Bike Parking is a vital and easy way to support the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation. When planning bike parking, you must consider if users need short-term parking (less than 2 hours) or long-term parking (2 hours or more). All bike parking racks should allow locking of the frame and at least one wheel with a U-lock and be intuitive to use. You don't want to let bad bike parking stop your community from riding.
Below we’ve cited some best practices and online resources to help you plan your bike parking. Whether you're looking to install public parking, a bike parking area for your business, or a solution for parking your bikes at home- we've got you covered.
Short-term parking should be convenient & easy to use and is designed for parking 2 hours or less. Successfully short-term parking solutions must be highly visible and in close proximity to businesses/key destinations.
Long-term bike parking should be secure & sheltered and is designed for parking 2 hours or longer. Physical security is the most important aspect of long-term bike parking. Access is limited by the use of locks, keys, or smart cards available to users and signage is often necessary for first-time users of this type of parking. Alewife Station’s Bike Cage is an excellent example of secure, long-term parking.
If you are looking to get more public bike parking in your city or town, email [email protected] and we can help you find who is in charge of public bike parking in your area.
Short-term parking is used by visitors to your building. This type of parking should be visible & located within 50 feet of the entrance it serves. To ensure security, all racks should be well anchored. High public visibility is key not only for security but for ensuring awareness and usage of the racks.
This type of parking would be used for employees or residents and sheltered. This parking is physically secure with access control through the use of keys, smart cards, or other technology. The design should have space to accommodate trailers & longer bikes, such as cargo bikes, by ensuring an additional 36 inches of clearance for a portion of racks.
The MBTA offers 3 types of parking:
- Regular racks - offered at 95% of stations
- Covered bike parking - protected from the elements
- Pedal & Park facilities - secure, enclosed parking
MBTA Bus Racks
All non-electric MBTA buses have a 2-bike rack. When using an on-bus bike rack, you must notify the driver before you walk in front of the bus. You can find more information about how to use bus racks at the MBTA’s Using the Bike Rack Photo Guide.
Bringing your bike on the Train
Bike are not allowed on the T during rush hours, click here to find more details on when you can ride with your bike. Only 2 bikes are allowed per subway car, one on each end, do not board through the middle door when riding with your bike. When riding the Commuter Rail, follow the conductor’s orders when boarding the train with your bike. Before bringing your bike on the train, check the MBTA Rules.
You can find more information at www.mbta.com/bikes.
Good outdoor parking at home is secure, protects bikes from weather, & easy to use. Bike Sheds can be an option depending on if you have a yard and your budget.
The right indoor bike storage depends on your space & the type of bike needing to be stored. Wall hooks are a great option if you can drill into the wall & can hang any bike type. Gravity stands can hold two bikes of any type without needing to drill and require minimal install time. You can also build a custom bike parking set up to fit your space and bike parking needs.
- Association of Pedestrian & Bicycling Professionals: Essentials of Bike Parking
- Town of Arlington, MA: Bicycle Parking Guidelines
- Mobility Lab: 10 Rules for Construction of Good Bicycle Parking
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