Radstation Freiburg

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Upon departing my local train at Freiburg main station, I spotted this circular building, labelled Radstation (bike station). Each of the three levels connected to a different street (ground, second floor exits to the right of the picture, third floor exits to the bridge overhead through the left of the picture, and there was another bridge on the far side of the structure.

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The bike garage was on the second level. The building is like a donut, hollow in the centre with criss-crossing staircases.

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There were 300 bikes there that day; of a capacity for 1000. The bike room is locked, and requires a pass or payment to get in through the turnstile. The bike was passed in through a shorter door, opened when a special mat sensed a bike:

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The whole structure had a “different” design, that is “radical, hippy”, but most of the store fronts on the top level were vacant or dreadfully underused; the bike cafe was deserted; and the facility immediately struck me as a good idea that didn’t really work out well after it was built. Location? Design? Market? The building also had bike rentals and bike tours of the city.

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The upper levels, opening onto the two ped-cycle-transit bridges across the tracks and the bus station, were extensively vandalized and grafitti’d (by neat and tidy German standards).

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This bridge has a bi-directional bike path, tram lines on the other side of the planter, and a ped walk on the far side of the bridge. As evidenced by the number of bikes parked on the bridge, cyclists were more willing to park for free than pay for safe, secure parking facility.

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