Japan is a nation of 127 million people and 72 million bicycles. While its pedalling population is boosting — around 14 percent of all journeys in Tokyo are made by bicycle, compared to 2 percent in London and 1 percent in New York — the capital city is having a hard time to keep up in terms of infrastructure with illegally parked bicycles popping up like mushrooms. Read more on how Japanese manufacturer Giken is helping to address this issue:
Bicycle is an easy-to-ride transportation. Recently it is getting a lot of attention as a no emission vehicle. Despite the fact, many things are still left unsolved in Japan. Bicycle roads are not popular, yet. Land values are too high to develop appropriate capacity bicycle parking. That is why illegal parking is found anywhere at footpath in an urban area. Those parked bicycles spoil surrounding sight and bother ambulance access and fire-fighting operations. It is considered to be a social problem.
ECO Cycle is an automated mechanical underground parking lot. Giken aggregated its own long-term experience of press-in technologies and developed the ECO Cycle with the design concept of “Culture Aboveground, Function Underground”. If bicycle parking is available near final destination, people use the facility more often. It eventually eliminates nuisance parking at footpath. Such space at footpath can be utilised for cultural activities.
The operation of storage and retrieval of bicycles is fully automated by computer control. Since the operation procedure is given with visual and audio instructions, it is simple to use even for the first time users and the elderly. Additionally, it has excellent safety features by using various sensors and safety equipment.
Because bicycles are stored in a confined underground space (with a capacity of 204 bicycles), security is high and there is no risk of theft or vandalism.
The pressed-in sheet piles used in the construction of ECO Cycle can be removed, relocated and reused at another location. They may also be used for a completely different structural purpose. This way ECO Cycle is “a functional structure” that is environmentally conscious and has a function-based reusable life cycle.