Bicycle parking in the Netherlands, a different approach   In the Netherlands everybody cycles, both old and young. We have come to understand from tourists and other visitors to the country just how special this is. And how proud we should be of this. And everybody joins in with cycling. Our land of cyclists is the result of many years of investment. We are striving to make this even better. However there is one disadvantage that we have never really found a good solution for. Every bicycle needs somewhere to stand when it is not in use. Whilst cycling has become increasingly popular here, investment in bicycle parking facilities has not matched this growth. In places where a lot of bicycles congregate it is sometimes no longer possible to 'see the wood for the trees'. Stations and shopping precincts have the appearance of being completely submerged. Although everybody is happy with bicycles, nobody seems to accept responsibility for dealing with this. In this no man's land the quality of public areas disappears. These "oceans of bikes", which Utrecht and Amsterdam have become famous for, are the most photographed subjects among tourists. However special this may be, in terms of quality of the environment this could be better. In the area around the station in Utrecht I have sought to make a contribution. I took the lead in this on behalf of the Council, in order to work with other partners in the area to achieve a solution together. We didn't just seek to work together on the approach and the management, but also on the realisation of new bicycle parking facilities. In doing so we have established a new approach to bicycle parking, which has at its heart integral responsibility and cooperation between the various partners. One result of this new approach is the bicycle parking at the Jaarbeursplein. The concept for this was developed jointly with the people who will manage it in the future and with users. Besides this, the design of the parking facilities is pioneering. Thanks to the architects from Kraaijvanger a modern bicycle parking facility has been created here. Cyclists can quickly and safely park their bikes here on their way to the train. And that takes very little extra time. In order to realise this fast design, use was made during design of digital simulations, enabling every delay within the design to be ironed out. The parking facilities have now been managed by NS for a year, and its users are extremely enthusiastic about it. A great result.   Anita Dirix Projectmanagement Anita Dirix Projectmanagement