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Brooklyn-Based Startup Wants to Redefine Bicycle Parking

By Monica Buck

It doesn’t matter whether you live in Mumbai and lock your beloved machine to a lamppost or whether you live in the Netherlands and leave your bike in an underground storage facility. Bike parking in general seems to be rather dull. And Oonee is a company that aims to change that.

“One of the big problems of traditional infrastructure is its singular focus on providing bicycle parking,” says Shabazz Stuart, Oonee’s founder and CEO. “The focus has not been on design, placemaking, or public-space activation.”

Oonee wants to change bike parking into something colourful, attractive and full of life. Their ambition is to make customizable “bike pods” which would become the main feature of any given street or public square. A feature that would bring further amenities, such as food trucks or bike-share stations. And those could in turn attract more people, which might, in theory, inspire even more people to start cycling.

“We wanted to make something that would make people who don’t own a bike want to go out and get a bike,” says Manuel Mansylla, Oonee’s co-founder and creative director. “The sidewalk is populated with stuff that is stuck and old, like phone booths or newsstands. We wanted something that was ever-changing.”

The company plans to build 5 to 10 prototypes this year and wants to create an app that will allow its users to park in any pod created by Oonee. The looks and use of any given parking station will be very much up to the riders themselves. Shabazz Stuart, a cyclist himself, intends to rely on feedback from the riders and innovate the pods according to their ideas of safety.

“We need to be engaging everyone at once,” Stuart says. “This is very much community-driven infrastructure.”

What do you think of Oonee’s designs? Let us know in the comments!