Bike Parking Wars | Fitbie

Bicycle Parking and Advocacy in Cities

Bike Parking Wars

In most cities, cyclists have nowhere to park their bikes legally. Here's how to change that

Bike parking and cycling advocacy

Whether your bike takes you to work or just on the occasional coffee run, when there's no rack at your destination, riding suddenly becomes a less practical means of getting around. After all, cyclists are often prohibited not only from bringing bikes inside, but also from locking them to posts or railings. Of course, we've always made use of whatever structures are available. But law enforcement can, and sometimes does, impound illegally parked bicycles, a fact New Yorkers know all too well. (Find out more about riding your bike in cities).

The unfortunate truth is that in most places, cyclists don't have the right to a safe place to park. To change this, you must organize locally and lobby your elected representatives. Here are some points worth sharing with them. (How can you effect positive change for cyclists in your community?)

MORE: Here are the 50 Golden Rules of Bicycling. Plus, learn to do all your own bike repairs at home with Bicycling's Complete Guide to Bike Maintenance.


In 2009, New York City began requiring the owners of commercial buildings equipped with at least one freight elevator to provide access for bicycle commuters. Interestingly, even though the law does not apply to residential buildings, bicycle parking has become a popular real-estate marketing tool in that city.

Have Bike Will Travel: Here's our no-hassle method for taking your bike with you.


Cities are increasingly coming up with creative solutions. Philadelphia has turned old parking-meter posts into bike racks; officials in New York plan to do the same. In Los Angeles, a new law will require more parking spaces for cyclists and make it easier for developers to swap car parking for bike parking.

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On-street corrals, or rows of bike racks, are a smart use of space. A single car-parking spot can fit 12 bicycles, according to the Clif Bar 2-Mile Challenge. (What's this?). In other words, bicycle-friendly shopping districts could potentially draw more customers.

Assistance provided by Rick Bernardi, J.D. Bob Mionske is a former Olympic cyclist and the author of Bicycling and the Law. Visit his blog at 

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