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A 'Drive-In' Cafe for Bikes Pops Up in Zurich

Zurich is already a bike-friendly city, with plenty of bike lanes, a third of all Zürchers biking at least twice a week, and some innovative tech like traffic lights that automatically recognize bicycles and let them go ahead of other vehicles. But the city wants to get even more bikers on the road, realizing that mobility will become more of a challenge in the future. As part of a larger Urban Transport 2025 plan that also encourages public transportation and walking, the city is experimenting with new incentives for cyclists, including this bike-up coffee bar.

Like the bike version of a classic drive-in restaurant that lets diners eat without leaving their car, this stand lets bikers enjoy coffee without getting off their two-wheeled rides. (The German sign in the photo says "Drive up. Ring. Enjoy your coffee.") The Velokafi stand was designed to include a tabletop, a place to dock your bike, and side rails to rest your feet as you perch.

The stands are only up temporarily for now, through next week. Think your local coffeeshop could use one of these? The design brings up a related issue that's common in the United States: if you live near drive-through restaurants or banks, are bikes allowed? In many places, they're not, though bike activists are fighting to change that. For some cities, working on equal access might be more useful than bike-only drive-ins, as nice as they look.

Image courtesy of City of Zurich.

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