End of an era? Underwater bike parking replaces fietsflat at Amsterdam Centraal
The fancy new underwater bike parking at Amsterdam Centraal might be exciting, but it also marks the end of an era: this week, the old fietsflat parking facility on Stationsplein closed its doors for good, and cyclists have until February 24 to pick up their bikes.
“Temporary” fietsflat at Amsterdam Centraal closed for good
The fietsflat – which directly translates to “bike flat” – is the structure located to the west of the main station building. It opened back in 2001, and was designed to be a temporary solution for travellers making use of public transport who needed somewhere to park their bikes.
Now, more than 20 years after it opened its doors, on January 30 the fietsflat officially closed for good, taking with it around 2.500 parking spaces for bikes. That loss is more than made up for, however, with the addition of two brand new parking facilities at the station; one for 7.000 bikes under Stationsplein (which opened on January 26), and one for 4.000 bikes at the brand new Ijboulevard (which will open on February 14).
Cyclists have until February 24 to collect their bikes
The closure of the fietsflat might seem a little sudden to some, but the municipality has announced that anyone who had left their bike behind has until February 24 to pick it up at the station. The old parking facility will be open daily from 7am to 7pm. Any bikes that aren’t picked up by the deadline will be taken to the city’s Bike Depot (Fietsdepot).
So, what does the future hold for the fietsflat? Well, the municipality points out that it’s “an iconic building” that “captures Amsterdam as a bicycle city in one image, and is therefore often photographed by tourists.” While cyclists will no longer be able to make use of it, the fietsflat won’t be demolished any time soon – the municipality is keeping it just in case the additional spaces are needed.
Thumb: Drew McArthur via Shutterstock.com.
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