Bicycle parking

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Car parking meter with integrated bicycle lock ring in Montreal, Canada.
Biceberg automated underground bicycle storage system in Zaragoza, Spain[1]

Bicycle parking involves the infrastructure and equipment (bike racks, bicycle locks etc.) to enable secure and convenient parking of bicycles. Arrangements for this include lockers, racks, manned or unmanned bicycle parking stations including automated facilities,[2] roofs for weatherproofing, as well as specific legal arrangements for ad hoc parking alongside railings and other street furniture.[3]


Bicycle parking is an important part of cycling infrastructure and as such is studied in the discipline of Bicycle transportation engineering. In most of the United States, bicycle parking facilities are scarce, or are so inadequate that nearby trees or parking meters are used. The hitching post type of bicycle rack is an improvement over the old type that had a slot for the front wheel, not the frame, but only allow for two bicycles per post. The Netherlands, where bicycles are much in use, has two-tiered bicycle racks accommodating high density (the handlebars overlap, often causing damage) and security (the bicycle is held well and is easy to lock).

Sections of existing car parks can often be retrofitted as cycle parking, offering advantages of location, cover and security and parking for more people.

Town planning policies and regulations are increasingly requiring provision for bicycle parking in new developments, in addition to car parking.[4] Many mass transit stations include bicycle parking in the form of bike racks or purpose-built bicycle parking stations to facilitate mixed-mode commuting.

Secure bicycle parking is argued to be a key factor influencing the decision to cycle.[5] To be considered secure, the parking must be of a suitable design: allowing the bicycle to be locked via the frame (see bicycle parking rack). A readily observable location can also permit so-called passive security from passers-by. Weather protection is also desirable. As a rule, where cycling is encouraged as an alternative to motoring, efforts are made to make bicycle parking more convenient and attractive to use than nearby car parking arrangements. This usually means providing a wide distribution of visible, clearly designated parking spots, close to the entrances of destinations being served.

Storage rooms or bicycle lockers may also be provided. In some cases large concentrations of bike parking may be more appropriate, sometimes being supervised and sometimes charging a fee - examples include bicycle parking stations at public transport interchanges such as railway, subway, tram, bus stations or ferry ports where they may be useful in mixed-mode commuting.[6]

Conversely, where cycling is seen as an unwelcome or inappropriate activity, or due to lack of knowledge about best practices, bicycle parking may simply not be provided or else placed at awkward, distant, and out-of-sight locations.[7] Cyclists may be expressly forbidden from parking their bicycles at the most convenient locations. In April 2007, the authorities at the University of California's Santa Barbara campus started confiscating bicycles parked at other than (allegedly inconvenient) official bike racks.[8] Some property owners or municipal authorities display signage on fencing to discourage bicyclists from locking their bicycles.

Types and equipment[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gallery of photographies". 2005. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Michael Baltes (2005), Integration of bicycles and transit, National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board, p. 39, The first staffed bicycle parking facility in the United States was opened in Long Beach, California. 
  3. ^ Success is on the cards, London Cyclist, June–July 2009, p. 6 
  4. ^ Marya Morris (1996), Creating transit-supportive land-use regulations: a compendium of codes, Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington, p. 25 
  5. ^ Lesson 17: Bicycle Parking and Storage, Federal Highway Administration University Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Publication No. FHWA-HRT-05-133 July 2006
  6. ^ Bicycle Access to Public Transportation: Learning from Abroad by Michael Replogle, Journal of the Institute for Transportation Engineers, December 1992
  7. ^ Report: Ashcroft High School, Crawley Green Road. Discharge condition 3 (school travel plan), Report by: Development Control Manager, Luton Borough Council 14 July 2004
  8. ^ To Proceed With Impoundment of Bikes, by Benjamin Gottlieb Daily Nexus, University of California - Santa Barbara News, 20 April 2007 (Accessed 28 October 2007)

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