Our cities are getting all the more crowded and most of us have experienced the frustration of trying to find a car park in such places.
Well spare a thought for the residents of Tokyo. With now over 13 million people living in the city, they no longer only sweat about finding a place to dump the car; simply trying to park your bicycle is also an issue.
However, true to Japanese form a genius solution to the growing space problem has been designed and built.
The ECO-Cycle Park is a fully automated bicycle storage system buried 11 meters under the city streets that can hold up to 200 bikes.
Japanese company Giken Seisakusho, which specializes in tidal and flood protection systems, are behind the ECO-Cycle system.
To date they have built five underground storage bicycle storage facilities around the city. The company reports that owners can safely “park” their bikes in a mere 8 seconds.
Cyclists pay a monthly subscription to gain access to the ECO-Cycle, and they are issued a personal card that can be used at any of the storage facilities.
It simply a case of wheeling up to the booth, swipe their card through the reader, and then the machine takes care of the rest.
The construction of an underground bicycle storage unit costs 150 million yen ($1,5 million). Not small change by any means.
However, the fact that there are currently 43 ECO-Cycle facilities at 16 locations across Japan, demonstrates the over population problem in Japan’s cities and the fact that citizens clearly like to ride a bike.