Bicycle Parking Design

While the City of Los Angeles will gladly install bike racks where possible in the public right-of-way, we understand that there may be non-qualifying sites where property owners are planning to install bike parking facilities. In those cases, we offer the following tips and guidelines for the self-installation of bike parking on private property:

Do’s of Bike Parking

  • DO place short-term bike parking as close to building entrances as possible to increase security and make travelling by bike convenient.
  • DO make bike parking visible to people on bikes, building security, foot traffic, and anyone approaching the building. Placing bike parking at a highly visible location reduces incidents of theft and vandalism and encourages visitors to consider arriving by bike.
  • DO provide lighting for areas with  bike parking, as needed. Like parking lots for cars, people parking their bikes prefer to do so in a well-lit environment to feel safe and deter theft.
  • DO install bike parking that supports the frame of a bike, not just the wheel. Poorly designed bike parking facilities can encourage vandalism and may damage people’s bikes.
  • DO install bike parking that is compatible with a variety of locks. If someone is unable to lock their bicycle properly using your designated bike parking, it can discourage people from riding their bike and make bikes targets for theft.
  • DO make bike parking simple. Bike racks designed for short-term parking should not be too complex to use. Inverted-U racks are simple, relatively vandal- and maintenance-proof, and accommodate a variety of locks.
  • DO keep bike parking areas clean. Unkempt bicycle parking, like unkempt parking lots for cars, can make potential users feel uncomfortable or unwilling to park there. Plan to provide regular maintenance.
  • DO provide a cover and protection from the elements as necessary. People do not want to sit on a wet bike seat or leave their bike out in the rain to rust.
  • DO develop a bike locker rental program that is low-cost and convenient to encourage people to commute on bikes.

Dont’s of Bicycle Parking

  • DO NOT place short-term bike parking in an inconvenient location or conceal it with screens or landscaping. Hiding bike parking increases chances of theft and vandalism.
  • DO NOT post “No Bike Parking” signage. If people are parking their bikes outside of designated bike parking areas, something is wrong with the existing bike parking. Signage is can be used to direct people to where bike parking is available.
  • DO NOT place bike parking near irrigation systems were bikes can get wet and be damaged.
  • DO NOT install bike lockers or other types of bike parking that can be used for anything other than bike storage. Avoid coin-operated lockers, which can create maintenance and operation issues.
  • DO NOT install bike parking facilities in locations where they can create tripping hazards for people.
The Pulpit Rock

Avoid grid-style racks because they can damage wheels.

Artist Designed Bicycle Racks

The City of Los Angeles has a history of developing innovative transportation projects, which includes the use of artfully designed bike parking. “The Bicycle Stops Here” was a cooperative effort of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT). The project developed and installed functional works of art at 10 different locations designed to be used as bicycle racks. Since the initial project’s installation, a number of additional streetscape projects throughout the City have included artist-designed bicycle racks.

Bike Racks from The Bicycle Stops Here

Bicycle Parking Ordinance

In 2013 Los Angeles City Council passed the Bicycle Parking Ordinance. The ordinance designates bicycle parking standards citywide at commercial, industrial and residential-type locations. The ordinance includes:

  • Formal definitions for different types of bike parking
  • New standards for different types of bike racks including long-term and short-term bicycle parking
  • Improved standards for where bike racks are located on a property
  • Clear requirements for short-term and long-term bike parking
  • New provisions allowing bike parking to be substituted for car parking for up to 20 percent of  the total automobile parking required for non-residential uses or up to 30% of the auto parking required near Transit Oriented Developments (TODs). Residential buildings will be able to swap up to 10% of their car parking, and if located within 1,500 feet of a transit facility, up to 15%. This exchange would occur at a rate of four bike parking spaces, per automobile space
  • New standards requiring properties with 20 or more long-term bicycle parking spaces to also include 100 square feet of bicycle repair and maintenance space for residents and employees
  • Permitting process for allowing bike corrals to be installed in the public right of way

Download the full ordinance here.

Bicycle Rack Specifications

In 2011, the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering released a citywide Bicycle Rack Standard Plan. The document provides standards to govern proper bicycle rack material quality, bicycle rack installation procedures, and bicycle rack location criteria. These standards apply to bike racks installed in the public right-of-way (sidewalks).

Racks installed on private property and racks installed by other public agencies (such as Metro) on their property, can deviate from these standards. The standard does not preclude the City from installing non-standard racks, but non-standard rack installations may require approval from the City’s Bureau of Engineering, special permitting and site plans.