It is a familiar sight to see people of all ages riding bikes in Missoula. Biking is good for the environment, personal health, and perhaps most importantly, your wallet. Missoulians are riding bikes for pleasure, and also for transportation. That is why we need adequate parking for these two-wheeled vehicles at all destinations. These facilities must be convenient, accommodating, and secure. Bike parking regulations can be found in Chapter 20.60.090 of the city code, but these zoning requirements are just minimums. In some locations, businesses or apartment building managers may want to provide more than the minimum. We have compiled the information below to explain the various types of bike parking and how developers, property managers, and business owners can provide bike parking that meets City standards and makes employees and tenants happy.
Providing bicycle parking is one of the easiest and best ways to encourage more people to ride bikes for transportation. Please contact the Bicycle/Pedestrian Program Manager if you have any questions about how you and your organization can benefit the most from adding or improving bike parking.
Short Term and Long Term
Short term bike parking provides a secure facility which supports the bicycle by its frame, in a location that is convenient for people visiting your apartment or place of business.
Long term bike parking provides a place that is reasonably free from vulnerability to both weather and theft of any part of the bicycle. Users of long term bike parking typically park for periods of 8 hours or more and on a regular basis. This applies particularly to employees while at work and for residents of multi-family dwellings.
Your bicycle parking should provide for both long and short term users in the amounts specified in Title 20 of the Missoula Municipal Code, which are as follows:
SHORT TERM BIKE PARKING
All bike racks should be made with 1 ¼” schedule 40 galvanized pipe. The standard rack is 34” tall and 48” long. Here are the specifications for the standard racks we install around town. Powder coating is an option instead of galvanization. Please contact the bicycle/pedestrian office if you are thinking about diverting in any way from the standard.
All short term bike racks must:
Over the last 35 years, we have learned that there are some racks that might be widely manufactured and installed, but do not meet these criteria. The “fender breaker” or “comb” rack commonly found at elementary schools is one example that does not meet these criteria. Another is the “wave” rack, since it is very easy for bikes to slide down the vertical portion and become closer to flat on the ground than standing upright.
All bike racks shall be installed on a concrete surface using at least four 3/8” x 3” “RAWL BOLT” type concrete anchors per bike rack. After installing the RAWL anchors, an area around the anchors shall be coated with cold galvanizing. Alternatively, the rack legs may be set in concrete eighteen inches deep by one foot wide.
Bike racks are only useful if they are conveniently located. Please keep the following criteria in mind when choosing a place for bicycle parking:
A parked bicycle occupies a space of 24” x 60”. Rack design and location must accommodate this space and allow the a person to park her bike without moving another bike.
LONG TERM BIKE PARKING
There are several ways to provide space for long term bicycle parking that meet the criteria and intent of the requirements.
Long term bike parking must be located within the same distance to the building as is employee or resident motor vehicle parking. If long term bike parking is to be located inside a building, it should be easily accessible to the intended users. Don't make people carry bikes up or down stairs, or navigate winding hallways. Even if the parking space is indoors, it should be possible to lock an individual bike to an attached object.
Long term bike parking spaces can be located close together if they are within individual bicycle lockers. If they are located within a building, long term bike parking spaces should be situated as far apart as or farther than short term bike parking spaces. This is because the constraints of being inside can often make it difficult to maneuver the bicycle in and out of the parking space.