February 28, 2014

Anti-seismic (and Anti-theft) Bike Parking

Why is all the coolest bike infrastructure always elsewhere? I'm thrilled about the bikeshare programs sprouting up everywhere from Denver to Miami Beach to the Big Apple, but I want a Hovenring, damn it. Or an anti-seismic underground bicycle park like the ones currently in operation across Japan. (I'm amused that Time clarified "anti-seismic" as "code for earth-quake resistant." Seems like a reasonably transparent term to me...)
Each of Giken Ltd.'s ECO Cycles stores upwards of 200 bicycles below street level, away from both the elements and potential thieves. What I like best about the video below is the bit about the research Giken did to figure out how to squeeze as many bikes as possible into the available real estate (without compromising the automated removal of the stowed cycles, of course). It reminds me of the sorts of packing problems mathematicians ponder—except with a practical application that I can immediately grasp.

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