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A Bicycle tree or bike tree is an automated mechanical bicycle parking system that resembles a tree in shape. There are a few types that have been developed.

In Swiss company, Bike Tree International, designed a system whereby a bicycle can be hoisted into a tree shaped device after manually lifting the front end bike and connecting the wheel to a hook. There are plans to deploy this machine in Genevamarker. It can handle a dozen or two bicycles.

A much larger scale, and fully automated one has been developed by JFE Engineering, a unit of JFE Holdings of Japan.The integrated steelmaker has sought to develop new products and diversify its income as it encountered stiff competition from rising output of steelmakers in Korea and China, as steelmaking is very dependent on economy of scale, in addition to the shrinking domestic market for crude steel due to Japan's population decline and economic slump. The first publicly usable bike tree opened in 2006, storing 1,476 bicycles using an integrated circuit based tag system, cleanly stored away above ground in an urban office-like building. Mechanical units have been expanded to hold some 6,480 bicycles, for which retrieval time is 23 seconds, such as in this 15 meter deep underground storage facility. Various municipalities in the Greater Tokyomarker area run the system or are planning installing them, charging 1800 yen a month for storage or a one time fee of 100 yen.

References

  1. Bike Tree International Website
  2. JFE CYCLE TREE: Multi-level Mechanical Bicycle Parking System
  3. Guardian:Has Japan designed the world's best bike shed?


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