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Bicycle Parking at Multi-Unit Residential Developments

Bike parking at home

    People living in condominiums and apartment buildings often have challenges storing bicycles, particularly if the have more than one bike or if they have other, cumbersome accessories like bike trailers.

Multi-unit residential buildings do have storage for personal belongings, but bicycles are a different challenge. For many people, they require access daily and a long term storage facility in a distant corner of a parking garage is neither convenient nor appealing.

Bikes may consume a lot of space and easy access is important. Security is also critical, for expensive equipment and also for personal security. A single woman working odd hours may be disinclined to bike if her building storage is in the far reaches of a parking garage where few people are around to provide informal surveillance, or lighting is poor and the feeling of isolation is prevalent.

Older buildings in particular were often built without consideration for bicycle storage, and even newer developments often underestimate the requirements of safe, secure and convenient parking for bicycles and accessories.

Workplaces provide better models for day-long bike parking, providing controlled access security, and sometimes generous space, but residential needs are sometimes more extensive. Storage may be required for weeks or months at a time, especially where cycling is seasonal, and more and more families have multiple bikes and perhaps other cycling equipment that needs storage.

Some innovations could also include common property work stands and basic repair tools, as well as places to clean bikes.

For security, one model I have seen at a high-rise with hundreds of units had "pods" of bike parking. Access to individual bikes was controlled through sections of bike parking cages sectioned off to allow for storage of several bikes per cage, in turn controlled for access in a larger maze of cages in a parking garage that itself again had access controlled to residents or authorized visitors.

The poorer examples include wall mount bike hangers at the end of a parking space in a parking garage, confining cyclists to inadequate space and inconvenient storage in a place where more easy access might be gained, exposing bikes to theft or vandalism.

With the value of current bicycle technology and personal ownership of bicycles vary high, a higher level of service is needed. More work needs to be done on ensuring better facilities are provided in newly constructed developments, and retrofits for older buildings need to be imagined to help more people choose cycling.