I saw this bike storage system online today and thought I would share for those who haven't see in it yet. I doubt it is realistic for Chicago any time soon but I love that it exists and someone designed it.
(sorry if this has already been posted, I ran a search, turned up no results and am only a random chainlink user who was bummed out by the weather)
That is pretty cool - weird to see one's bike go in like toast in the toaster but come out in pristine shape. Weird too to think of our having just made it to work without relying on fossil fuels (e-bikes notwithstanding) and then have some huge machine burn up precious resources to whisk one's bike to some subterranean shelf. But I guess the more bikers in a city the more we introduce a space problem and the need for fee-based space usage like car garages provide today. Definitely clever. I wonder if one ever puts in one's rusty old second hand tattered Schwinn and gets back by mistake someone's shiny new multi-thousand dollar Peugeot?
Here's an old post that will tell you more about japan and bicycles. Google bike parking in japan images to see what kind of mode share bikes have there. They are everywhere!
This is the kind of "great" bicycle storage that should be looked into for the Chicago loop. It should work particularly well as much of the loop is actually "elevated in that ground is one or two stories below the ground floor. Imagine pulling up to the outside of your office and being able to park you bicycle with this system and know that it is going to be out of the bad weather and away from bad actors. And it doesn't require navigating garages or basements or similar areas. Imagine, for example, a station located on Wacker Drive right at LaSalle.
Wow! Amazing amount of bikes in Japan. I am blown away. I had no idea. But actually, I remember getting out of a train station in London - the one that was closest to South Bank (Waterloo maybe) and seeing hundreds of bikes at an outdoor biking facility that was part of Waterloo station. Not as many as Japan but still compared to Chicago a mob! I also borrowed a bike from a neighbor of where I was staying and took the bike on the train from Richmond to South Bank where the Critical Mass was to take place. Great way to see the city. We went past the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Cathedral, and over to Buckingham Palace. There were many more bikers in London but it seemed they had just as hard a time maneuvering the car traffic as here - actually worse!
This is pretty cool. But a far simpler solution - or at least a fix that would alleviate much of the downtown bike parking and security shortage would be to get ALL office buildings to allow bikes in offices. My experience is anecdotal of course, but every office I've ever worked in had more than enough space to stash a bike for each employee in the workers' cubicles or offices.