July 2015 At the 4th and 5th of July, Utrecht will be dominated by the Grand Départ of the Tour de France. In the district around the central railway station, the epicenter of the event, Utrecht is building the world's largest bicycle park designed by Ector Hoogstad Architecten. International interest for this project is huge as it symbolizes a big difference in cycling culture between the Netherlands and the rest of the world. The city of Paris has recently begun to encourage cycling, for instance in building 10,000 bicycle parking places, while in Utrecht one single garage accommodates over 12,000 bicycles. Around the main public transport hub of the Netherlands, which is the Utrecht central station, even 30,000 bicycle parking places will be needed.
The bike park provides a perfect bicycle infrastructure adjacent to the railway station, busses and trams. You cycle in and out, and each bicycle place is at a maximum of 4 minutes’ walk to the train station. The design provides a safe and pleasant environment with ample daylight and high ceilings and surprising see-through opportunities. To use this bike park will be a spectacular experience. This weekend reports will be broadcasted on the Dutch, British, Norwegian and French television.
The Tour de France starts on July 4th with an individual time trial of 13.7 kilometers through the center of Utrecht. On July 5th, the peloton starts its first stage from Utrecht to the artificial island Neeltje Jans in Zeeland, a journey of 166 kilometers.