Long-Term Bike Parking

Long-term parking is for tenants, employees, customers, and others who will park their bike for more than three or four hours.  The following provides the best practice requirements for long-term bike parking.

Details for Long-Term Bike Parking

Security & Weather Protection

All long-term bike parking should be covered for weather protection and be in a secure area. Acceptable secured locations for long-term bike parking include:

  • An individual bike locker.
  • A locked room.
  • An area that is enclosed by a fence with a locked gate. The fence must be either 8 feet high or be floor-to-ceiling.
  • A defined area within view of an attendant or a security guard. The attendant or security guard must be on duty for all hours of the intended use of the facility. For example, a 24-hour parking garage would need an attendant on guard for 24-hours, while a sports stadium with long-term parking for sports fans would only need an attendant before, during and after games.
  • A defined area that is monitored by a security camera and is within 100 feet of an attendant or security guard who can quickly respond to a possible bike theft in progress.
  • In a foyer or other open room in an apartment or condo building with a secured entrance (such as by a key or keypad), provided the area is monitored by a security camera.
  • An office or other indoor workplace where employees can monitor bicycles.
  • In the foyer or entrance of a restaurant, bar, or retail store where employees and customers can monitor the bike parking area.

With the exception of bike lockers, all of the long-term bike parking facilities must allow bicyclists to lock their bikes (both the frame and a wheel) to a bike rack using a standard U-lock.

Design of Long-Term Bike Parking

The preferred rack for all bike parking, including long-term bike parking, is the staple rack bolted to the ground. In order to conserve space, vertical racks may be used, provided that at least 25 percent of the bike parking spaces provided are staple racks or another horizontal bike rack that meets the design standards for on-street/sidewalk bike parking.

While vertical racks can conserve space, many bicyclists are not strong enough to lift heavy bicyclists to be secured to the rack. In addition, vertical racks can cause damage to spokes when a bicycle is hung from its wheel (as is the case for most vertical racks). Most importantly, many bicycles are simply too large to fit vertically on a wall, including tandem, recumbent, cargo, and long-tail bikes.

Where 20 or more bicycle parking spaces are required, at least 5 percent of the spaces must be 10 feet long instead of 8 feet in order to allow space for tandems and trailers. These spaces should be marked as reserved for family bikes, cargo bikes, tandems and trailers.


The following location guidelines should be met for all long-term bike parking:

  • Bicycle parking required for residential uses must be located on-site, and bicycle parking required for nonresidential uses shall be located on the lot or in a shared bicycle parking facility within 100 feet of the lot.
  • Bicycle parking in parking garages must be either on the same level as the entrance to the garage from the street or accessible via automobile ramps designed to serve bicyclists (with slope of less than 5% or less than 8% with a landing every 30 feet), or near an elevator that is sufficiently large to accommodate bicycles. Cargo and family bicycles are 7 to 8 feet long.
  • Areas for long-term bicycle parking should be well-lit to enhance safety and make the location inviting for people to lock their bikes there. The area should not be hidden in the garage and should instead have easy access with clear wayfinding to reach it.
  • Where long-term bicycle parking in a parking garage is next to automobile parking or a loading zone, a physical barrier, such as bollards, must be provided in order to prevent cars from crushing bicycles.
  • Bike racks near a wall must be at least 36 inches from the wall.
    • Bike racks that are skinnier than 27 inches, the rack may need to be spaced at a greater distance from the wall. A staple rack will need to be placed at least one inch farther from the wall for every inch the rack is skinnier than 27 inches.

Directional Signage

Directional signage and pavement markings shall be installed when bike parking facilities are not clearly visible from the street or sidewalk.

To create legibility and encourage public awareness of the bike parking, the signage and wayfinding for bike parking should be uniform across the city. We recommend the use of the following signage, which is simple, uses the round design that is the standard design for downtown garage parking signs, and uses the bike symbol and Rave Green color that are easily understood to represent bicycling.

In addition, in a parking garage, painting a green path to the bike parking can provide both easy wayfinding as well as defined space for bicyclists to comfortable ride within the garage. The painted bike lane should be four-to-six feet wide, include a white traffic bicycle symbol, and lead from the garage entrance to the bicycle parking area. In addition, the entire floor area of the bike parking area can be painted green to provide a clearly defined space.