• Germany's news in English
 

Munich to enforce dedicated bike parking

Published: 01 Jul 2011 12:20 GMT+02:00

Amid the soaring popularity of cycling, building courtyards and bike sheds are often full, forcing people to lock up their bicycles on the footpaths in front of buildings.

The Munich city council, a coalition of the centre-left Social Democratic Party and environmentalist Greens, is now proposing a “bicycle parking by-law,” under which builders of residential or commercial properties will need to also make room for set number of bike spaces, according to daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The move is part of the Bavarian capital’s efforts to boost cycling’s share of daily local transport from the current 14 percent to 20 percent over the next few years.

“To make cycling more attractive, cyclists need to be able to park adequately,” said Munich deputy mayor Hep Monatzeder, a member of the Greens.

New residential buildings will need to have one bike parking spot for every 40 square metres of living space. The council is also prescribing the parking space needed – for each bike, 1.5 square metres of room.

The spaces also need to be easily and safely accessible and, as far as possible, undercover. And to prevent the kind of chaos that can arise from having a bare room as a bike shed, architects will also need to plan for racks or bike stands.

With the push for a more cycling-friendly city, Munich is modeling itself on Copenhagen, where more than half of residents get around on bikes.

A metropolitan studies expert from the Technical University Berlin, Johannes Novy, told The Local that the lack of parking within buildings and the resulting fear of cyclists about theft of their bikes from the street was a major barrier to increasing the numbers of dedicated cyclists.

The Munich plan was therefore a “major step forward.”

“It is also a matter of justice, as parking for cars has long been regulated and enforced by local governments,” he said.

At the same time, public spending on car infrastructure still dwarfed the money committed to cycling.

“More and bolder steps are needed to realize the full potential of bicycling as a transportation mode and provide equal rights to cyclists both on cities' roads as well as in their political arenas,” he said.

A few smaller cities in Germany already have such statutes, including Nuremberg in Bavaria and Hilden in North Rhine-Westphalia. Chief traffic planner in Nuremberg, Frank Jülich, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that initial complaints had died down in that city.

“It was suggested to us that we would only make building more complicated,” he said. But now, architects were used to the regulation and complied without protest.

The new law in Munich will not apply to existing buildings, meaning in the densely populated districts full of old buildings, the city cannot compel owners to make bike parking spaces.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:04 July 1, 2011 by Bushdiver
Personally I think that bike riders should have to pay road tax as well since the government makes bicycle paths even on narrow streets. Here in Frankfurt many of the bike riders are arrogant a-holes. They ride on the side walks at fast speeds and could care less about people walking there. They are the same in traffic. If they want to have equal rights to the use of roads then they should also pay for that right.
19:19 July 1, 2011 by Englishted
I agree with Bushdiver, but what sends me mad is when they dress up like riders in the tour de France (more arrive at the time of the race) and ride on the road even when there is a cycle path for them to use.
22:12 July 1, 2011 by nedmesis
Most important is a solid object to lock the bike to.
22:53 July 1, 2011 by crm114
Ted, no wonder they ride on the roads, the cycle paths are full of a-holes riding like they could not care less. As for tax, I am for it if the rate of tax is proportional to the amount of damage done to the roads by bicycles and the costly infrastructure required to keep them safe. It might even shut the whingeing a-hole car drivers up.
04:08 July 2, 2011 by JBlooze
I do agree that some riders do drive like a-holes all on their own and a lot more do because of dangerous experiences with a-hole auto drivers who don't give a s#it about people on bikes. As for a tax, I think maybe when public parking is no longer a problem for people on bikes and bike lanes are everywhere, we'll talk. Maybe we could work in a pollution tax for cars that could cover the bike tax? (No, don't want to talk about that...) ANYWAY... All drivers share the road and should be respectful of each other. There's plenty of bad on both sides and co-existing is something everyone has to get used to. Pedestrians often don't stay off the bike path and that needs to be paid attention to as well. We can all get along, we just need a little more patience and practice. We'll get it. Don't be a hater.
06:53 July 2, 2011 by ChrisRea
JBlooze, hat off to you! It is always comforting to see a balanced perspective.

Hat off to Munich as well! I hope to see more cities following advanced urban planning principles.
06:58 July 2, 2011 by Englishted
@crm114,

I would agree with you if as you say the cycle paths by you are unsafe ,in my small town they have spent a great deal of money on these paths they are colour coded red (paving stones) to separate them from the gray footpath.

Most are only a few years old and are safe as myself and child often use them,I was complaining about a small number who do ride on the road for reasons known only to themselves ,yet would be the first to complain if I drove on their paths or there were not any in the town.
09:06 July 2, 2011 by crm114
Ted, sorry, i was just being facetious, the cycle paths in my area are fine and perfectly safe however a problem is that they are used not exclusively by cyclists as other outdoorsey types like rollerbladers, pram pushers and cyclists of every shape, colour and size can and do use them, and I am fine with that. If you are one of those tour de France types then riding on cycle ways can be a little dispiriting constantly looking out for old ladies and kids and ramps and bollards, and deviations and and and, consequently in built up areas you will find that the spandex clan will migrate to the road in order to be able to make progress. The other problem with cycle paths are those which don't exist, often as soon as you get out of a built up area the cycle way peters out and these are generally the sorts of roads a tour de francer will be looking for. Fortunately Germany is blessed with a cycle way network to be envious of and one can if so desired cycle from the Baltic to the Bodensee and hardly ever touch a public highway. Finally in their defence, I must say that german car drivers are by far and away the most considerate of cyclists that I have ever had the good fortune to encounter.
17:28 July 3, 2011 by Englishted
crm114,

I understand where you are coming from, and agree with most.

Only one point the drivers are not the most considerate of cyclists they are the most scared because any accident between a car and a bike is always the drivers fault no matter how,when,or why.
Today's headlines
Germany heightens travel warning for Turkey
A view of Istanbul. Photo: DPA.

Germany heightens travel warning for Turkey

The German government has issued more severe warnings about travelling to Turkey after a string of terror attacks in the south of the country, and as Ankara intensifies conflict against two militias in Syria and Iraq. READ  

Fireman turned arsonist jailed for 3 years
Fire services extinguish an unrelated fire in Hamburg in 2011. Photo: DPA

Fireman turned arsonist jailed for 3 years

After a series of arson attacks over several months, an ex-fireman has been sentenced to three years in jail without chance of bail. READ  

Mother slams IKEA for rejecting autistic son
Photo: DPA

Mother slams IKEA for rejecting autistic son

A mother from North Rhine-Westphalia has accused furniture chain IKEA of debasement, discrimination and marginalization – after employees in their Dortmund store refused to let her autistic son into the children's play area. READ  

Wallaby goes walkabout in Berlin outback
Photo: Gemeinde Nuthe-Urstromtal

Wallaby goes walkabout in Berlin outback

A woman in a village south of Berlin was shocked to find a rather unusual visitor in her garden on Tuesday. But by the time police got there he'd already bounced. READ  

Munich upholds ban on Jewish 'memory blocks'
A pedestrian walks by a group of Stolpersteine. Photo: DPA

Munich upholds ban on Jewish 'memory blocks'

The Munich City Council said on Wednesday that it had voted to continue banning the placement of blocks commemorating Jewish Holocaust victims in city streets - a ban that garnered surprising support from Jewish community leaders. READ  

13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Batlle in Syria. Photo: DPA

13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis

A young teen from Munich was detained near the Turkish border with Syria on Friday as he was trying to join the radical Islamist group Isis. READ  

The Local List
Six odd ways Germans talk about the weather
Photo: DPA

Six odd ways Germans talk about the weather

Is it absolutely roasting, or raining cats and dogs? Neither if you live in Germany. Here are six wonderfully weird expressions Germans use to talk about the weather - some more literal than others. READ  

Little by little, Germans move away from cash
Photo: DPA

Little by little, Germans move away from cash

Tourists and business travellers visiting Germany are often surprised when they reach to pay for their beer, metro tickets or even a large restaurant bill that their credit cards are not welcome. Habits, however, are slowly changing as younger consumers leapfrog from cash to convenient electronic forms of payment. READ  

Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
Martin Sonneborn. Photo: DPA

Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife

After winning a seat in the European Parliament last year on a commitment to 'milking Brussels,' satirical party Die Partei broke new ground. Now a 'Nazi Putsch' threatens to split the party asunder. READ  

Pelicans with wanderlust escape German zoo
These feathered fugitives took flight from the zoo to get a birds-eye view of the world. Photo: DPA.

Pelicans with wanderlust escape German zoo

A pair of pelicans with a serious case of wanderlust flew the coop from Osnabrück Zoo last week, only to find their way back days later. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,226
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd