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Report
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-05-118
Date: July 2006

Lesson 17: Bicycle Parking and Storage

This photograph shows the frame of a bicycle that has been locked to a railing made of steel pipe. Apparently the wheels, seat, and most of the bike parts and accessories has been stolen while the bike was parked at this location.


Lesson Outline

  • Bicycle parking objectives.
  • Types of bicycle parking.
  • Identifying priority locations.
  • Rack area and rack designs.
  • Bicycle parking ordinances.

Bicycle Parking Objectives

  • Provide well-located, secure bicycle parking at popular bicycling destinations.
  • Require new commercial, public, and high-density residential developments to include bicycle parking.

Types of Bicycle Parking

The first type of device is a bike rack, which can be shaped like an inverted “U”, a lollipop, an inverted “U” with a cross brace, or an inverted W. The second type of device is a bicycle locker, which is basically a box-shaped enclosure that can be locked from the outside. The third type of device is a bicycle lock-up, which is an open space that has a cage enclosure with bike racks inside for double locking protection.

Implementation Strategy

  • Install parking on public property.
  • Encourage businesses to provide parking.
  • Change zoning regulations to ensure that parking is provided in new developments.

Implementation Elements

  • Identify key implementers.
  • Structure the program.
  • Identify priority locations.
  • Choose appropriate parking devices.
  • Implement.
  • Evaluate.

Identify Priority Locations

  • Visual observation.
  • User input.
  • Land-use criteria.
  • Visibility.
  • Security.
  • Lighting.
  • Ease of access and avoiding conflict.

This picture shows a bicycle that has been locked to a utility pole.


Rack Area Design

This illustration shows the recommended design dimensions for bicycle rack areas. The plan view sketch shows a bike parking area with two rows of parked bikes, threes bikes in each row. The open space between the two rows of parked bikes is 1.2 m (48 in), and the width (from back to front wheel) of each row is 1.8 m (72 in). The dimension from the actual bike rack to a boundary wall is 0.6 m (24 in) on all sides. A note indicates that all dimensions are recommended minimums.

Source: APBP Bicycle Parking Guidelines, Spring 2002

Recommended Rack Designs

The first bike rack is the post & loop, which resembles a lollipop with the stick attached to the ground. The second back rack is the inverted “U”, which looks as its name implies. The third bike rack is the “A” rack, which looks like an inverted “U” rack with a cross brace.

 

Source: APBP Bicycle Parking Guidelines, Spring 2002

Designs NOT Recommended

"Wheel benders"
The first bike rack is called a wave, which has an undulating appearance of a wave with the ends of the wave attached to the ground. The second bike rack is called a toast, which is a freestanding device that has slots into which front wheel may be placed to support the bike. The third bike rack is called a comb, which has several smaller vertical elements through which a front wheel is placed to support the bike.

These bike racks are not recommended

Source: APBP Bicycle Parking Guidelines, Spring 2002

Parking Ordinances

  • Number of spaces required.
  • Types of permitted rack designs.
  • Location of bicycle parking/racks.
  • Other elements:
    Lighting.
    Signing.
    Weather protection.

Lesson Summary

  • Bicycle parking is an important supporting element.
  • Bicycle parking should not just happen—it should be part of a larger implementation strategy.

 

FHWA-HRT-05-118

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