Park, Ride and Wash in Fahrradfreundliche Muenster

wash1.jpg

Here are tipster-submitted pics from the bike-and-ride Radstation in Muenster, Germany — where a train depot sits adjacent to a massive bike parking garage, featuring, among other amenities, a bike washing machine. Price per wash: 3.25 Euros (about $4.13 currently, thanks to the leveling exchange rate).

We’ve reported before on Germany’s flourishing bike culture, and Muenster is obviously no exception. Here’s a passage from a write-up by SUNY Stony Brook professor Gilbert N. Hanson, who documented his cycling experience while on sabbatical there in 2000:

Muenster did not become a bicycle friendly (fahrradfreundliche) city by accident. During World War II the city center was almost completely destroyed. In the reconstruction of the city after the war it was decided that bicycles and buses should be an important part of city traffic. For the past 50 years the city has continually worked on increasing bicycle use.

According to the city press office, cycling accounts for 35 percent of trips in Muenster, while car ownership has seen no proportional increase in over 25 years. More bike station pics after the jump.

wash2.jpg

Inside the washing machine.

wash3.jpg

Cyclists enter and exit the station by ramp.

Photos: Christof Hertel, ITDP Europe

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Hmmm! Makes the bike parking deck in Amsterdam and the crowded street parking in Copenhagen look downright tawdry.

    Then again I might be just a little biased to the German way of doing things.

    PS Thanks for these pics. While I’ve known about the bikestation in Muenster and have seen pictures of it, I’ve never seen picture like these of the facility.

  • I want a bike wash 🙁

  • That is a fantastic idea. $4 for a bike wash is an absolute bargain.

  • d

    I was just in Bremen, Germany, home to a huge Mercedes manufacturing plant. Despite this, biking is a big part of life there. The sidewalks are divided in half: the half closest to the buildings are for pedestrians and the half closest to the street is a bike lane. There are as many biking-specific traffic signals and signs as there were for cars. Most people kept their bikes locked up outside instead of in their apartments, even overnight. Most of the people who rode to bike — all ages by the way — weren’t wearing cycling clothes but normal, casual work clothes. I even saw a few riders in suits and top coats with briefcases in their bike baskets. For those who couldn’t ride, there were ample streetcar routes through almost every major thoroughfare. Even in busy residential neighborhoods — some which reminded me of Greenwich Village, the Upper West Side or Brownstone Brooklyn — there were few cars on the road, no honking from the ones that were out and about, and a lot of yielding to bikes, pedestrians, and trams.

    The more I travel around Europe the more it is evident to me that the U.S. is getting left behind when it comes to transportation. While we keep struggling with ways to keep gas prices low and build new roads, many Europeans (who have had to deal with high gas prices for a long time) are getting new buses, streetcars, and infrastructure and policies designed for pedestrians and bike commuters. Their cities are moving forward through sensible transportation policy while ours are stuck in gridlock.

  • All that and they make awesome cheese too.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Let’s not forget beer!

  • Chris in Sacramento

    Thank you for posting this. One of my better bicycling days was in Muenster. A fella working at the Radstation offered to give me a tour of the town, so we spent a few hours on the trails and streets of that very bicycle-friendly place. Sweet.

    I’ll always remember my train trip from Muenster back to Schipol airport in Amsterdam. Three transfers, a couple of which gave me only TWO-MINUTES in between trains. Could you imagine having confidence in such a schedule in the USA? Of course, it went off without a hitch.

  • Amy

    But if you wash your bike you remove all the lube from the chain, cables, and pivot points. You are asking for rust and poor performance. Although I do like clean bikes.

  • Pat

    Münster is quite the bike town, but the Radstation doesn’t solve all the problems associated with bike parking. Since I frequently visit Münster sans bike, I can tell you that as a pedestrian it is not pleasant to be forced off the sidewalk and into the street because the rows upon rows of bikes lined along the sidewalk physically leave no space left for walking. Also, since Münster is so bike-centered, it os often difficult to visit many of the sites outside of the city center because it is assumed that everyone has/can ride a bike to reach them. Not to mention that the canals winding through Münster have to be cleared frequently from bikes thrown into them by drunken students…

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Rediscovering the Romance of the Bicycle in Paris

|
  Spiegel reports on Mayor Delanoe and his deputy Denis Baupin of the Green Party as they attempt to turn back the clock to a simpler age. On July 15th, Paris will introduce a citywide system of public bike rentals called Vélib, intended to give pedal power to the people: The high-tech idea is to […]

Electeds, Local Media Wage War on Staten Island Cyclists

|
The recent motorist assault on a Staten Island cyclist is a symptom of anti-bike bias routinely displayed by local politicians and the Staten Island Advance, as chronicled on a web site encouraging action for safe streets. Council Members Vincent Ignizio (l) and James Oddo scientifically prove that bikes can’t fit on Jefferson Avenue in Dongan […]

The Debate Over Physically-Separated Bike Lanes Continues

|
A physically-separated bike lane on a shopping street in Copenhangen, Denmark Two weeks ago "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz wrote an op/ed for the Sunday Times advocating for physically-separated bike lanes in New York City. The next weekend, John Allen, a Waltham-based regional director for the League of American Bicyclists replied that separated bike lanes are dangerous and bad idea. […]