Bike Parking Solutions for Universities & Colleges
Campus life with its frequent, short journey times and often high-density environments, has long been ideal for active travel opportunities. Universities across the country have made steps to embrace sustainable travel initiatives, demonstrated in part by active regulations on students owning cars in university cities such as Exeter and Cambridge; the latter recognised as one of the world’s top cycling cities.
However, secure end-of-journey facilities for students in higher education can often be lacking, resulting in high theft rates which deter students from investing in bikes and adopting cycling on the whole. Well-designed, secure bike parking solutions should be regarded as an integral feature of the built environment, reducing requirements for car parking spaces, and enabling improved access to a convenient, low-cost transportation alternative for students residing on and off campus.
What Are the Main Considerations?
Identifying the available space early in the planning process, in regard to demand from students, staff, and campus visitors, is key to ensuring sufficient capacity for all users. Determining who will be using the facility, such as whether access will be restricted to students specifically, or if use will be provided to staff and campus visitors in addition, will help to ensure sufficient capacity. It can also be beneficial to integrate more spaces than initially required to meet potential increases in future demand and restrict shortcomings.
A range of bike parking solutions offer the means to meet specific user and broader project requirements for higher educational settings, and typically the following points should be considered for any project:
Ensure that bike parking is durable, secure, and user-friendly, offering both short-term and long-term parking solutions that can be integrated as a fundamental aspect of campus infrastructure.
Provide a designated bike parking area that enables effective prevention of bike theft through a strong manufacturing build and secure locking opportunities. Implementing CCTV and lighting fixtures is highly effective for encouraging consistent use of the bike parking facility.
Provide intent and assistance for users through dedicated signage and graphics, provides awareness on how to securely park and lock bikes when in use, whilst additionally helping to ensure that campus visitors can easily locate the facility.
Two-tier racking systems are ideal for maximising available space in high-density settings, however, those with mobility restrictions and owners of larger bikes must be considered. It’s therefore beneficial to provide a varied mix of bike parking types to accommodate all users.
Consider implementing additional storage and charging facilities for e-bikes to increase the scope of a facility, as well as bike repair stations to provide users with access to on-the-go maintenance opportunities.
Integrating green roofs as part of a bike parking project can help contribute towards urban greening, while supporting carbon neutral and sustainability initiatives. As part of their development of Kingston University’s Seething Wells campus, Main Contractors EQUANS consulted urbanspec on the design and installation for all external storage of bikes across the campus. Specifying the urbanspec H-Series to provide a bespoke bike hub, units were installed for each residential block to enable maximum convenience and security, and specified with sedum green roof types to meet the commitments held by EQUANS for this project, helping to reduce the carbon footprint of the development.
Often utilised in bike hubs to maximise capacity, increase security, and provide cover, bike stands and racks offer short lead times and variations on capacity format. Bike stands are a cost-effective solution for bike parking, though, aren’t ideal for ensuring space efficiency, and are typically more suited to settings that require small to medium capacity bike parking for short-term use. Semi-vertical and two-tier racks support both the front and rear wheels where they can be secured in place, and offer efficient footprint utilisation for both width and length, requiring minimal storage depth and enabling bikes to be secured in close proximity to one another.
Highly beneficial to owners of high-value bikes, bike modules provide individually secure bike parking. They can be specified as an enclosed design with individual access doors, helping to shield the bike from view to deter bike theft opportunities, or an open-faced design to ensure clear lines of sight are maintained through the store for personal security. Bikes are parked and stored individually in an upright position and locked, ensuring they remain stable.
Bike lockers offer a low-profile design that can be specified to coordinate or contrast with surrounding elements of a campus environment. Like bike modules, they provide secure individual storage of bikes, utilising the same integral wheel trays to lock bikes securely in an upright position. Maximising space efficiency, bike lockers and modules can also be combined within bike hubs to accommodate high-density settings with restricted footprints, while sequential positioning can be utilised to form a connected series of units.
A versatile, in-line bike storage system that provides effective footprint utilisation, bike stores. With a design platform that enables integration of stand and rack type parking systems, bike stores offer modular storage that can be specified to create a connected series of units, ensuring that future increase in demand can be accommodated. By enclosing only the bike rack space, this design also reduces the required footprint by enclosing only the cycle rack space.
Bike hubs are designed to accommodate the optimum number of bikes within the available footprint, and are ideal for settings with high foot-traffic to effectively provide long-term storage solutions. They easily accommodate single and double-row layouts with stand, semi-vertical or two-tier rack types, combined with enhanced security measures attained through a strong manufacturing build to restrict bike theft opportunities. In addition, bike hubs offer a variety of options to incorporate practical features that boost functionality and provide users with on-the-go maintenance opportunities.