What to Consider Before Installing On-Street Cycle Parking

September 29, 2023

As urban areas strive to become more eco-friendly and accessible, alternative travel modes are moving firmly into the spotlight as solutions. Active travel and cycling, in particular, are ways for cities to decongest stuffy traffic, become greener and encourage people to have a healthier lifestyle. With the rise in cycling numbers, cities must match and even over-provision bike parking spaces.

One of the ways to transform public spaces and make them more cyclist-friendly is to install on-street bike parking. This is less complex than building larger bike hubs and can be done quicker. The other benefit of on-street cycle parking is that it doesn't require huge spaces, or more precisely, it can be done in a large area, but it can also be installed in a very small one, just accommodating a couple of bikes.

Installing on-street bike parking in strategic locations is good for cyclists as they can easily reach a destination and park close by, but it is also good for businesses as they can attract people who may have chosen a different shop or service provider if they couldn't conveniently park there.

The benefits of bicycle parking are easy to see. However, many businesses or councils may be wondering – where to begin regarding on-street bike parking. We will try to give you a few pointers in this blog, but our experienced staff members are always a call or an email away to provide you with more detailed recommendations and hear the specifics of your situation.

Planning for Optimal Locations for On-Street Cycle Parking 

Once you have decided that the idea of on-street parking is a good one, you need to start planning. Location is probably the first thing you should start considering.

A good starting point, if you are a council or a large premises owner, is to gather some feedback from the businesses in the area and find out their observations, thoughts and recommendations about the best location for bike parking. By engaging with relevant stakeholders, city planners or premises owners can identify areas where bike parking is in high demand. Businesses are likely to be open to having bike spaces nearby, as it can attract more customers who prefer cycling as their mode of transportation. Furthermore, such collaboration opens opportunities for businesses to contribute to the funding or maintenance of the bike spaces, fostering a sense of ownership and community involvement. Alternatively, if the initiative is coming from businesses, there may be funding opportunities from grant schemes which can be accessed.

Getting feedback is a great starting point; consider a few general good practices once you've done that. Bike parking spaces must be close to busy places and popular destinations to benefit the most people and for more cyclists to use them. Strategic placement of bike spaces is crucial to ensure that they are conveniently located for cyclists – otherwise, they may simply go unused. Ideally, the bike parking should be close to popular destinations, such as shopping centres, restaurants, schools, and public buildings.

Placing bike spaces near the entrances of these destinations is always a good rule of thumb, as it encourages more people to opt for cycling and provides an incentive for leaving their bikes in designated parking areas rather than locking them to fences or street signs.

Placing on-street bike parking on busy roads is another highly recommended rule to follow, as these routes are likely to have higher volumes of bike traffic. Cyclists are more likely to use these well-established paths, and locating bike spaces along them increases their visibility and accessibility. 

Another generally good idea is to choose street corners for your bike parking locations. Selecting street corners as prime locations for on-street bike parking offers several advantages. Firstly, street corners provide better visibility for cyclists approaching the parking area, making it easier for them to locate the designated spaces, and they are visible coming from either street. Secondly, this placement allows for improved sightlines for motorists, reducing the risk of collisions between cyclists and vehicles. By choosing street corners, cities can create a safer and more user-friendly environment for both cyclists and motorists.

Choosing Bike Racks for On-Street Bike Parking 

Selecting the right bike racks for on-street bike parking is crucial to ensure a successful and user-friendly implementation that will actually be used. There are several key considerations to make before you purchase bike stands and cycle racks for the chosen space.

Generally, we would advise you to think in two directions – firstly, the end user and their comfort, and second, yourself as the one making an investment.

From the end users' stand point bike racks need to be assessable, secure and comfortable to use. Since their primary reason for existing is to keep bikes safe and make it difficult for thieves to succeed in stealing them, make sure you choose a bike rack that users can lock their bike to in multiple places – wheels and frame. Then make sure that bike stands are also well spaced so they are usable. Racks should not let bikes get tangled in each other, which would lead to damage and frustration. They should be easy to move between and around so cyclists can park comfortably. Bike racks should also be sturdy to provide stability and protection from damage.

From your standpoint, we would advise you to consider the racks' durability and build. Bike racks should also be made of solid materials, like steel and stainless steel, so they require minimal maintenance and are indeed an investment that lasts a long time.

Delineating the Bike Parking Area

Another thing we advise clients to do is demarcation. This applies to indoor and outdoor bike parking facilities. It is always a good idea to delineate your parking area and to include a lot of helpful signage.

There are many ways to do this. You can paint the floor in the area in different colours from the surroundings to make sure it is visible and easy to tell where it starts and ends.

Another popular way to establish boundaries is to use physical barriers like bollards and parking posts. This way, you can also add some extra protection and enhance cyclist safety, as bollards can prevent cars from hitting bikes and people within the confines of the bike parking area.

On-street bike parking offers a sustainable and accessible solution to cycle parking needs, especially at transit points, busy streets and corners. By strategically planning and designing bike spaces, cities can encourage more people to embrace cycling as a viable mode of transportation.

If you have questions about bike parking and cycle storage, don't hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to answer questions and help plan your projects.

Bike Dock Solutions Team

Bike Dock Solutions is the UK's leading supplier of Bike Shelters, Bike Racks and other Bike Storage. Follow us on LinkedIn.