storing their bicycles…but very often in less-than-ideal ways. These likely are discouraging cycling and may be seen by some as a signal that Dublin City doesn’t regard cycling as a high-priority form of transport.
- Multiple-bicycle households – whether multiple adults, different bicycle types (commuting and sports for example), or families with children – are probably not an option for many people due to storage issues. Ie people are possibly having to currently choose between bicycle transport and other items – such as having space in their entrance hall.
- Larger bicycle types – such as cargo bikes – are probably not an option for many people due to storage issues.
— Cian Ginty (@cianginty) January 6, 2013
- Is there an unfairness in the current system – whereby residents can pay to park one type of private transport on public property near their home, but not another type of private transport? (And if so, is it only a factor in this case as the transport in question is one which we’re actively trying to encourage as opposed to discourage?)
- Is there a wider implication in terms of encouraging walking in Dublin City by looking to remove unnecessary obstructions that get in the way of walking being a simple, enjoyable experience?
- Are there also wider implications of encouraging people to live nearer/in the city-centre, precisely where there’s higher number of apartments and also smaller houses and gardens/yards. Helping people to free up their small back gardens/yards for liveability items such as children playing, gardening, having barbecues, etc is a hugely important step towards that aim.
As a form of inspiration it could be useful to think about bicycle-parking in a similar way to the Daintree Building. Bicycle-parking is placed on ground level and in the centre of the courtyard (it’s behind those plants to the right) and so it’s highly convenient and it becomes a doddle to simply grab your bike on your way out of your apartment. It feels central to the ethos and local atmosphere and is treated with huge respect and even a sense of fun (the back wall of the bicycle-parking was decorated by an artist with waste materials).
Beta Project Stage B – Baseline (situation today)
If you look around Dublin’s residential streets you’ll see lots of bicycles…
- Outside apartments, and houses split into several flats.
- Getting in the way of easily moving down the path (below also with household waste).
- People having to carry their bicycles up and down steps.
- In front gardens.
- Stored in back yards – which both takes up valuable space in tiny back yards and can cause nuisance issues such as leaving mud trails.
- Locked in unsuitable ways.
- At risk of damage or theft.
- Stored in the hallways of houses, apartments, and communal hallways to apartments.
- Stored in garden sheds (where they’re safer but awkward to get to, and once awkward, less likely to be used as a form of transport).
We collaborated with City Intersections also and the idea of providing bike hangars emerged as one of the top 3 items for the people that attended. (See the pic below.)
Beta Project Stage C – Creative (solutions)
We’re going to explore the policy of allowing residents park bicycles better onstreet, and we’ll be placing one bike hangar on a street in Dublin.
- As a citywide issue/opportunity and is looking at policy/procedures/product (policy in this case) we’ll explore it as a Beta Project macro.
- Whilst bicycle-parking is a wider city issue and we could also discuss people parking their bicycle when out-and-about, or businesses looking for parking for employees on bicycles, we’re going to limit this discussion to residents on residential streets only.
There are various forms of bike hangars (click on the below images for more info on each one or their supplier), so we’re not too worried about that aspect – we want to focus on discussion around the policy and if/how it should be done.
Beta Project Stage D – Decide (on which solutions to prioritize)
We’re looking for a household somewhere nearish to Dublin City Council’s Civic Offices to trial a bike hangar for a few months.
Just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (don’t comment below with your personal info!!) with this info if you’re interested…
- Your name
- Your address
- How many people are in your household (eg 2 adults, 1 child)
- How many bikes and types of bike you have (eg 1 cargo bike, 3 ‘normal’ bikes)
We’ll make a decision before the end of August, and it’ll simply be based on what we reckon is the best mix of usefulness for the trial…so don’t worry, there won’t be hoops to jump through. Naturally though, we’ll look for feedback and suggestions from you and your neighbours before, during, and after the trial.
Beta Project Stage E – Effect, Evolve, Evaluate (the trial)
We’ve ordered one of the below bike hangars from CycleHoop.
They can be used singly…
…in doubles…and linked in with street trees…
…can be placed at right angles to the road…
However it’s important to note that this Beta Project is about whether we should use onstreet hangars/lockers as a city at all…and if so in general how to do it. If we decide the answer to that is “yes”, then later we can look at the best type of lockers/hangars to use…and chances are there may be different solutions for different locations/situations.
The initial trial will be 1 hangar, 1 household, 3 months.
- Should residents be allowed to get a permit to store their bicycle as well as their car on the public street? If so, why? If not, why not?
- Cars move and so only sometimes take up space on a street, and equally sometimes you may be able to park outside your house, sometimes not. Bike hangars are fixed always taking up street space. and they’ll also have a fixed location. A highly-used car might be off-street for say 12 hours a day, with most household cars nearer the city centre being used much less frequently. So a car is probably parked on the residential street something like 50-95% of the time. With that assumption and factoring in that the above bike hangar only occupies about 50% of a car space, it’s likely that a bike hangar actually occupies the SAME or LESS street space than an average car. For simplicity of this trial, we’re going to consider it ‘using up’ the same amount of public street as a car.
- That a hangar will be considered in the same manner as a car…ie that a hangar is simply associated with an address, whether for 1 bicycle or 6. (That 1 bicycle might be a ‘standard’ bike or it might be a cargo bike occupying almost the entire hangar.) This is simple for the user and also for the Council (it fits very well with our current ‘resident parking permit‘ format). However let’s also discuss the method that other cities use – for example in London, you can simply rent one bike space in the hangar – so there can be up to 6 keyholders for a single hangar.
- Going with our very simple model, we’d look at €50 per annum/€80 per 2 years for the permit (to use the public street space). Ie the same as the current ‘resident parking permit‘ format.
- That the resident will ‘rent’ the hangar itself. Our one hangar costs just under €5000 and has a 10-year warranty. So based on these figures, the rental would be about €500 per annum. However bulk-purchases and delivery of hangars would reduce this, or there may also be ways of subsiding it.
- That would give mean a cost of approx €500 per annum to store up to 6 bicycles.
- However, who should pay to insure and maintain the hangars?
- That hangars are for storing bicycles only. (We’re thinking of moped, motorbikes, household waste, surfboards, Christmas trees, etc.) What if people park non-bicycles in it? Does it matter? Why/why not?
- There may be health & safety items to consider like proximity to corners, the direction in which they open and how easy it is for people to put their bikes in.
- There may be location items to look at – such as ensuring that hangars aren’t located where they leave a (useless to everyone) half-car-space remaining.
- Will there be aesthetics items to look at? For example, people might not like the appearance of hangars on their street, or perhaps they’ll gather litter.
- Will they affect city services such as access to services or leaves gathering in autumn and blocking drains?
A few SIDENOTES here purely to try to ensure excellent discussion of the topic…
- In your comments please try to uses phrases such as “people on bicycles” rather than “cyclists”. The latter tends to imply that the don’t do anything but cycle, the former reminds you that they’re a person. It also helps convey that a minute before getting on that bicycle they were probably a “pedestrian” and later that evening they may just as likely might be a “driver”.
- Also just for clarity to pre-empt “cyclists don’t pay road tax” arguments which can sometimes accompany bicycle+roadway discussions: Public roads are paid for from central taxes. There’s no such thing as “road tax”, there indeed are “emissions taxes” – ie it’s a polluter-pays tax. That’s why electric cars pay less for example, and it’s also why electric cars are equally entitled to use a road as much as another car which just happens to pay a higher emissions tax. As bicycles don’t emit any global warming gases, they don’t pay any emissions tax. Knowing that, this is irrelevant but still worth saying – the majority of people on bicycles (in Ireland) also own a car, drive, and pay for the emissions tax on their car. Finally, most studies show that when people drive they’re a net-burden on the economy, when they cycle they’re a net-gain on the economy (whilst also noting that people have tons of good reasons for needing to drive in Ireland). You might like to read IPayRoadTax.com – it’s UK-orientated, but in most of the relevant ways is just as valid reading in Ireland.
Beta Project Stage F – Formalise (the outcomes and policy)
This stage has not been reached yet, and we’ll update it once we do.
You can follow all Beta Projects as they progress here.