A Glance at the Amsterdam Parking Model.
The city of Montreal has reported an increase in the number of cyclists on its roads, indicating a growing need for improved cycling infrastructure. The rise in bike usage has been attributed to higher gas prices and a culture that supports sustainable transportation. The number of bike trips increased by 20% in Montreal in 2021, with a total of 12 million trips. It is an upward trend that does not seem to slow. But the growing number of bikes and ebikes bike theft incidents has also increased.
According to Vélo Québec, an estimated 15,000 to 25,000 bikes are stolen each year in Montreal alone. However, only around 2,000 of these thefts are reported, indicating that a significant number of people do not report their stolen bikes. E-bikes are comparatively more expensive than traditional bicycles, becoming a lucrative item for thieves. Bike theft has become a concern for people, who using bikes, eco-friendly, cost-effective, and healthier mode of transportation.
Bike theft is a common crime not only in Montreal but all the big cities around the world. Some cities are actively finding ways to reduce bike theft. One such city is Amsterdam – the bike capital of the world – which can provide a blueprint to secure bikes.
The number one reason for bike theft in urban areas is the lack of secured bike parking spaces. Amsterdam has recognized it and is spending extensively on secure bike parking.
Amsterdam secure bike parking – Unique in the world
A Dutch studio has finished building an underwater bicycle park adjacent to Amsterdam’s central station. With its glossy white interiors situated nine meters below the surface of the city’s renowned canals, the facility provides parking for roughly 7,000 bicycles (there is room for 6,300 privately owned bicycles and an additional 700 bikes for bike shares within the facility) and is linked directly to the metro and railway system via six escalators. This ground-breaking project is believed to be the world’s first of its kind. Capacity is expected to expand to 11,000 bicycles when a second garage is opened. This is a secured parking space that would benefit 200,000 commuters that arrive each day at Amsterdam’s Central Station via various modes of transportation, including rail, ferry, tram, bus, and subway. Roughly half of these arrivals are on bicycles.
The entrance to the underwater bike garage is easy to find, marked by a large blue sign featuring a bicycle logo. It is visible from a distance and can be accessed via a street-level bike path that leads directly to the garage’s above-ground entrance. The sign displays the number of available parking spaces, with illuminated green numbers indicating the count. Upon arrival, if the garage is full, the displayed number allows for finding alternate parking. From the entrance, you can disembark from your bicycle and walk or use the rolling beltways that lead down below the waterline and bring you to the parking garage’s entrance. Vertical columns inside the garage are equipped with red and green lights, making it effortless to identify the rows of bicycle racks with available spaces.
Facilities like these can reduce bike thefts and encourage people to ride bicycles and ebikes more.
Montreal and other cities of the world can follow Amsterdam’s blueprint and create secure bike parking spaces along with biking lanes and paths.
However, such infrastructure developments can take years to develop, so what can you do to protect your prized bikes from theft?
8 tips to protect your bike from theft
1. Invest in a good bike lock
A good quality lock is essential to prevent your bike from being stolen. There are many different types of locks available on the market, but it’s important to choose one that is strong and sturdy. U-locks and heavy-duty chains are two of the best options as they are hard to cut with bolt cutters or saws. Always make sure to lock your bike to a strong fixed object, such as a bike rack or pole, and secure both the frame and wheels.
2. Choose a safe location to park
When you park your bike, always choose a location that is visible and well-lit. Avoid parking in secluded areas, alleys, or places with little pedestrian traffic, as they can be an easy target for thieves. Look for bike racks located in busy areas where there are lots of people around.
3. Lock your bike properly
It’s not enough to just use a lock. You need to lock your bike properly. Make sure your lock goes through both the frame and the wheels and is secured to a fixed object. Avoid locking your bike to something that can be easily removed, such as a tree or bench.
4. Register your bike
Keep a record of the bike’s serial number, make, and model, and take a photo of your bike for identification purposes. Registering your bike with your local police department can help increase the chances of getting it back if it’s stolen.
5. Use a GPS tracking device
GPS tracking devices can be attached to your bike and connected to your smartphone, allowing you to track your bike’s location in real time. Some GPS trackers also have an alarm system that will notify you if your bike is moved without your permission. Available soon at QUANTUM eBikes.
6. Avoid leaving accessories on your bike
Lights, bags, and other accessories can be easily removed from your bike. Always take them with you when you park your bike to reduce the risk of theft.
7. Keep your bike indoors
If possible, keep your bike inside your home or workplace. This greatly decreases the risk of theft as your bike is not visible to potential thieves.
8. Be vigilant
It’s crucial to stay vigilant of your environment and remain alert to any doubtful behavior. In case you come across someone attempting to steal a bike, promptly notify the authorities.
By following these precautions, you can substantially decrease the risk of your bike being stolen. Therefore, ensure to implement the essential safety measures to safeguard your bike.