The Bike Apple (Fietsappel)

I have written a bit recently about the high share of cycling in the Netherlands and the importance of bike parkings at railway stations, so today I can offer you mostly pictures. This is the “Bike Apple” in Alphen aan den Rijn, which parks 970 bicycles, built in 2010. There is room for another 1880 bikes at this small station.

The bike apple could not be closer to the station platforms (photo: Daniel Sparing)

The bike apple could not be closer to the station platforms (photo: Daniel Sparing)

De Verbinding is a new, wide bike tunnel and about a thousand guarded bike places underground (photo: Daniel Sparing)

De Verbinding is a new, wide bike tunnel and about a thousand guarded bike places underground (photo: Daniel Sparing)

Alphen aan den Rijn used to be an important location in the Roman times — today, it is only a residential town from where people drive or take the train to their work to anywhere else. It is situated in the Green Hart, that is, between Leiden, Gouda and Utrecht.

As I have argued before, symbolism is important in bicycle infrastructure design: a durable, sculpture-like parking like this one or the bike balcony in Groningen conveys the message that cycling will be the preferred way to access the railway station in the next decades too.

The bike apple (Photo: Daniel Sparing) The bike apple (Photo: Daniel Sparing)
The bike apple (Photo: Daniel Sparing)

Alphen aan den Rijn (photo: Daniel Sparing)

Alphen aan den Rijn (photo: Daniel Sparing)

Note in the pictures that the apple is not the only bicycle infrastructure at this tiny station, there are even more places and some bike shops and rentals.

By the way, the station reconstruction is part of the light rail project RijnGouwelijn which will introduce tram-trains running on this line from Gouda to new city centre tracks in Leiden.

A bike shop and rental just under the station (photo: Daniel Sparing)

A bike shop and rental just under the station (photo: Daniel Sparing)

Some more spaces on the other side (photo: Daniel Sparing)

Some more spaces on the other side (photo: Daniel Sparing)

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2 Responses to The Bike Apple (Fietsappel)

  1. Steven Vance says:

    That. Is. So. Awesome.

    I wish I spent more time researching cool bike-related stuff in Netherlands prior to my recent trip than on deciding if I want to get a RailEurope/Eurail pass or not (I didn’t).

    My favorite picture is the second one, showing the bike path/sidewalk underpass.

    In Chicago, you can’t get near the railway stations without being buzzed, possible doored, or get the threat of a right hook four times. The only bike lanes near them go north/south. It’s impossible to feel safe biking in downtown.

  2. Pingback: Now this is enough space for bikes | Railzone