Safe Parking, Part 2: Location, Location, Location

Safe Parking Series: Part One: Bikes in Demand, Part Two: Location, Location, Location, Part Three: Lock’n’Load (actually, just Lock)

Example of Good Bike Parking 5

Location Matters

One of the nice things about a bike is that you can lock it up practically anywhere.  A lamp post, a parking sign, a park bench, or a railing; pretty much anything securely attached to the ground can hold a locked up bike, though please don’t use a parking meter (h/t to Joe Linton of LA Creek Freak).  Even so, not all bike parking is created equal.  If you have the option, please lock your bike to a bicycle rack.

An LADOT bike rack is always the best option, and we’re working on adding more of them every day.  A bike rack isn’t always available, and we understand that it can be pretty frustrating to look out over a sea of surface parking for cars and have no bike racks in sight.  If you have to lock your bike to another fixed object, here’s a heads up:

Tips on how to lock your bike to a fixed object

Give it a good tug first

  • Beware of sign posts, as they sometimes come out of the ground.  Bike parking’s no good if it allows thieves to slip the post right out of your lock, cable or chain.  If you use a sign post, make sure you’ve got the right lock.  Using a large chain can allow a thief to slip your bike up and over the top of the sign.  A u-lock is much safer.
  • We have heard stories that some bike racks in the City have been tampered with.  A rack can be loosened in the ground so it can be pulled out later by a thief.  It’s always a good idea to give the bike rack or street furniture you plan to use a good tug or pull so that you know it’s legit.  We’ve also heard of cuts being made in a bike rack (with a sticker placed over it afterward so the rack looks whole).  If you see a sticker on a rack, make sure it’s not hiding any surprises.  If you’re not confident with the results of your test, consider looking for a different location(and let us know the exact location of the bike rack that is loose at:!).
  • If you notice a location that could use a public bike rack: make a request here! We always want to add more and better bike parking in LA, but we don’t always know where bicyclists need it the most.  You, the public, are the best resource we have for where new parking should go, so let us know!

Next: Part Three: Lock’n’Load (actually, just Lock)

0 replies
  1. Joe Linton
    Joe Linton says:

    Interesting that the LADOT is advising us to do something that’s illegal in the city of LA: lock one’s bicycle to a parking meter.

    (It’s obviously done all the time… and I’ve never heard of anyone getting in trouble for it. But now, if you do get in trouble hitching to a parking meter, just tell ’em that the LADOT Bike Blog sent you!)

  2. Aric
    Aric says:

    How about installing bike parking at every single bus stop? Because of the horrible MTA transit system in LA many people use bikes in addition to public transportation to get around. This would be a wonderful way to encourage bicycle use in conjunction with the MTA.

    • ladotbikeblog
      ladotbikeblog says:

      Not a bad idea. The only criteria that would need to be met is that the installed racks not get in the way of egress/ingress of bus patrons.
      Our current system for installing bicycle parking in the city is that a business has to submit an application to bikeways for installation. It’s free for them, but sometimes businesses actually *don’t* want parking installed (crazy, I know). If anyone wants to lean on their local business to apply for bicycle parking, just send them this link:
      And here’s the application page:


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] of Transportation Bicycle Blog has a handy three part series about why you should lock your bike, where to lock your bike and how to properly lock your bike. Here’s an excerpt from the […]

  2. […] Parking Series: Part Two: Location, Location, Location, Part Three: Lock’n’Load (actually, […]

  3. […] 13, 2010 by ladotbikeblog So we’ve had some recent comments on LADOT Bike Blog, and some considerable interest from LACBC here, to C.I.C.L.E. here, to […]

  4. […] 9, 2010 by ladotbikeblog (Ed. Note: You can check out Safe Parking: Part 1 & Part 2 right here) The glorious LADOT […]

  5. […] pothole on the proposed 4th Street Bike Boulevard paved despite several crashes. LADOT says where you park your bike and what you lock it to matters. A Palm Desert driver says local cyclists area a danger to […]

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