December 5, 2011

Bollards transformed into road-side stools by Jihyun David

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 9:25 am

The streets of Amsterdam are lined with steel bollards called Amsterdammertjes, Little Amsterdammers. They are there to deter people from parking on the sidewalk, and the city is thinking of taking them out. We have got other ways to deter people from parking, they say, and they mean they have ways of ticketing people using electronics so that parking becomes something the affluent can use to force the less well-off from the pavement.

The designers of Jihyun David thought of another use of the bollards, and have covered several (for the time being) with bicycle seats, and a metal ring that makes it easier to rest your feet. You can find them at the bridge between Keizersgracht and Leliegracht.

(Link: Popup City. Photo: Jihyun David)

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July 30, 2011

Apple shaped multi-story bike park in Alphen aan de Rijn

Filed under: Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 5:09 pm

This apple shaped multi-story bike park was commissioned by the municipality of Alphen aan de Rijn near Leiden, and installed in 2010. It holds a maximum of 970 bicycles, and is located right next to the town’s railway station.

The Bike Apple, sensibly named so by its creators, was designed by Rotterdam-based architects KuiperCompagnons. The butterfly shaped filigree covering the garage is a type of fabric called Lace Fence and was conceived by Dutch design house Demakersvan. The architect’s website has much more photos.

(Photos: KuiperCompagnons)

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July 3, 2011

Amsterdam parking rates slashed

Filed under: Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 12:29 pm

Amsterdam is the most expensive city in the world to park in. The city’s policy of driving car owners away from the centre by making their stay too expensive seems to be so successful that now an operator of private car parks has started slashing its rates.

In a bid to lure customers away from the competition P1 Parking has lowered its daily rate from 55 euro to 20 euro. The only snag is that you have to make reservations at least two in days in advance.

Competitor Q-Park and others are studying their options. Bloodthirsty financial news site Z24 is already announcing a price war.

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May 11, 2011

Buy an electric car, get a free parking spot in Amsterdam

Filed under: Automobiles,Bicycles,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 4:34 pm

The goal of this ploy is to get residents of Amsterdam to buy an electric car so they can get a free parking spot with a free electricity charger near their house until 2012, which could be extended. Getting an actual designated parking spot in Amsterdam can easily be a 5-year to 10-year affair.

Amsterdam wants 5% of cars to be electric by 2015, which would be about 10,000 cars. The city’s freebies cover electric cars but won’t cover hybrids until the electric–only range of hybrids rises above 60 kilometres.

I wouldn’t get an electric car just yet, I’d keep biking, roller skating, taking public transport and walking like I already do.

Amsterdam’s green ethos seems very much intact. But one unintended consequence: in it’s enthusiasm for electric vehicles, the popularity of electric bikes is undermining pollution goals, as owners of foot-powered bikes upgrade to electric models.

The same way this implies that electric bikes are trumping electric cars, the fact that I work at home and don’t travel for work makes me less green than owning a car and not using it, which is plain stupid defeats the purpose.

(Link: smartplanet via presurfer)

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May 2, 2011

Bicycle parking detectors in Utrecht

Filed under: Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 8:03 am

Writes Mark Wagenbuur:

In an attempt to free more spaces the Railways built an electronic system near the railway station of Utrecht. It monitors the time bicycles are parked so bicycles that are parked too long (more than 14 days) can be removed to make much needed room for other bicycles. This is a trial in Utrecht and Groningen.

The system seems to do more than just spot orphan bicycles though. It will also show cyclists which sections of a parking garage have the most free spots. If like me you have ever tried to find the empty spot in the bicycle parking garage next to Central Station in Amsterdam, the only one always seemingly on the fourth floor, you know how useful such a system could be.

(Video: Youtube / Mark Wagenbuur)

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January 19, 2011

Parking spot owners asked to pay for a permit

Filed under: Automobiles,Weird by Orangemaster @ 1:56 pm

Amsterdam is the world’s most expensive city to park in, with a daily rate of 52 euro, followed by London at just 41 euro a day. True, this only applies to people parking on the street, as car owners in Amsterdam can get a relatively inexpensive parking permit for about 1 euro a day for the neighbourhood they live.

Sounds reasonable so far, but imagine forking out 100,000 euro to buy an indoor parking spot in the garage of your flat building and then having insane municipal bureaucrats ask you to cough up another 243 euro to get a permit to park in ‘your’ spot.

Luckily someone complained, and the Ombudsman of the city of Amsterdam stepped in and fixed this major cockup. The 15 flat owners were all sent a letter asking them to pay for a permit, but that shouldn’t have happened.

For anyone who thought Smart cars were silly, at least they can find a place to park, another major issue in Amsterdam.

Before the bike mafia starts in on the comments (we totally approve of biking and public transport, don’t get me wrong), allow me to remind you of all the foreigners and out of town visitors and workers who logically come here by car, the handicapped and the likes.

(Link: telegraaf)

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January 7, 2011

Bicycle swarms

Filed under: Architecture,Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 8:31 am

Roosmarijn Vergouw measured out parking spaces in white tape around seed locations on the tarmac of Amsterdam, and lo and behold, people started parking their bikes there.

Link: Copenhagenize. Video: Youtube / Roosmarijn Vergouw.

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August 28, 2010

Police harass man with dozens of parking tickets

Filed under: Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 9:43 pm

‘Klaas’ from Zwolle does everything right. His car has a handicapped parking card clearly visible under the window, valid and dated, and yet the police keep ticketing him for illegal parking in the lot in front of his house. Since April of this year he has received over 40 parking tickets with a combined worth of nearly 3,000 euro.

Rather than paying his tickets, he has decided to stick it to the man. He has been decorating his car with the tickets, and with drawings, post cards and a real pirate flag.

In an interview with newspaper De Stentor the man who wishes to remain anonymous—even though everybody in Zwolle probably knows who he is by now—explains how it all started: “The first guy who ticketed me treated me like a little dog. That’s when I turned my back on him. Since then the big boys have been coming over here daily to book me.”

“I own more than one car. As somebody confined to a wheel chair I like things on wheels. […] I will have every ticket contested in court, one by one. That way the city will have to pay tons of court costs.”

The city of Zwolle responded to the newspaper, but considering they would have towed his car away after the third or so ticket if they actually were in the right, I don’t think printing their answer here is going to tell you much.


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July 18, 2009

Amsterdam more affordable, except for parking

Filed under: Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 9:23 am

Amsterdam slid from 25th most expensive city in the world to 29th, according to a recent Mercer study, as Dutch News reports. The one cost with which Amsterdam tops every other major city in the world is parking.

Other Dutch cities did not even make it into the top 50, with Berlin being a ‘cheap’ European capital at 49—is East Berlin dragging that number down? The top three of the Cost of Living list this year are Tokyo, Osaka and Moscow, in that order.

Car owning visitors to Amsterdam* are out of luck though. According to Parool (Dutch), quoting a study by Colliers International, Amsterdam proudly leads the list of most expensive cities in the world when it comes to parking, with a daily rate of 70 USD. The second city on that list, London, only charges around 55 USD a day.


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June 22, 2009

Trading private parking spaces

Filed under: Architecture,Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 9:32 am

In such a densely populated country as the Netherlands, it may appear strange that many private parking spaces are empty during the day, when their owners are off to work. tries to fill this ‘gap in the market,’ as the Dutch say, by bringing together the owners of both cars and private parking spaces.

A quick look at the Amsterdam section of the website shows that the recently started company hasn’t attracted many users yet—although to be fair, there is fairly little usable private parking space in Amsterdam. The spaces on offer in the old docklands, on IJburg and in West all seem to be in the parking garages of new buildings, with spaces smack in the city center going for 300 euro a month.

(Via press release aggregator

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