Arlington County Bicycle Parking Standards

2016 Update

This guide is designed to give architects, property managers, construction professionals, County staff and others involved in special exemption projects within Arlington County the knowledge to design, install and maintain adequate bicycle parking facilities. For more information, contact Melissa McMahon.

Available in Portable Document Format (PDF, 8.1 Megabytes, Adobe Reader required)


Contents

Photo: Vertical bicycle racks and bikesBicycle Racks

Layout and Installation

Short-Term Visitor Parking (Class III)

Long-Term Secure Parking (Class I)

Plan Review

Practices to Avoid

Appendix


Bicycle Racks

Best Practices

Good Bicycle Racks
  • At least 18” wide and 33” tall when installed
  • Securely anchor to a solid, immovable surface
  • Provide two points of contact for typical adult or child’s bicycle frame
  • Allow user to lock frame and one wheel using standard U-lock
  • Constructed of steel pipe or tubing
  • Galvanized with a powder coat finish to protect against corrosion (outdoor racks)
Photo: Inverted U racks, installed
Inverted-U racks are a common choice.
Photo: Circular or ring rack, installed
This rack provides a wide base to support both the wheel and the frame of a bicycle.
Commonly Accepted Rack Types
  • Inverted-U or hoop rack
  • Circular or ring rack
  • Vertical racks (indoor only)
  • Double decker racks (indoor only)
Graphic, bicycle rack types: Inverted U, Circular, Vertical, Double Decker
Rack depictions from Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals

List of Approved Racks

Vendor Approvable Product
American Bicycle Security Company Hoop, Hoop Heavy Duty
Bikerack.com Bike Rib 1.5 and 2.0
Bikeparking.com Double-Decker w/Locking Arm
Creative Metalworks Bike Circle
Creative Pipe Gauntlet, Inverted-U
Cyclesafe U/2, Bike Lockers
Dero Hoop, Downtown, Campus, Swerve, Ultra Space Saver, Decker, Duplex
Josta DoubleParker w/Locking Arm
Landscape Forms Ring Rack
Madrax Circa, U, U-two, UX
Park a Bike Inverted-U, Bike Lockers, Ganged Inverted-U
Saris Bike Dock, Stadium Rack, Locking Bike Trac
Sportworks Tofino, Circular, Inverted-U Narrow, Inverted-U Wide, Heavy Duty Inverted-U
Notes
  • All racks must be installed to offer a minimum of 33” of height and 18”
    of width.
  • This list is not comprehensive. Any racks that meet the standards in
    this guide will be considered for approval.

Layout and Installation

Sidewalk Installation

In-Ground Mount (Preferred Method)

In Brick or Stone Pavers

  • Legs must be 9” deep in a 12” x 12” concrete block
  • Block must be under 6” of pavers

In Concrete

  • Tubes must be minimum 9” deep in concrete

Diagram: U rack in-ground installation Photo: U rack in-ground installation

Surface Mounted Racks
  • Minimum of two fasteners per mounting plate
  • Concrete pad must be 4” deep
  • Use tamperproof studs or anchors

Diagram: U rack surface installation Photo: U rack surface installation

Installing on a Slope
  • Always ensure that the legs of the rack are vertical
  • Preferred method is using in-ground racks
  • For surface mounted racks, the use of shims may accomplish this task
Photo: In-ground U racks installed correctly on a slope
These inverted-U racks were installed with one leg deeper than another, with the result being an even installation on a slope.
Photo: Surface-mounted U-racks installed incorrectly on a slope
These inverted-U racks were surface mounted on a slope with no shims, and the installation is tilted.
Hardware
  • Exposed threads/nuts should be stainless and not galvanized

Acceptable Hardware

  • Concrete spike
  • Security nuts
  • Threaded expansion anchor or Rawl stud
  • Metal shims
Illustration: Installation hardware
Concrete spike, security nuts, threaded expansion anchor/Rawl stud, metal shims. Hardware depictions from Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals, AAA Technology, and The Steel Supply Company.

Dimensions and Clearances

Dimension Minimum Clearance
Aisle Width - single level 5 feet
Aisle Width - Double-decker racks 7 feet
On-center distance - Parallel or angled racks 3 feet
On-center distance - end to end U racks 8 feet
Distance from any obstruction 2 feet
Vertical clearance for Double-decker rack See manufacturer's specs.
Definitions

Single level: All racks either on ground level or vertical
racks.

Double-decker: Any rack that requires the bicycle to
be rolled or lifted up onto a second level.

Diagram: Dimensions for parallel U rack installation
Parallel U rack configuration
Diagram: Clearance for angled U rack installation
Angled U rack configuration
Diagram: Clearance for end to end configuration
End to end configuration (on sidewalk)


Short-Term Visitor Parking (Class III)

Class III Parking

Definition
  • Intended for short-term use by visitors
  • Outside, but near a building entrance
  • Are secure by means of bicyclist’s own lock
Requirements
  • Installed within 50 feet of an entrance
  • Leaves pedestrian paths and vehicle rights of way clear
  • Highly visible
Other Considerations
  • Often placed in line with utility strips and
    tree pits
  • Referred to as Class II when covered by roof
    or overhang
Typical Class III Ratios for Arlington Site Plans
Land Use Number of Class III Spaces
Residential 1 space for every 50 units
Office 1 space for every 20,000 sf
Retail 2 spaces for every 10,000 sf, up to 50,000 sf, then 1 space for each additional 12,500 sf
Hotel 1 space for every 50 units
Educational 1 space for every 10 High School students, 15 Middle School students, and 20 Elementary School students

Note: These ratios are the most current. Please verify for your project in the site plan conditions.

Photo: Class III bike parking outside elementary school
Class III bicycle parking outside of an elementary school.

Long-Term Secure Parking (Class I)

Class I Parking

Definition
  • Intended for long-term or overnight storage
  • Typically provided for tenant employees or residents
Requirements
  • Protection from weather
  • Security of locked room or cage
  • Ability to lock bicyle to a rack within the room or cage
Typical Class I Ratios for Arlington Site Plans
Land Use Number of Class I Spaces
Residential 1 space for every 2.5 units
Office 1 space for every 6,000 sf
Retail 1 space for every 25,000 sf
Hotel 1 space for every 10 hotel rooms
Educational 1 space for every 10 employees

Note: These ratios are the most current. Please verify for your project in the site plan conditions.

Photo: Class I bike parking
Long-term secure bicycle room provided in a residential building.

Location Choices

Best Option

Fully enclosed ground floor room with sidewalk access

Pros: Clean, discrete, highly secure, less conflict with cars

Cons: May take up leasable square footage

Photo: Class I Parking Location Best Option

Second Best Option

Fully enclosed room in garage

Pros: Discrete, highly secure

Cons: Conflicts with cars, can be uninviting

Photo: Class I Parking Location Second Best Option

Third Best Option

Cage in a garage

Pros: Secure

Cons: Bikes are visible to potential thieves, conflicts with cars, can be uninviting

Photo: Class I Parking location third best option

Special Scenarios

Bike Lockers

Pros: Secure, protection from weather (for bicyle)

Cons: Bicyclist not protected from weather, not space efficient

Photo: Class I Parking Special Scenario -- lockers

Room Design and Facilities

Room Design Requirements
  • At least 30% of bicycle parking must be horizontal and at ground level
  • Cage walls must be made of industrial grade expanded metal or welded wire mesh
  • Doors must be hollow metal
  • Doors must use a heavy-duty cipher lock or electronic lock
  • Cages only: door handles and locks supplemented by sheet metal plating, 3 feet in each direction, as needed to prevent tampering
  • Cage walls must reach all the way to ceiling
Photo: Bike cage fit around bulkhead
This cage adapts to the garage bulkhead.
Photo: Bike room lock
This room is secured by an electronic fob lock.

For Non-Residential Uses

Showers and lockers support Class I facilities for bicycle commuters.

Item Requirement
Lockers (quantity) One locker per gender, per Class I bicycle parking space
Lockers (dimensions) Minimum 12” wide, 18” deep, 36” tall
Showers (quantity) One shower per gender for every 50,000 sf, up to 3 showers per gender
Accessibility 24-hours
Photo: Bike lockers
Lockers provided in the bicycle cage.
Photo: Bike lockers
Lockers provided adjacent the showers.

Plan Review

Steps to Take

Rough Guide to Bicycle Parking in New Construction Process

1. Depict interior bike parking on architectural plans

2. Depict exterior bike parking on civil engineering plans (Civil and Landscape plans must match)

3. Submit with complete plans to appropriate department for review

4. Make revisions to plans as required (typically for Footing to Grade Permit)

5. Order materials

6. Schedule installation coordination meeting with TDM staff prior to install for layout guidance and troubleshooting

7. Complete installation

8. Schedule inspection of installation with TDM staff prior to need for release of First Certificate of Occupancy

Photo: Outdoor bike parking

Rough Guide to Bicycle Parking in Renovation or Retrofit Process

1. Obtain copy of relevant plan sheets for area on property where bike rack installation is being considered

2. Schedule site selection meeting with TDM staff for location and layout guidance
and troubleshooting

3. Submit drafts of revised plan and detail drawings to TDM staff for review

4. If necessary, submit approvable drawings as a part of complete application for administrative change, through Zoning

5. If administrative change is approved, order materials

6. Schedule installation coordination meeting with TDM staff prior to install for layout guidance and troubleshooting

7. Complete installation

8. Schedule inspection of installation with TDM staff

Class III Plan Requirements

Civil Plans

Site or Streetscape Plan:

1. Show and label all exterior bike parking locations

Detail Drawings:

2. Show and label distance between racks and all obstructions

*Civil and Landscape Plans Must Match*

Plan with exterior bike parking locations
Click to enlarge

Plan showing distance between racks and all obstructions
Click to enlarge

Class I Plan Requirements

Architectural Plans: Interior Bike Rack Locations

1. Show and label all interior bike parking locations on appropriate architectural floor plan

Sample floor plan showing bike parking locations
Click to enlarge

Architectural Plans: Interior Bike Rack Details

Show and label the following:

1. Proposed room or cage walls

2. Wall and door material

3. Cage wall and/or door security plates (if applicable)

4. Door lock type

5. Dimensions between racks

6. Dimensions from racks to walls and other obstructions

7. Aisle widths

Sample drawing showing interior bike rack details
Click to enlarge

Additional Requirements

Architectural and Civil Plans

For each type of bicycle rack, provide a construction specification sheet with
information from the manufacturer, and hardware schedule. Where needed for clarity,
there should be drawings depicting ceiling clearance above the racks.

Elevation drawing showing bike racks
Click to enlarge


Practices to Avoid

Common Mistakes

Bad Bicycle Racks
  • Require excess lifting
  • Have unintuitive design (the simpler the better)
  • Too narrow to support wheel and frame (18” minimum)
  • Easily dislodge from the ground (remember tamperproof hardware)
  • Constructed of materials that will rust and corrode
  • Create conflict with the handlebars
Photo: Bike rack near obstructions
This rack is not functional due to its proximity to obstructions.
Photo: Sculptural bike rack
Artistic racks can have designs that are confusing to cyclists.
Unacceptable Rack Types
  • Wave racks
  • Fence racks
  • Spiral or corkscrew racks
  • Coat hanger racks
  • Wheel block racks
Graphic: Wave, Coat Hanger, Fence, Spiral/Corkscrew racks
Rack depictions from Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals


Appendix

County Construction Specifications

Drawing: Arlington County Bike Rack Construction Specifications
Click to enlarge
| Text only


More Information

For more information, contact Melissa McMahon.

Did You Know?

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American Public Transportation Association

Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counters

Bikes counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
336
14th Street Bridge
954
Arlington Mill Trail
224
Ballston Connector
165
Bluemont Connector
99
CC Connector
649
Clarendon EB bike lane
117
Custis Bon Air Park
419
Custis Rosslyn
714
Fairfax EB bike lane
100
Joyce St NB
20
Joyce St SB
25
Key Bridge East
650
Key Bridge West
414
Military NB bike lane
28
Military SB bike lane
20
Quincy NB bike lane
55
Quincy SB bike lane
55
Roosevelt Bridge
224
Rosslyn Bikeometer
2106
TR Island Bridge
617
WOD Bon Air Park
414
WOD Bon Air West
586
WOD Columbia Pike
392
WOD East Falls Church
436
Wilson WB bike lane
139

Peds counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
490
14th Street Bridge
207
Arlington Mill Trail
569
Ballston Connector
344
Bluemont Connector
288
CC Connector
437
Custis Bon Air Park
374
Custis Rosslyn
266
Joyce St NB
58
Joyce St SB
87
Key Bridge East
2094
Key Bridge West
987
Roosevelt Bridge
86
TR Island Bridge
519
WOD Bon Air Park
503
WOD Bon Air West
495
WOD Columbia Pike
402
WOD East Falls Church
302

All counters, YTD

View Counter Data
Year to Date
4204192
About Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counter Program