LA Officially Adopts New Bicycle Rack Standard Plan

(Ed. Note: Though we published this post on April 1st, it’s not a joke.  This new parking standard is for real.)

Just this week, the Bureau of Engineering signed off on a citywide Bicycle Rack Standard Plan. This new plan will be put to use as we purchase and install bike racks for our citywide sidewalk parking program.  The document creates measurable standards to govern proper bike rack material quality, proper bike rack installation procedures, and proper bike rack location criteria.

bike racks specs

Page 1 of the new bike rack specs

The new Bicycle Rack Standard Plan for City-owned bike racks is a public document, so download your own copy right here.  Having these new standards in place will get all City departments on the same page when it comes to bike parking and ensure that all new bike parking is installed properly.

We should take a moment to note, however, that the new standards only apply to City-owned bike racks.  Bike racks installed on private property, or bike racks installed by other public agencies (such as CRA/LA or Metro), can deviate from these standards. Also, having a standard doesn’t preclude us from doing art racks or other types of racks on occasion; it does, however, make ordering new racks to satisfy business requests for bike racks easier for us.

We’d like to give special thanks to former LADOT bicycle coordinator Carlos Morales for all his hard work on drafting the Bicycle Rack Standard Plan.  Carlos has moved on from LADOT to take a position as the Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Omaha, Nebraska.  We wish him the best and thank him for his years of dedicated work at LADOT.

0 replies
    • ladotbikeblog
      ladotbikeblog says:

      JJJ – Thanks for the comment. With a 3″ anchor bolt properly installed flush against the support plate, you’d essentially need to hit an LA standard U-rack with a car in order to dislodge it. Were that to happen, your bike would have bigger problems than being locked to a compromised rack.
      Also, racks outside of the City Standard may be used when given prior approval by the City Engineer. That was written into the Standard Plan so we would still be able to install meter hitches (454 installed around the City so far) or art racks (like the “bicycle” racks outside the Caltrans building & LAPD HQ downtown, or the pennyfarthing racks outside the LA Times building).

      • JJJ
        JJJ says:

        Unfortunately, Ive seen this type of rack compromised in other cities. The bolts loosen with time (or were just never properly installed) and it becomes easy to move it and slip locks out without having to cut anything.

        And then if two bikes are attached, a determined thief/vandal only needs to make one incision to get to both bikes, instead of two.

        Mind you, the inverted U is better than the “wave” style or the types that attach to wheels, but it isnt perfect.

        • ladotbikeblog
          ladotbikeblog says:

          @JJJ – good point. Improperly installed U-racks, or U-racks with thin steel pipe, can be more easily compromised. That is why our bike rack standard plan has specifications for installation as well as the proper thickness of steel pipe that the City will accept from vendors.

          On that note, if you ever happen to see a City rack with its bolts not driven all the way into the base plate, please let us know. We need the public’s help to keep our installers accountable.

          And yes, wave racks are awful. We’re really glad the City doesn’t install those.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] L.A. Adopts New Standards for Bike Racks (LADOT Bike Blog) […]

  2. […] Just two more weeks before Streetsblog’s 2nd annual Eco-Village fundraiser. LADOT officially adopts a new bike rack standard. L.A. officially awards $5.4 million in Measure R funds for biking and walking plans, including a […]

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