Space: the final frontier – how bikes free up room in cities

Space: the final frontier – how bikes free up room in cities


Some social media posts from our North Shore cohort caught our eye over the last couple of days. First, Chris Werry of Bike Devonport noticed yesterday morning that the bike racks at the ferry terminal were really, really full. So he counted the bikes: 94 of them.

Just a few of the bikes at Devonport Wharf on a weekday morning.

How many parking spaces would that have taken if each of those people had arrived in a car, he wondered? Well yes, 94 parking spaces.

But what would that look like in practice? Here’s Chris’s graphic illustration of the sheer amount of prime waterfront space taken up by vehicles, versus the sheer amount of space saved when those vehicles are bikes.

Two wheels good, four wheels… well, you’d need a second storey on that parking lot.

94 bikes (blue) vs 94 cars (red). You do the maths.
94 bikes (blue) vs 94 cars (red). You do the maths. Image: Chris Werry, Bike Devonport.

(Note too: this doesn’t take account of those who bring their bikes on the ferry to town so they’ve got easy transport on the city-side. We’d love data on this – regular users suggest up to 40 bikes per sailing, at rush hour).

Another image from Chris: 'When in Rome...' actually, don't do as they did. Piazza Navona in the bad old days.
Another image from Chris: ‘When in Rome…’ actually, don’t do as they did. Piazza Navona in the bad old days when it was using as a parking lot.
Aah, that's better. Space for people. (Pic: Wikipedia)
Aah, that’s better. Space for people, and you can see Bernini’s fountain. (Pic: Wikipedia)

Our second bike-space story this morning: our Bike Breakfast Maitre-D’ Duncan Laidlaw mentioned on Facebook that on the 6.35am ferry from Birkenhead to town, 20% of the people aboard were on bikes. That’s a bunch of people who weren’t trying to drive cars over the bridge and into and through the CBD.

We’d love to consolidate these casual observations with solid data – but if a regular traveller like Duncan is noticing a significant leap, we reckon it’s a step change. It’s transformative in itself. Now imagine adding SkyPath to the mix…

[Updated] Just to hand, another dramatic demonstration by Bike Devonport of the magic of bikes. Simply by applying a little Bike to Soccer encouragement, they’ve simultaneously filled the bike stands and emptied the car park. (D’you think people who had a smidge easier run of it down Lake Rd on a Saturday morning knew they should thank a kid on a bike?)

Voila… an empty carpark!
Hey presto, full bike stands!
Even the annex parking was full.
Even the annex bike parking was full.

What changes are you seeing around town? How are bikes transforming space in your burb? We’d love to hear your observations and see your photos!


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