An important component of getting more people to get around by bike is to have effective bike parking at end-of-trip destinations. The availability of safe and convenient parking is as critical to bicyclists as it is for motorists and yet it is frequently overlooked in the design and operation of shops, offices, schools, and other buildings. Workplaces, apartments and condos, grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, schools, and community centres should all have effective and adequate bike parking.
Different styles and locations of bike racks are required to suit the needs of patrons or customers versus staff or residents. For example, a customer of a hardware store would prefer a bike rack near the front door to the store which is clean, well-lit and highly visible for both convenience and security. An employee of that hardware store, on the other hand, would prefer to lock up his or her bike in a staff bike room which is not accessible to the public, has lockers or storage for a change of clothes, and possibly a shower to clean up after a commute.
Bike Rack Rentals
EBC has temporary bike racks for rent. They are best for community events and festivals which want to encourage attendees to bike to the event. The racks are easy to transport, easy to set up, and one 3.25 meter rack can accomodate up to 8 bikes.
Types of Bike Rack
Not all commercial bike racks meet the City’s bylaw requirements. Be sure you refer to the bylaw or the bylaw brochure for specifications. If a rack fails to meet those requirements, it will likely be ineffective for bike parking. A large portion of common bike racks have fundamental design failures and can’t hold bicycles securely. You’ll be wasting your money and time if you get one of these racks.
Principles of good bike rack design:
- Works for a variety of bicycle types and sizes
- Intuitive – how to properly lock up is obvious for cyclists
- Supports bike frame at two points in a horizontal plane for stability
- Minimizes tangling or damage to bikes
- Accommodates common locks (U-Locks and cables)
- Minimizes hazards or obstructions in pedestrian environment
- Space efficient
Principles of good bike rack location:
- Proximate to destination/entrance
- Allows informal surveillance (security) in well-lit area
- Efficient footprint and minimizes obstructions for pedestrians
- Weather protected (covered)
Short Term Bike Parking
Short term bicycle parking is usually defined as being two hours or less, such as might be necessary outside a store, or for visitors to an office building, park, or Government service center. This type of bike parking should be:
- conveniently located close to the main entrance
- well distributed (i.e., it’s likely better to have four or five racks spread out along one city block rather than a group of four or five racks mid-block)
- visible to the cyclist
- in areas of high pedestrian activity, to discourage would-be thieves
Long Term Bike Parking
Long term parking usually suggests that the bicyclist is leaving the bike all day, or overnight, or for an even longer duration. Obviously the level of security and protection from the elements needs to be greater, but the immediate convenience of the parking facility may not be as important.
Long-term parking options include:
- Racks in an area that is monitored by security cameras or guards
- Racks in an enclosed, lockable room
- Lockers, individual lockers for one or two bicycles
- Racks or lockers in an area always visible to employees
Where to purchase bike racks
- City of Edmonton Sustainable Transportation, 780-496-2615. Request the installation of Q-ring bike racks at a specific location or report a damaged Q-ring..
- Soldan Fence & Metals, (780) 436-9530, 5919-103A Street. They make a hanger-style rack (pictured below). Note: The “low style” rack (not pictured) does not meet City guidelines and is not recommended.
- A & T Rolling and Forming, 780-436-4367, 8726-61 Ave. Price is $40 per bend and they can only do a minimum radius bend of 12”. Also, for an extended “U” rack a minimum 1’ straight section is required between bends.
- Oxford Machine & Welding, 780-451-6424, 11612-170 St. Price is also $40 per bend but they can do 5” radius bends.
- Local metal shops (such as Edmonton Supply, 780-424-0776) will also build custom bike racks, given a design.
- Maglin - Calgary, 1-800-716-5506
- Custom Park - Calgary, 403-569-8180, 1-866-569-8104
- Advantage Bike Racks and Lockers - Vancouver, 1-604-734-2575
- Urban Racks Vancouver, 1-888-717-8881
- Dobra Design - Vancouver, 1-888-642-3722
- CORA Bike Racks Canada (no website) - Vancouver, 1-800-739-4609
- Bike-Up - Nepean, Ontario, 1-800-661-3506
- Capital Bike & Walk (out of Victoria) has a comprehensive booklet titled ‘Bicycles at Rest’.
- Bicycle Parking Guidelines
- International Bicycle Fund’s bike parking recommendations