What are best practices for bike parking?

Bicycle parking includes any type of facility for securely storing a bicycle on a short or long-term basis, from a simple bicycle rack located outdoors to secure, high-capacity indoor bicycle parking facilities.

Short-term bicycle parking (less than two hours): This type of parking usually involves bicycle racks such as the inverted U. Racks provide support for the bicycle at two places and allow the user to secure the frame and at least one wheel with a standard U-shaped bicycle lock. Racks are low-cost devices that typically hold two to eight bicycles, are secured to the ground, and should be located in highly visible areas with sufficient passive surveillance. Typical land uses include schools and activity centers such as parks, libraries, retail locations and civic centers. If possible, short-term parking should be located 50 to 150 feet from the entrance to a building, to ensure that cyclists do not lock up to trees and signposts closer to their destination.

Bike storage lockers.

Photo: Dan Burden, from www.pedbikeimages.org

Long-term bicycle parking (two hours or more): Long-term bicycle parking is typically accomplished using a bicycle locker or a secure bike corral that may be accessed only by bicyclists. In lieu of enclosed bicycle lockers, provide weather protection in the form of a shelter or by locating the racks in an existing covered area such as a parking garage or building overhang. Security ensures that bicycles won't be vandalized or stolen. Other end-of-trip facilities such as showers, lockers and changing rooms are also desirable in conjunction with long-term parking because these features make it more practical for people to bike to work, etc. (For more examples, read the BikeStation case study: http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=3969) Typical land uses requiring long-term parking include employment centers and transit hubs.

For more information and resources, visit the Bicycle Parking page on this Web site: http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/engineering/parking.cfm. The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals publishes Bicycle Parking Guidelines, which is available at http://www.apbp.org/?page=Publications.