It’s a Rack-It: Making your Business a Bike-Friendly Destination

June 21, 2011

Updated November 19, 2012

Photo: Inverted-U bicycle racksThey come in all shapes and sizes: Bollard, Double Decker, Grid and U-Style.  No, we're not talking about hats, buses or burgers; we're talking about bike racks.

A component of embracing the Car-Free Diet is to promote and encourage bicycle use instead of cars, but the second half of the equation is to offer effective and accessible bike parking.  Installing bike racks provides a convenient, secure short-term and long-term bike parking solution.

In your planning process, you'll want to be sure to contact John Durham, Transportation Demand Management Planner for the County of Arlington.  He reviews all plans with developers to make sure their plan adheres to the County code.

"I try to make it as easy as possible for them," said Durham, a regular bike commuter who cheerfully wants to make sure installation is done correctly from the get-go.  "I'm happy to go out and look at the [intended] space and can immediately tell if it [the space] is big enough."

A common mistake, says Durham, is putting bike racks too close to a wall.  He recommends bike racks that support the bike at two points on the frame. That's one of the reasons Arlington County does not approve the "Wave" type bike rack design.  These designs can be confusing as to whether to park the bike by one wheel, and risk having it tip over, or to park it horizontally and thus block all potential spots.

According to the Arlington Bicycle Parking Class 1 Standards, the Inverted "U" racks are the County Standard for Bike Racks.  These are designed to hold two bikes. Fore and aft clearances should be 24 inches minimum.  This allows for the bike wheels to stick out at each end.  Side clearance should be 36 inches minimum.  It's important to make sure these racks are easily accessible, visible, and far enough away from building walls, parking meters, or the curb.

Bicycle Parking Specifications

Bicycle Parking Specifications on CommuterPage.com.

Bike Rack Vendors

Bikeparking.com
Easy-to-use web site. Be sure to check out their "What to Avoid" page with visual examples of what not to do.

Creative Metalworks
If you're looking for original "Art Racks" ™ these will certainly garner memorable attention and highlight a marketing campaign.

Creative Pipe
Offers commercial and funky, artsy bike racks.

Dero Bike Rack Co.
This Minnesota-based company builds architecturally distinctive bike racks, is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and has a LEED accredited professional on staff.

Function First, Inc.
Web site has a gallery of photos and also helpful installation directions.

Landscape Forms
Per their web site, "All of these bicycle racks are made of robust steel, durable and weather resistant, and meet APBP (Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals) recommendations."

Saris
These are made in the U.S.A. (Madison, WI).  They use heavy duty, non-rusting steel, and use 100% recyclable plastics. They are also backed by a lifetime warranty.

For more information contact:
John Durham, Transportation Demand Management,
Department of Environmental Services, Arlington, VA
Phone: 703-228-3717, TDD: 711
Email: jdurham@arlingtonva.us
Bicycle Parking Specifications

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Did You Know?

Driving alone is the primary commute mode for 54% of Arlington Commuters, compared to 83% statewide.

2007 Virginia State of the Commute Study: Arlington Perspective

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