2012-12-03

Co.Exist

This Automated Bike Parking Lot Keeps Your Bike Safe In An Underground Cave

The Biceberg takes your bike (and—even better—your helmet and a bag) on an elevator ride to a protected below-ground area. When you want it back, just swipe a card and it’s automatically elevated back up to you.

A bicycle storage system being installed in cities across Spain proves that a lack of space is no longer an excuse for municipalities or businesses reluctant to invest in secure bicycle parking. The Biceberg is an automated dumbwaiter, of sorts, for bikes—storing them underground while the bike-owner is out and about, and raising them to street level when the cyclist returns.

The sleek looking box is currently in use in Zaragoza, Blanes, Huesca, and several other Spanish cities. Four different sizes are made to hold anywhere from 23 to 92 bikes underground. Biceberg users get an access card and personalized code, which help the company achieve its goal of a “100% guarantee against robbery.”

An added bonus (or perhaps a downside in the American context with its pervasive fears of terrorism and bombs): patrons can also store a piece of luggage or a helmet alongside their bike. According to the Biceberg’s site, microwave radar will detect unauthorized loads—living creature and fuels are listed as example—and prevent the patron from sealing the pod until they remove the load.

The system was developed by Spanish company ma-SISTEMAS in 1994, which feels like a lifetime ago in the world of bicycle infrastructure innovation, where new ideas seem to pop up everytime you refresh your web browser. The company says its systems have been in use since 2003, and they are just beginning an expansion across Europe.

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