Automated cycle parking in Japan: roll bike in, machine whips it underground and parks it. Come back later, tap your membership card, bike is retrieved and away you go. Genius.
Danny Choo did a TV piece about these clever EcoCycle bike parking facilities a while back. He also did a great photo post of images shot during filming, which includes details on the machines’ workings (the bikes are parked in underground wells, each with the capacity for 200 bikes, for example) and instructions on where to find them in Tokyo.
If you want to take a look at Eco Cycle in action, you need to first get off at Shinagawa station and head towards Kounanhoshi Park [こうなん星の公園] at the location on the map below.
Or copy paste the following into your mobile device maps app.
The company that created the EcoCycle, Giken, describes the technology on its website thus:
Eco-cycle is an anti-seismic mechanical underground parking lot. Giken aggregated own long term experience of press-in technologies and developed the Eco-cycle with the design concept of “Culture Aboveground, Function Underground”. If bicycle parking is available near final destination, people use the facility more often. It eventually eliminates nuisance parking at footpath. Such space at footpath can be utilised for cultural activities.
Quite so. Giken also does automated underground car parks.