How to Get a Bike Rack

Lots of Bike Racks

The LADOT Bike Program  has installed over 3,600 bike racks and 446 meter hitches in the City of Los Angeles.  We’ll soon be adding as many as 1,700 additional bike racks in business districts over the next two years.  In the short term, the LADOT Bike Program is aiming to install around 100 new racks every month for the rest of the year.  Even better, we install them at no charge.

With so many bike racks to install, LADOT needs your help to find the best places to put them.  Sure, we could find locations to put in bike racks by ourselves, but we think it’s better to crowdsource possible new locations.  After all, bicyclists who ride the streets of LA every day know best where demand for bike parking is highest.  Rick Risemberg of Bicycle Fixation already took advantage and wrote about his request, and the subsequent installation, in the Larchmont neighborhood.


If you want them, ask.


Asking Alone Won’t Do It

While the LADOT Bike Program wants your input on where to put new bike racks, a suggestion does not immediately translate into a new place to park your bicycle.  There are a number of rules and standards that a site must meet before it can handle a bike rack.  For instance, the LADOT Bike rack program is only for businesses and only on the public right of way.  We can’t install bike racks on private property or in front of homes or apartment buildings.  But instead of hoarding all this information for ourselves, we’d like to share it all with you.

Sidewalk Specs

First of all, we need to be sure that a bike rack can fit.  Bike racks are classified as “street furniture”, just like parking meters, benches, hydrants, garbage cans, news racks, and light poles.  All street furniture must meet Bureau of Engineering (BOE) standards as well as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.  Without a certain amount of clearance to either side of the bike rack, we’re not allowed to install it on the sidewalk.  The general rules of thumb are:

  • A bike rack must be 18 inches from the curb;
  • A bike rack cannot be installed above a storm drain;
  • A bike rack must be a minimum of 3 feet from the nearest piece of street furniture (red curbs usually have the least street furniture, and therefore are usually the easiest place to install bike racks);
  • A bike rack can’t be installed on decorative pavement (i.e. bricks, hollywood starts, etc.); and
  • A bike rack should be about 3 feet from a curb cut (driveways)

Location is Important

Second, the LADOT Bike Program needs to scout the location to make sure it is optimal and safe for bicyclists.  A host of variables must be examined to make sure the site is suitable.  What is the street-lighting situation at the site?  What is the traffic volume?  What is the pedestrian volume?  Is there a lot of existing demand for bike parking in the area?  The Bike Program would never want to be accused of making bicycle parking unsafe.

Your suggestions welcome!

Now that we’ve got the nitty-gritty out of the way, where do you think the City needs more bike racks?  Let us know and you may seem them pop up in the near future!  If you don’t want to clutter the comments section, send your requests to or just use the online request form supplied by the LADOT Bike Program.  We’ll keep the blog updated on when and where new installations are taking place.

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