However, despite the environmental benefits of cycling, hundreds and thousands of bicycles parked or sometimes abandoned in the Dutch city have caused a huge storage issue. Amsterdam’s Central Station is home to many rusty bicycles, for instance.
However, a new initiative is set to tackle this wheely big problem — an underwater bike garage.
What is the new underwater bike storage?
Scheduled to open on January 26, the project will feature about 7,000 clean and safe parking spaces underground. It will have capacity for 6,300 bicycles for private use and 700 for shared use and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The garage will be the first such scheme in the world and the largest bike storage space in the city.
The €60 million (£53m) project, which has been four years in the making, will aim to address the heaps of bikes left by hasty commuters. Bikes can be left there free of charge for 24 hours and for only €1.35 (£1.18) per 24 hours thereafter.
The garage will feature a moving walkway taking the person upwards into the train station, where around 200,000 journeys begin and end each day.
For railway bosses, the project will make commuting easier and more attractive. “It’s great that people can jump on their bikes, get to the station and get on their journey seamlessly,” said Jeroen Wienen, a spokesman for ProRail, the Dutch government organisation responsible for the maintenance and extension of the national railway network infrastructure.
“The Netherlands is a real cycling country — a lot of people come to the station by bike — and we and the municipality certainly don’t want all those bikes lying around. You want to offer people a decent place where they can put their bikes safely, so the streets are nice and clean for the neighbourhood.”
Amsterdam municipality’s bike project manager, Pieter Visser, added: “Central Station is one of the busiest places in Amsterdam. A lot of bikers use this precious public space to bike and park.
“The municipality chose to facilitate underground bike parking (in this case, underwater) to return the public space to pedestrians, tourists and people with disabilities.”