The design studio I’m leading at UTAS passed another milestone yesterday, with the submission of 60 different proposals for 15000sqm office buildings. If the Bicycle Oriented Planning principles surrounding the project were to work as we hope, over 1000 bikes could arrive at this building each morning.
There are train stations and universities in the Netherlands that cope with that crunch, most by laying welcome mats of bent steel at the door, and some by the simple provision of basement bike parking. Dutch architects assume everyone will come on old beater bikes, with saddles not worthy of stealing. The Dutchman who wants to commute a long way, on a bike with more expensive components, or using an eBike, is often harassed by building managers who are understandably paranoid about everyone wanting to bring their bike into the office. This has the effect of making more people drive or add to the congestion on trains.
Here are some renders by Benjamin Cripps, whose solution would be automated bike retrieval systems beneath the forecourts of every new office building. Give each forecourt a glass cover, likewise cover the bike paths radiating out from the building, and disguise the heads of the retrieval systems within high-tech glass boxes, and your incentives to cyclists have miraculously dematerialised into the corporate glassiness of their surroundings. Another idea is to protect steel framing from fire using a very expensive intumescent paint, in order to expose the material and joints we likewise fetishise when we gaze upon our bicycle frames.