How to realize bike parking facilities in your city: a manual

Increased bicycle use means more bikes that need parking space. Where to find it? How to organize it? Amsterdam – the only city in the world with more bicycles than inhabitants – has a lot of experience with this issue and wants to share the knowledge. A manual is available in Dutch and English.

Amsterdam’s bike team has developed an approach for the city’s busiest areas. The aim is to improve bicycle parking facilities and decrease the number of bikes parked in the public space. As well as increasing the number and types of bicycle parking facilities, it is vital to affect cyclists’ behaviour. There is simply not enough public space in some busy areas to facilitate parking. That is why the Amsterdam bike team uses a combination of physical measures, on-the-spot communications, and a variety of additional communications to encourage proper bicycle parking behaviour throughout the city. You can find all this in the manual ‘Best practices – Inner-city Bicycle Parking’ which is very pragmatic, pleasant to read and full of practical tips.

3 factors, 5 principles

The manual starts with a chapter about behavioural change, for which 3 factors form the basis: information (ensuring that people know/understand what they’re meant to do), motivation (ensuring they WANT to do the right thing) and opportunity (ensuring they CAN do the right thing by offering enough parking facilities).

Followed by 5 principles for successful solutions:

  1. Be bicycle-friendly – Amsterdam wants to continue to encourage cycling
  2. Ensure there are plenty of alternatives if you limit parking in an area
  3. Set clear rules
  4. Communicate clearly
  5. Provide systematic and reasonable enforcement

Step by step approach

After having laid down the foregoing principles, which are advised to be kept in the back of your mind constantly when working on bicycle parking solutions, you get a road map overview of the several steps to follow. It all starts with a bottleneck analysis. After this, you research how existing facilities can be better put to use. Then follows step 2: adding facilities at ground level. As bicycle parking solutions are very location-specific, it is often useful to use the knowledge of residents, business owners and visitors. Participation – step 3 - can provide you with new insights and create support for your parking solutions. The following 4 steps are different solutions that can be used in several combinations. The costs increase with each step: special parking solutions (step 4), coaches & enforcement (5), street development (6) and indoor parking (7). The final step is, of course, evaluation of the measures you have taken. And throughout all these steps, clear communication is of vital importance.


You can download the manual in Dutch and English. For more information, feel free to contact The Amsterdam bike team is happy to advise and support you in any way it can.


City of Amsterdam Amsterdam and region

Latest projects

What is going on right now


Ready to visit Amsterdam? The city of sharing bicycle knowledge, insight and experience!

Contact us

By visiting this website you agree with the use of anonymous cookies that are used for the functioning of this website. No private data will be stored whatsoever.