Research into bicycle problem at O&O-square

| Rense Kuipers

Bicycles at the O&O-square which are not parked in the racks are once again being removed. This measure, which was put into practice last week, is part of a research project carried out by three UT students and the Facility Department with the aim of solving the bicycle problem at the O&O-square. Maybe the square will eventually even become bicycle-free.

‘We have received many complaints about the way bicycles are being parked at the O&O-square’, says André de Brouwer, Site Contract Manager. ‘If the racks near the doors are all occupied, people just park their bicycle next to the racks. This can have dire consequences for safety, as emergency services may not be able to pass because of these bikes.’

Looking for the best solution

At the moment, there are digital signs along the cicle routes leading to the square, indicating whether or not the racks are fully occupied. Bicycles not parked in a rack are being removed and stored in the parking rack at the Spiegel building.

Next week and the week after, the parking spaces at the O&O-square will be fenced off, leaving no possibility to park your bicycle there.Following this period of time, the Facility Department will decide how the bicycle racks at and around the O&O-square will be rearranged. This could mean that the O&O-square becomes a bicycle-free zone.

‘We try to find the best solution for everyone’, says De Brouwer. ‘Prior research showed that people are not aware of all the parking facilities around here. We put up signs, but these had little to no effect. People often tend to take the line of least resistance.’

But De Brouwer knows that changing behaviour is a difficult task. ‘There have been people whose bikes were removed who just shrugged their shoulders and parked them in the same spot the next day. But we have also seen people who clearly did not like their bike being moved.’

Plenty of racks

According to De Brouwer, there are plenty of alternatives just a stone's throw away. ‘More than 600 bicycles can be parked in the rack at the Technohal and the parking facility behind Hal B also offers plenty of space. Parking your bicycle where it's not allowed is often down to convenience, even though parking your bike in other racks is often quicker than trying to find a free space in the O&O-square.’

If you have any questions or remarks regarding the research or the bicycle situation at the O&O-square, you can send an email to [email protected].

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