The Amsterdam central district has started an experiment with various types of bicycle stands in 2009. People could express by e-mail their opinion about the 19 stands positioned at a square in town. In addition numbers were counted and cyclists interviewed. The parking staple (model nr. 19) was preferred by the 256 cyclists who took the trouble to respond by e-mail. The cyclists interviewed on location did not demonstrate any clear preference.
The e-mailers feel the staple to be timeless, but do recognise that it may lead to a chaotic scene when bicycles are placed in between the stands. The Dome, a more elegant version of the staple but somewhat less stable, comes in second. The Heklucht stand, another type of staple provided with a built-in bicycle pump, comes in third, but has the drawback that the pump is susceptible to vandalism. Fourth choice is the Connect, a triangle on a bollard, whose narrow design does not allow all types of bicycles to be parked, according to the users.
The interviews with cyclists reveal that the major consideration among users is the possibility to anchor the bicycle (35%), as well as provisions to prevent the bicycle from falling over (17%) and damage (5%). Users of a bicycle stand are not really interested in the public space taken up or a surprising design. They are mainly led by its ease of use. In actual practice it is also quite clear that users are not very critical of the features of bicycle stands and are mainly governed by available space as well as the possibility of parking close to their destination. The interviews do not reveal a preference for any particular type of bicycle stand.
The fact that the staple comes up favourite confirms town district authorities in their decision (in 2000) to use the staple as their standard, state the authorities. The staple does however have a drawback: it may take up relatively much space when parking pressures are high; bicycles fan out. Based on the results of this study and their own experiences district authorities will continue discussions with the manufacturers of the Dome and Connect, on the assumption that these are more narrow and will cause less of a fan-out effect, as well as the fact that these may be positioned where space is limited and/or parking pressure is high. In addition further experiments will be conducted with the Heklucht.