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ALADIN – Parking facilities for cargo bikes in neighbourhoods

Even in German cities cargo bikes are becoming increasingly popular. Local authorities are more and more challenged to provide parking facilities in public areas.The “ALADIN” project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with financial resources for implementing the National Cycling Plan 2020 (German abbreviation: NRVP 2020), is developing recommendations for user-friendly parking facilities that combine aesthetic and functional-practical aspects.

Project background

The importance of bicycles as a transport mode has increased continuously over the last years. Especially in an urban context, there is an increasing share of cycling. On the one hand, the reasons for this are the changes in individual mobility behaviour. Coming along with this the changing attitudes result in more awareness for a new, more environmentally friendly way of mobility. On the other hand, local authorities are trying to promote cycling to achieve their own climate protection goals but also to improve their image and the quality of life in the cities on a long term. The “Renaissance of cargo bikes” should also be seen against this background.

Cargo bicycles that have already been a current means of transportation at the end of the 19th century and have disappeared almost completely from our streets due to the automobile, offer a huge potential for saving CO2 emissions and other air pollutions in the context of the inner-city (commercial) transport sector.

Right now, there is an increasing number of cargo bikes in German cities. Evidence for this “comeback” is also the demand for municipal buyer´s premiums for cargo bikes that are offered from cities like Berlin and Munich. The increase of cargo bikes intensifies the pressure to provide parking facilities in the public. Those parking facilities are necessary to create the conditions for getting a larger amount of cargo bikes in the cities. This is, where the NRVP-promoted project “ALADIN – parking facilities for cargo bikes in the neighbourhoods” starts, which will be processed from 01 January 2020 until 31 September 2021 by the Transport and Spatial Planning Institute at the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences.

Goal of the research project

In the context of the project, the project team is developing recommendations for user-friendly parking facilities for cargo bikes in the public space. Especially the increasing use of cargo bikes by private persons strengthens the necessity of providing parking facilities in the closely built-up city centres of the municipals. Beside the high purchase costs for those bikes, the lack of parking facilities is a big burden for the users. Because of missing, unsafe or difficult-to-reach parking facilities, the cargo bikes are losing their attractiveness and potentials for the promotion of sustainable mobility is lost.

The project observes the problem from two perspectives: First, the perspective of the functional-practical aspects of the traffic planning – like the determination of requirements, the redetection of parking spaces or regulations for use. Second, the aesthetic aspects of the design of parking facilities so that the facility will fit into the streetscape. The central point of the study is the urban design integration of parking facilities in the public space. Therefore design guidelines will be developed. The project cooperates with pilot municipals (Munich, Leipzig, Nordhausen, Hanover region) that reflect the various urban design concepts as comprehensive as possible and follows the strategic aim of promoting the bicycle as a sustainable mode of transport.

Desired result

As a result of the project a planning guide for user-friendly parking facilities in public spaces will be published. A long-term goal is the installation of pilot parking facilities based on the recommendations. Through a cooperation with pilot municipals and the high orientation on implementation, the project has a high practical relevance.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with financial resources for implementing the National Cycling Plan 2020.