Vienna prevents smart ideas for cyclists

Vienna celebrated the winners of the “smart ideas” competition to promote all things bicycle last night (Monday).

The first place, and 7,000 Euros prize money, went to the Wiener Rad AG for their bike-storeroom project.

They distinguished themselves from 235 other projects which were presented on the theme “bicycle” in the context of a competition by the creative agency “departure”. The deputy mayor Renate Brauner (SPÖ) said that the projects not only came from Austria, but also from the Massachusetts Institut of Technology, for example.

There were suggestions presented to improve security, for stylish biking, biking with children, for Apps or for a more comfortable shopping experience on the bike.

The idea behind the Wiener Rad AG project is that empty premises in the city be used as a space for people living in the neighbourhood to store their push bikes. Moreover, the developers of the believe that communication in neighbourhoods can be improved by locals crossing paths and meeting up in the bike store room.

In the Viennese year of the bike, the jury also distinguished the “Mobile Bike Stands” project which developed a temporary parking facility with concrete feet and metal loops which could potentially be used at large-scale events.

The third place went to “Tel-O-Porter” and their “Shared Urban Bike Trailer”. The idea is to offer large trailers for rent which can be fitted onto all types of bikes – thus providing cost-effective transport possibilities in Vienna.

A special prize was awarded to the “Cycling Public” initiative which proposes to reward cyclists for each kilometre on the bike – with theatre tickets, for example.

The public voting decided on “BikeLike Vienna” – an app and web-platform with public GPS details on bike dynamics, road incline and so-called stop-and-go situations.

The “Tragerl” project with its ecological cardboard saddle bag was also rewarded for another original idea.

The agency at the origin of the competition insisted that creative biking ideas don’t disappear into a drawer. Managing director Bettina Leidl assured the public she, on the contrary, wanted to promote and support such projects.

All in all, 2013 will see some 160 bike-related events take place in Vienna as the city council seeks to motivate more people to get on the bike. There will be a Bike-Arena on the City Hall square June 10-16, a large-scale bike parade and a bicycle picnic.