Bike Parking Guidebook

Do you know the difference between good bike parking and bad bike parking? Chances are you don't, that's why you're here. Don't worry we're here to help you understand what makes a good bike parking rack and what makes a not-so-good bike rack. At Sportworks, we pride ourselves on creating the best bike parking in the world.

HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY A QUALITY BIKE RACK?

The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (or APBP) states that an acceptable bike rack will provide two points of contact with the frame and allow a U-lock to capture one wheel and the frame.

In addition, racks should accommodate all common bike styles, and first time users should recognize the rack as bike parking and be able to use it as intended without instruction.

CHOOSING A BIKE PARKING SITE

IDENTIFY EXISTING BIKE PARKING ISSUES

The first step to installing a proper bike parking solution is to identify and evaluate your location. Be sure to observe where and how cyclists are currently parking their bikes.

If bike parking does not exist yet, people will take it upon themselves to create their own bike parking, whether it’s a tree, a light post, or anything else compatible with their lock. Installing bike parking eliminates the need for cyclists to creatively meet their bike parking needs.

CHOOSE A HIGHLY VISIBLE LOCATION

If a cyclist cannot easily identify where to park their bike, they may not even use your bike parking area. They’ll instead create their own solution, based on whatever is available that seems to be secure.

Make it a top priority to place bicycle racks in high visibility areas, especially near the entrances they serve, or other areas that have high pedestrian traffic which will deter bicycle theft. Adding bicycle parking specific signage can help direct users where to park and/or how to park, and may attract more people to arrive by bike.

PROPER SPACE USE

HOW MANY BIKES NEED TO BE ACCOMMODATED

Ask yourself, how many bikes do you need to accommodate for your business, office, campus, or residential building. For preliminary determination, it is advised that you check with your city or local government to confirm minimum ordinances or mandates applicable.

CAPACITY AND SPACE USE

As soon as you've decided on the quantity of bike parking spots needed you will then have to ensure that there is ample space available to fit the bike parking racks needed to accommodate your needs. The recommended and minimum amount of space required for various layouts is shown in the following diagrams.

MINIMUM SPACING

Better density, with the tradeoff being ease of loading and unloading. Expect some handlebar and pedal interference with adjacent bikes, in some cases.

RECOMMENDED SPACING

Much greater ease of use for end users. No pedal interference, and handlebar interference would be rare.

SETBACKS

When configuring your bike parking installation, be sure to allow proper setbacks from buildings, pedestrian routes, and street furniture. This allows racks to work as designed and maximizes ease of use.

We've shown generally accepted setbacks here, but be sure to check with your local government for the requirements in your area.

PERPENDICULAR

PARALLEL

INSTALLATION SURFACES

CONCRETE

Concrete is the ideal surface for mounting racks securely and safely; plus, it’s cost effective. Surface and in-ground mounts both work well and are easy to install in concrete.

TILE, PAVERS, AND ASPHALT

Freestanding rail mounted racks are recommended for these surface types. However, asphalt specific anchors are an option. Note that masonry bits can fracture tile.

SOFT SURFACES

 With materials such as turf, dirt, or mulch you have two options: utilize rail mounting to create freestanding racks, or use concrete footings to embed or surface mount the rack.

MOUNTING OPTIONS

SURFACE MOUNT

This mount type uses mounting feet and appropriate hardware to anchor the rack to the ground. Sportworks recommends using tamper-proof hardware for greater security.

EMBEDDED MOUNT

The embedded or in-ground mount type requires the rack to be installed prior to pouring the concrete.

RAIL MOUNT

Mounting rails allow racks to be grouped together and may be left freestanding or anchored to the surface to ensure they stay in place.

REACH OUT TO LOCAL AND NATIONAL EXPERTS

For first-hand recommendations of bike parking opportunities and best practices in your community, consider contacting your local bicycle advocacy organization. Here are a handful of the groups located throughout the United States.

REGIONAL

NATIONAL

Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals
www.apbp.org

Alliance for Biking and Walking
www.bikewalkalliance.org

American Society of Landscape Architects
www.asla.org

International Living Future Institute
www.living-future.org

League of American Bicyclists
www.bikeleague.org

National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
www.nacto.org

People for Bikes
www.peopleforbikes.org

Safe Routes to School National Partnership
www.saferoutespartnership.org

Society for College and University Planning
www.scup.org

U.S. Green Building Council
www.usgbc.org