As bike commuting becomes more popular, facilities where you can store your bike, extra clothes and even take a shower will become a necessity. These bike facilities could even possibly replace parking lots, which is exactly what Annie Scheel proposes with her BIKE center for Philadelphia. Scheel took home first prize in a recent competition hosted by the Delaware Valley Green Building Council with her stellar all-in-one bike facility and master plan that gives urban bikers a place of their own in the city. While the parking lot has capacity for 100 cars, the bike storage facility could hold up to 690 bikes on four levels, which if fully utilized would significantly reduce automobile congestion in the city — not to mention pollution. Scheel’s design would take over an existing parking lot, repurposing half of it into a bicycle facility and developing the other half for commercial purposes.
There are many ways existing parking lots can be repurposed. Good urban transportation systems include solutions for biking, walking, public transporation and vehicles. For example, a sprawling parking lot could be redeveloped to include biking facilities as well as vehicle parking. The new automated parking garages can be built above or below ground and fit twice the number of cars in half the space of a conventional garage. And, the space saved could be used for green areas or other community needs.