Bicycle Parking Specifications

Bicycle Parking Specifications for Developers

In order to assist developers with the design and installation of effective bike storage facilities consistent with their site plan conditions, County staff has prepared several documents containing text, diagrams, and photographic examples of the County’s bicycle parking standards. Below we provide a brief summary of these concepts, as well as links to more detailed documents for download.

Specifications for Inverted "U" Racks

A single inverted U rack is designed to hold two bikes and therefore counts as two bicycle parking spaces. Bicycles park parallel to the “U”, one on each side, with the middle of the bike leaning against the rack. Often these are installed incorrectly by a contractor so that only one side is useful. Fore and aft distances from obstructions should be 24 to 36 inches to allow room for the bikes wheels to stick out on each end. If surface-mounted to concrete, tamper-proof expansion anchors should be used. A standard bike takes up about 6 feet in length. Gangs of racks (multiple racks on a common base) may be easier to install as they need fewer anchors. Each rack element (the "U") should be 36 inches apart so two bikes can be accommodated on each "U".

Class 1 Bicycle Storage Options

Photo: double bike rackClass 1 storage for bikes consists of a cage or room where entry is controlled via locking mechanism (may be combination, key, fob, etc) and where the bicycles are protected from inclement weather (rain, snow). Many people think that Class 1 storage has to be in a garage, but it does not. Class 1 storage could be in a lockable ground floor room or some other agreed upon location. A ground floor room has the advantage of cleaner facilities, fewer conflicts with automobiles, and easier access to the outside. Some buildings have their class 1 storage on the ground floor accessed via a dedicated door to the sidewalk.

If you have eight feet or more of unobstructed ceiling height in the area designated for storage, a double-decker rack may be the optimal answer. Please check with the manufacturer on ceiling height requirements for different rack designs. They will need a minimum of 13 feet in one direction inside the enclosure for loading bikes onto the racks.

Key fob access is the best solution for securing these class 1 storage facilities, if the building is going to have fob access installed for other elements of the building. It much easier to administer electronic fob rights than to manage keys, combinations or passwords.

When designing the space for required bicycle facilities, pay attention to the details of the site plan condition requirement. Be sure the designated space (room, cage) is large enough to accommodate the required capacity, considering necessary pathways of travel to get bikes on an off the racks. Some buildings (particularly commercial) are required to provide clothing lockers and showers for use by bicycle commuters. Consider the location of these facilities in relation to the bicycle storage, as well as the number of lockers and showers required. When ordering lockers and preparing for installation, pay attention to the size: they must be able to reasonably fit belongings such as a helmet, bike shoes, bike lock, spare jacket, etc.).

For more information on class 1 bicycle storage design, please refer to our reference guide: Arlington Bicycle Parking All in One. (PDF, 2.1 MB, Adobe Reader required. Updated February, 2014.)

Class 3 Visitor Bike Parking

Photo: Inverted U rackVisitor racks are required to be on the exterior of the building, 50 feet or less from the main entrance (or main and retail entrances) of the building. Visitor racks need to be readily visible to a person coming to the building to access the main or retail exterior entrances.

For more information on class 3 visitor rack design and installation, please refer to our reference guide: Arlington Bicycle Parking All in One. (PDF, 2.1 MB, Adobe Reader required. Updated February, 2014.)

Preparing Bike Parking Plans

Plan reviewers are looking for clear plans for bike racks such that reviewers can clearly determine that there is enough space around the rack to make them useable, and so that the contractor may be expected to install them only once, successfully. Please show all installation dimensions in the drawing, or call-out drawing, related to building objects for both interior and exterior racks. Make sure that the racks are installed far enough away from walls, bollards, parking meters, the curb or other objects to ensure their usability.

Developers can propose a specific rack design to us for approval. For examples of bike rack plans and dimensional call out drawings, please refer to our reference guide: Arlington Bicycle Parking All in One. (PDF, 2.1 MB, Adobe Reader required. Updated February, 2014.)

Contact Melissa McMahon for more information about bike parking requirements and specifications.

Bicycle Parking Requirements for LEED Certification

Some developers in Arlington County may seek LEED certification for their projects. TDM bicycle parking requirements are separate from those requirements that provide points toward LEED certification, although they will count toward that effort. Contact Joan Kelsch for more information about bicycle parking requirements for LEED certification.

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