DUBLIN City Council have announced a new initiative to help cyclists store their bikes.
Bike Bunkers are shared secure locking facilities in a weatherproof shelter.
These shelters are placed near residents’ homes in a free car parking space and provide a dry and secure place to store bikes for people who don’t want to leave their bike locked up outside or who don’t have the space to keep their bike indoors.
Bike Bunkers is an initiative from the BETA project which is a platform for Dublin City Council projects to be proposed.
BETA projects are used to help the city council improve the standard and quality of living for those living in its administrative area.
The Bike Bunkers initiative is aimed at promoting cycling in Dublin. According to the city council, many people are too worried to lock their bikes up outside for fear of them being stolen.
Figures that were released by the Social Democrats back in January showed that 5,740 bikes were stolen in 2018.
Project leader and Senior Executive Engineer, Helen Smirnova, says: “Bike Bunkers are a response to people’s requests to Dublin City Council. People don’t have gardens to keep their bikes, so they leave them in halls or locked to a pole where you don’t know, when you come up the next morning, if it will still be there.”
Also, people who live in the inner city or in apartments don’t have the space in their homes or gardens to keep their bikes and therefore often don’t own a bike at all.
Many who do store their bike inside will not use their bikes as much because it is awkward for them to take their bike out every day.
Bike Bunkers are an easy and accessible way for residents to keep their bike handy without the bike being in danger of being stolen or damaged. The bunkers are robust and non-flammable and will keep the bikes dry and safe.
Green Party Councillor Donna Cooney said this new initiative is great for people who live in apartments or in the inner city.
“It’s the convenience, really, of being able to go straight out and there they [the bikes] are,” she said. “You could also go away for the weekend and not have any concerns.”
The Bunkers are semi cylinder metal huts that will be placed in free car parking spaces close to the home of residents who have subscribed to the service. A suitable space that is free has to be found before a Bike Bunker can be installed there.
Spaces that will be used by a bunker will have a colourful sign placed on them for a few weeks prior to installation, to make local residents aware that there will no longer be a parking space for use there.
Bike Bunkers are currently a subscription service of €100 a year and can be shared by up to six residents.
The first trial lasted around five months on John Dillon Street in Dublin 8 at a cost of €4,800.
The innovative new service will hopefully be available across much of the Northside of the city next year.