Cycling Visionaries Awards – Project Details

Bikehangar: 1 car = 12 bike spaces

Bikehangar: 1 car = 12 bike spaces

Smarthangars are a compact communal bike storage solution that can be installed in any existing car parking space, providing those living or working locally places to securely store their bicycles.
Operated by secure smart card system, the design allows spaces to be rented out for long term or short term use, creating a sustainable economic model for bike storage in the city.

Bicycle theft and the lack of secure cycle parking is a huge problem facing many cities. This is one of the major inhibitors to the growth of cycling and research has shown that a third of those who have experienced theft stop cycling.

Bicycle shelters and lockers offer the best security by fully enclosing the whole bike away from potential thieves. However it is often expensive and difficult to find space to install these large and bulky structures in our crowded cities.

Where can we find space for bicycle parking? If we look at our streets, cars often line up both sides of the road. These large machines take up large amounts of space and make our streets less permeable.

The solution is to convert these readily available car parking spaces into bicycle parking.

1 car = 12 bicycle spaces

The ‘Smarthangar’ is a compact communal bike locker that can fit into a car parking space. Each unit can store 6 bicycles and two units can fit into a single car parking bay providing 12 bicycle spaces. Similar in size to a small car, the Smarthangar is designed to be unobtrusive and blends into the surroundings.

By removing a single car space, 12 drivers could potentially take up cycling therefore removing 12 vehicles from the road. By encouraging people to drive less and cycle more, the Smarthangars help reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and improve people’s health.

Traditionally, cycle stands are installed on the pavement. By installing the Smarthangar on the carriageway, pavements are kept free for pedestrians.

How it works

The Smarthangars are operated with a convenient smart card system allowing users to access different units at home and at work using the same card. An electronic locking mechanism is powered by a battery that is charged during the day using solar panels on the roof.

The unit is a manufactured from robust steel panels with a gas springs to make lifting the lid effortless. An internal high-density bicycle rack with locking bars allows users to easily park and secure their bicycle inside the unit.

The side panels are a prison grade mesh that provides security without reducing natural light. Adjustable legs allow the unit to be installed on a wide range of street surfaces.

Installed and funded by the local council, businesses or residence, users of the Smarthangar scheme pay a small membership fee which will finance the running and maintenance of the units.

Membership is efficiently managed through an online web portal and new users can easily join and find the nearest Smarthangar using an online map.

Smart card system

A user-friendly smart card locking system allows access to multiple units with the same card. This can potentially be integrated with a city’s smart card system for buses and trains allowing greater flexibility and payment methods.

Users sign up to an online membership scheme with a range of affordable rental costs for single/multiple spaces.

Impact on the environment

As a storage solution, each unit provides six cyclists with secure cycle storage at home or in the workplace, especially needed in densely-packed cities where flats or offices have little space. This provides a convenient door to door secure parking solution to encourage commuting to work by bicycle, reducing the pressures on the road and rail networks.

By replacing car parking spaces with bicycle parking, cities can send a strong message to the public showing their support for cycling and sustainable transport, encouraging more people to take up cycling and healthier lifestyles.

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Anthony Lau

London, United Kingdom

Category: Urban Planning and Urban Design

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