Being confronted with a large number of bicycles near the Groningen railway station, the local government introduced its bicycle parking City Balcony" ("Stadsbalkon" in Dutch). Its realisation, organisation and use are designated as a classic example of cycle parking in the Netherlands.
Background & Objectives
In 2001, after handling the traffic routes and bus station, the city wanted
- to improve the bicycle parking facilities near the railway station
- to reconstruct the square in front of the Groningen railway station
Being confronted with large amounts of bicycles near the Groningen railway station, the city of Groningen introduced in 2006 its bicycle parking "City Balcony" (or "Stadsbalkon" in Dutch).
"City Balcony" is a large covered space located below the square in front of the Groningen railway station where bicycles can be stored at two levels. The project costs were estimated up to 10 million euro’s. The project started in autumn 2006 and was finalised in January 2007.
The "City Balcony":
- is designed to be an accessible space with a lot of daylight where cyclists feel safe to store their bike;
- is constructed with large cycling lanes and so-called "trees" inside the parking space enhancing this feeling of safety;
- is located at a short distance from the platforms;
- offers room to up to 4 150 bicycles;
- offers bike storage for free.
Visitors and inhabitants of the city feel more comfortable and secure using their bicycle for their daily trips as they know they can store their (sometimes expensive) bike safely.
The cycle parking proves to be a huge success:
- because of its "airy" construction cyclists feel save to store their bike.
- further it is a guarded cycle parking with no cost and the number of bicycle thefts in the area dropped from 6 to 1 or 2 a day.
- The "City Balcony" proves to be very popular with the ever increasing number of students in the city of Groningen.