All about cycling in the Netherlands
In June 2015 I showed you the bicycle parking facility in Delft that had just opened at that time. It is an integrated part of the railway station that was also new. It has almost 5,000 parking spots. I recently revisited it and found out that it is so well used that it is actually over-capacity.
At the time of my first visit there was also outside parking for about 3,700 bicycles. That has been removed and a second underground facility was opened for 2,700 bicycles in May 2017. This reduced the total number of spaces. Thanks to the opening of the second facility it did become possible to cycle through the first bicycle parking garage so you could reach it from more directions. The total of indoor bicycle parking racks is now 8,400, but judging from the full racks that is clearly not enough. People complain about it. At the moment Delft is building a third underground facility. By the time that opens (expected mid-2019) the total number of the parking spots will increase to 10,000. Delft is a city with a population of 102,000 people, so that is quite a percentage! These 10,000 indoor underground parking spots should be enough to last until 2030. But whether that is really true remains to be seen.
I had been to the facility more often.
These underground bicycle parking facilities are all part of the major reconstruction of the Delft Railway Zone. Since 2015 Delft has an underground railway in a 2.3km long tunnel which replaced the 1960s elevated railway track. Reconstruction works had started in 2007. When the two-track tunnel was finished and used by the trains, the elevated railway could be removed. At its former location a second railway tunnel was constructed with room for again two tracks. That second tunnel was finished in 2017, but only the structural work was done. From mid-2019 to 2024 that second tunnel will be finished. It will get two railway tracks so that from 2025 trains between Rotterdam and The Hague can run every five minutes. There will be 8 fast intercity trains and 6 so-called sprinters that will stop at every station.
The railway zone in Delft changed considerably, both underground and above ground. Where there was once an elevated railway there is now water and a very people friendly street. A historic tower was moved out of the way to construct the railway tunnel and then it was moved back to its original position. The tunnel was also constructed directly under a windmill that needed to stay because it is a historic monument.
Timelapse showing how a historic building was moved to be able to build the tunnel.
When I was in Delft recently I returned to the station in the evening rush hour. The bicycle parking facility reminded me of a bee hive. So much was going on that I decided to film it again. In my first film people complained that they didn’t see very well how you park your bicycle in the top racks. That is why I made sure that you can see a lot of people removing their bicycle from the top racks, or putting it in there, in this new video.
A new visit to the underground station bicycle parking facility in Delft.