Cycling Visionaries Awards – Project Details



Most transportation bicycles on streets simply caused the present failure of integration between bicycles and public transit. They had effectively reduced efforts of all cities to promote cycling as the major transportation mode. We need innovative design of bicycles and new storage methods to handle huge numbers of bicycles in cities. A real GREEN TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM is proposed.

In Canada, the City of Vancouver (population: 730,000) shares its public transit system with Metro Vancouver Region (population: 2,300,000). In 2012, the City of Vancouver’s superbly executed urban planning resulted in City residents choosing to use bicycles for 12.1% of all their trips. However, in Metro Vancouver, bicycle trips made up a dismal 1.8% of all Metro residents’ trips. These statistics show that the two-thirds majority, farther away, automobile-driving Metro residents require: (1) quadruple bicycle carrying capacity on buses and rapid transit trains, (2) secure and safe bicycle storage while on public transit vehicles, and (3) secure bicycle parking anywhere in the Metro Vancouver region, especially downtown. A true GREEN TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM (GTS), utilizing a special bicycle design and an innovative bicycle storage-and-transport system, is needed to meet these demands. In addition, the GTS must ultimately pay for itself.

The “stretching bicycle" is the ideal bicycle design for the GTS. "Stretching bicycles" have three different models: 16-inch, 20-inch and 26-inch wheels. All three wheel sizes combined would make up 80% of all bicycles on the streets. The most striking feature of "stretching bicycles" is the existence of a common box (interior dimensions: 105cm x 66cm x 35cm) for secured storage of any one of the three models.

On sidewalks, secured boxes can form different complexes to quadruple parking capacity of sidewalk bicycle racks. Short rows of boxes with exterior openings can be fitted onto the passenger side of buses to quadruple the present bus storage capacity of having two bicycles in front. For places needing high density bicycle parking, automated towers of slots fitting one box per slot can store larger numbers of bicycles than present means would allow. Slot complexes can be installed onto an area normally occupied by two bicycles inside a rapid transit train (240cm x 72cm, in Vancouver) for secured storage of up to ten bicycles.

An ownership ID identifies bicycle ownership and will be used to pay user fees. A bicycle ID certifies the particular bicycle passed quality inspection. An ID for each box helps to trace the box (with or without content). All three ID's, together with bicycle storage complexes, can be electronically connected through a wireless network to proper peripheral equipment in every complex and rapid transit station, thereby forming the GTS. The GTS fully integrates different wheel-sized stretching bicycles and public transit and would likely attract 30% or more of Metro residents to become system users. Cities would become far greener with properly designed bicycles and innovative solution to store and transport these bicycles.

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Ralph T. S. Shiah
Richmond, B. C., Canada

Category: Urban Planning and Urban Design

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