Wheels Where You Want Them Reply

The Office of Planning is proposing changes to the bicycle parking requirements as part of the Zoning Regulations Review. We realize that bicycles are increasingly the transportation mode of choice for many of the District’s residents. One of our goals with the updated code is to make bicycle parking as convenient for cyclists as possible. Currently (and rather bizarrely), the number of bicycle parking spaces is linked to the number of car parking spaces. Instead, we’re proposing to tie bicycling parking requirements to either a project’s square footage or its number of dwelling units.

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In addition to the proposed change regarding how to determine the required number of bicycle parking spaces, the Office of Planning is proposing some additional revisions to the Zoning Code when it comes to bikes. We recognize that different users will have different needs and have proposed requirements for both short- and long-term bicycle parking. We know it’s frustrating when you have to lock your bike to a sign post because you can’t find a conveniently located bike rack. We want to make sure that short term bike parking spaces are available to serve shoppers, visitors and individuals making deliveries.

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Short term spaces must be:
•  Located in a convenient, well-lit location that can be viewed from the building the spaces are intended to serve;
•  Available for shoppers, customers, commuters, messengers, and all other visitors to the site;
•  On the same lot as the use they are intended to serve or on public space within 20 ft. of the lot;
•  Within 50 ft. of a primary entrance to the building they serve;
•  Surfaced and maintained with an all-weather surface;
•  Located with an aisle at least 5 ft. wide between the rows of bicycle parking spaces; and
•  Provided as bicycle racks that meet the following standards:
      •   The bicycle frame and one wheel can be locked to the rack with a high security       U-shaped shackle lock if neither wheel is removed from the bicycle;
      •   A bicycle six feet (6 ft.) long can be securely held with its frame supported in at       least two (2) places so that it cannot be pushed over or fall in a manner that              would damage the wheels or components;
      •   Racks shall be placed apart from one another, and any other obstructions, a              minimum of thirty inches (30 in.), and provide a minimum clearance width of       twelve inches (12 in.) for each bicycle; and
      •   The rack shall be securely anchored.

On the other hand, we know residents and office workers may want a more secure and protected location to park a bike.

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Long term spaces must be:
•   Located within the building of the use requiring them;
•   Located no lower than the first cellar level or the first complete parking level below grade, and no higher than the first above-grade level;
•   Clearly marked and be separated from adjacent motor vehicle parking spaces by wheel stops or other physical automobile barrier if located in a garage;
•   Available to employees, residents, and other building occupants;
•   Provided as racks or lockers (racks shall be located in a parking garage or a bicycle storage room);
•   When provided in a bicycle room:
      •  The room shall have either        solid walls or floor-to-ceiling fencing.
      •  The room shall have locked doors.
      •  For any bicycle room with solid walls, the entirety of the interior of the bicycle       room shall be visible from the entry door.
      •  A motion-activated security light enclosed in a tamper-proof housing shall be       provided in each bicycle room.
•   When provided in lockers:
      •  The lockers shall be securely anchored and be 24 in. in width at the door end; 8 in.       in width at the opposite end; 72 in. in length; and 48 in. in height.
      •  Shall be directly accessible by means of an aisle of a minimum width of 48 in. and       have a minimum vertical clearance of 75 in. (aisles shall be kept clear of obstructions       at all times).

A minimum of 50% of the required long-term bicycle parking spaces shall allow the bicycles to be placed horizontally on the floor or ground. Vertical bicycle space racks shall support the bicycle without the bicycle being suspended. Each required long-term bicycle parking space shall be a minimum width of 24 in.), and shall be a minimum of 72 in. in length if the bicycles are to be placed horizontally; or a minimum of 40 in. in length if the bicycles are to be placed vertically.

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Changing Facilities
OP is also proposing that newly constructed buildings and buildings that are expanded in gross floor area by more than 25% must:
•   Provide a minimum of 2 showers if the space is larger than 25,000 square feet, and an additional 2 showers for every 50,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area above the first 25,000 sq. ft., up to a maximum requirement of 6 showers;
•   Provide a minimum number of clothing lockers equal to 0.6 times the minimum number of required long-term bicycle parking spaces. Each locker shall be a minimum of 12 in. wide, 18 in. deep, and 36 in. high;
•   Showers and lockers shall be accessible to employees and other long-term occupants of the use requiring them; and
•   Showers and lockers shall be located within the same building as the use requiring them.

We hope these proposals will make bike parking more available and suited to the needs of the range of cyclists. Have we missed anything? What should the proposed Zoning Code include to make parking your bike easier and safer? We want to hear from you.

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