The Netherlands just opened the world’s largest bike parking garage

Once it fully opens in 2018, the massive structure will boast of 12,500 bike parking spaces. Problem is, it might not even be enough.

In the Netherlands, a quarter of the population cycles to work, with the average citizen traveling on bicycle more than 965 kilometres a year. That number is expected to rise, as trips under eight kilometres by bike have increased 40-43 percent in the last five years.

With so many bicycles plying the roads, they all need a place to be stored.

Enter a new parking garage located under the Ultrecht central train station. The 184,000-square-foot facility will initially have 6,000 available spaces, eventually expanding to 12,500 by 2018. It will have colour-coded ramps, free parking for the first 24 hours, and shareable bikes.

When it opens, it will replace Tokyo’s Kasai underground station garage as the world’s largest bike parking space.

However, with more and more Dutchmen choosing bikes over cars, critics argue that this is not enough. In response, Tatjana Stenfert, project manager at Ultrecht station, told The Guardian:

“We will have 12,500 places by the end of 2018. But then we will have to do some research and find more places for the bikes. It never stops. I look around and everyone is trying hard to find spaces – trying hard and fast.”