City of Cambridge Bicycle Parking Ordinance

Bicycle Parking Ordinance: Cambridge

DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS

For new development and redevelopment projects, bicycle parking must be provided in accordance with zoning requirements. Locations and types of bike parking must be shown in building site plans and approved by the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and the Community Development Department. Ensure that your bike racks are approved and well used by following these guidelines.

City of Cambridge Zoning Ordinance

For the latest and most accurate information, please access the ordinance online at
www.cambridgema.gov/cdd; by e-mail, bikeracks@cambridgema.gov, or by phone 617/349-4604. A hard copy can be obtained at the City Hall Annex at 344 Broadway, Cambridge, MA.

6.100 BICYCLE PARKING

6.101 Purpose. In order to support the ongoing viability of bicycle travel as a transportation
option that mitigates the impacts of automobile use, the following regulations are provided
to ensure that secure, conveniently accessible bicycle parking is provided in adequate
quantity to serve new development and land uses throughout the city.

6.102 General Terms and Standards for Bicycle Parking

6.102.1 Definition and Use. Bicycle parking, as the term is applied in this Zoning Ordinance, shall
refer to the accessory storage of non-motorized bicycles (which may include trailers or
other customary accessories) in a secure manner that allows for quick and convenient
access, storage and removal of the bicycles by users who are making trips to or from the
associated principal use.

6.102.2 Bicycle parking serving a principal use in accordance with this Article shall be maintained
exclusively for the parking of bicycles, and not for the storage of other objects unrelated to
bicycle use or for other purposes, so long as the use exists which the facilities were
designed to serve. Bicycle parking facilities designed in accordance with this Article shall
be available for use at all times when the associated principal use is in operation, except
when access may be restricted for necessary maintenance from time to time.

6.102.3 Wherever else in this Zoning Ordinance the term “parking” is used without specific
reference to bicycle parking, such term shall refer only to parking for motor vehicles and
not to bicycle parking.

6.102.4 Bicycle Parking Spaces. A Bicycle Parking Space shall be defined as an area within which
one intact bicycle may be conveniently and securely stored and removed in an upright
position with both wheels resting upon a stable surface, without requiring the use of a
kickstand, and without requiring the movement of other parked bicycles, vehicles or other
objects to access the space.

6.102.5 Types of Bicycle Parking. Bicycle Parking Spaces may be classified as Long-Term or
Short-Term depending on their characteristics as set forth below.
a. Long-Term Bicycle Parking shall be located within an enclosed, limited-access area
designed so as to protect bicycles from precipitation and from theft. Long-Term Bicycle
Parking shall be intended primarily to serve residents, employees or other persons
who would require storage of a bicycle for a substantial portion of the day, for an
overnight period, or for multiple days; however, it may serve other bicycle users as
needed. Long-Term Bicycle Parking may be provided within the following types of
facilities:
(i) Enclosed spaces within a building, such as bicycle rooms or garages.
(ii) Bicycle sheds, covered bicycle cages, or other enclosed structures designed to
provide secure and fully covered parking for bicycles.
(iii) Bicycle lockers, or fixed-in-place containers into which single bicycles may be
securely stored and protected.
(iv) Weather-protected bicycle parking spaces that are monitored at all times by an
attendant or other security system to prevent unauthorized use or theft.
b. Short-Term Bicycle Parking shall be located in a publicly accessible space near
pedestrian entrances to the uses they are intended to serve. Short-Term Bicycle
Parking shall be intended primarily to serve visitors, such as retail patrons, making
trips of up to a few hours to a particular use; however, it may serve other bicycle users
as needed. Short-Term Bicycle Parking may be provided adjacent to public streets and
sidewalks, or in some cases within the public right of way, as set forth further below in
this Section.

6.103 Applicability of Bicycle Parking Requirements

6.103.1 Bicycle parking requirements shall apply to the following projects, except where exempted
by Subsection 6.103.2 below:
a. The construction of a new building or establishment of a new open-air use on a lot.
b. An increase of at least fifteen percent (15%) in the number of residential dwelling units
on a lot or in the amount of non-residential Gross Floor Area on a lot from the time of
adoption of this Section 6.100.
c. The conversion of existing Gross Floor Area to a new category of non-residential use,
where such conversion results in at least a fifteen percent (15%) increase in the total
number of bicycle parking spaces that would be required for the entire building by this
Section 6.100.

6.103.2 Notwithstanding the requirements in 6.103.1 above, bicycle parking shall not be required
for the following:
a. Detached one-family or two-family dwellings as set forth in Section 4.31, Paragraphs
(a-c) of this Zoning Ordinance.
b. The enlargement, expansion or conversion of an existing building, where the
difference between the bicycle parking required for the proposed building and the
bicycle parking that would be required for the existing building (under this Section
6.100) equals fewer than two (2) bicycle parking spaces.
c. The enlargement, expansion or conversion of an existing building resulting in a
dwelling containing three (3) or fewer dwelling units.

6.103.3 Where bicycle parking requirements are applicable pursuant to this Section, they shall be
applied to the entirety of any use that is established, expanded or enlarged within a
building or on a lot, and not only to the incremental increase in the intensity of such use.

6.104 Location of Bicycle Parking

6.104.1 Long-Term Bicycle Parking shall be provided within the building containing the use or uses
that it is intended to serve, or within a structure whose pedestrian entrance is no more than
two hundred feet (200’) from a pedestrian entrance to such building. Long-Term Bicycle
Parking serving multiple uses or buildings may be pooled into a single area, enclosure or
facility. Where Long-Term Bicycle Parking is located adjacent to motor vehicle parking or
loading facilities, a physical barrier shall be provided to prevent damage to bicycles by
other vehicles.

6.104.2 Short-Term Bicycle Parking shall be located in one of the two following ways:
a. Private Lot. Short-Term Bicycle Parking on a private lot shall be located within fifty feet
(50’) feet of a pedestrian entrance to the building or buildings containing the use or
uses it serves. For buildings or uses requiring more than eight (8) Short-Term Bicycle
Parking Spaces, some of the required spaces may be located at a greater distance
from the entrances, so long as eight (8) Short-Term Bicycle Parking Spaces are
available within fifty feet (50’) of any entrance.
b. Public Contribution. If Short-Term Bicycle Parking cannot be reasonably provided on
the lot, a property owner may satisfy the requirements for Short-Term Bicycle Parking
by providing funds for the installation of bicycle parking on public land. The City shall
determine the location and design of such bicycle parking, which may include
permanent bicycle racks, seasonal bicycle corrals or other facilities, and may vary from
the standards set forth in this Section 6.100. The City shall have the right to install
bicycle parking on the sidewalk adjacent to the lot, or may choose to retain the funds provided in a Public Bicycle Parking Fund to support the installation or replacement of
public bicycle parking at a future time. In either case, prior to issuance of a Certificate
of Occupancy, the property owner shall enter into an agreement with the City which
sets forth the cost of installing the required number of Bicycle Parking Spaces, which
shall be the amount of funds provided by the owner, the timing by which payments are
made, and each party’s responsibilities for ongoing maintenance of the facilities, if
applicable.

6.105 Design and Layout of Bicycle Parking. Required bicycle parking shall be provided in some
combination of Bicycle Racks or Bicycle Lockers according to the standards set forth
below. Other design options may be allowed pursuant to Section 6.108 further below.

6.105.1 Bicycle Racks. Long-Term Bicycle Parking or Short-Term Bicycle Parking requirements
may be satisfied by the installation of Bicycle Racks which meet the design and layout
standards set forth in this Subsection. Installers of Bicycle Racks may consult the City of
Cambridge Bicycle Parking Guide, 2008 or later version, for illustrations of acceptable
Bicycle Rack design and layout.
a. A Bicycle Rack shall mean a fixed-in-place stand, solidly anchored to the ground or
other fixed object, which allows a bicycle to lean against it in an upright position with
both wheels on a level surface. A bicycle shall make contact with the stand at two (2)
points along the length of the bicycle and shall allow one or both wheels to be locked
to the stand by way of a cable, chain, U-lock or shackle. Types of permissible Bicycle
Racks include, but are not necessarily limited to, those commonly known as “Inverted
U-shape,” “Swerve” and “Post-and-Ring” racks. Stands commonly known as “Wave
Racks” do not meet the standards for Bicycle Racks set forth herein.
b. Each Bicycle Rack, if designed to the spacing requirements set forth herein, may
provide up to two Bicycle Parking Spaces, with one Bicycle Parking Space provided on
each side of the Bicycle Rack. If a Bicycle Rack meets the spacing requirements on
one side of the stand but not the other (as may be the case where a Bicycle Rack is
attached to a wall), then it may provide one Bicycle Parking Space,
c. A single interconnected structure may provide parking for more than two bicycles, in
which case the term Bicycle Rack as applied in this Ordinance shall refer to any
vertical element of the structure upon which one or two bicycles may be secured and
which otherwise meets the layout standards set forth herein.
d. To provide adequate space to store and remove a standard bicycle, there shall be at
least three feet (3’) clear horizontal distance from the center point of the Bicycle Rack
in a direction perpendicular to the length of the bicycle, and at least four feet (4’) clear
horizontal distance from the center point of the Bicycle Rack in each direction parallel
to the length of the bicycle.
e. Where twenty (20) or more Bicycle Parking Spaces are required, at least five percent
(5%) of the required spaces must provide an additional two feet (2’) of space parallel to
the length of the bicycle to accommodate tandem bicycles or bicycles with trailers.
f. Bicycle Racks shall generally be arranged either in rows (where bicycles are parked
side-to-side) or in alignment (where bicycles are parked end-to-end). Where Bicycle
Racks are arranged in rows, they shall be spaced at least three feet (3’) apart on-center. Where Bicycle Racks are arranged in alignment, they shall be spaced at least
eight feet (8’) on-center.
g. In addition to the requirements set forth herein, all Bicycle Racks shall conform to any
applicable federal, state or local requirements for accessibility by disabled persons.

6.105.2 Bicycle Lockers. Long-Term Bicycle Parking or Short-Term Bicycle Parking requirements
may be satisfied by the installation of Bicycle Lockers which meet the design and layout
standards set forth in this subsection.
a. A Bicycle Locker shall mean an enclosed, lockable structure which a single user may
open and close for the purpose of storing one or more bicycles. Although a Bicycle
Locker is allowed to store more than one bicycle, for the purpose of meeting the
requirements of this Section 6.100, a single-use Bicycle Locker may provide only one
Bicycle Parking Space. A lockable structure may provide more than one Bicycle
Parking Space only if it contains Bicycle Racks designed in accordance with the
requirements of 6.105.1 above.
b. A Bicycle Locker shall be secured by means of a lockable door or an object inside the
Bicycle Locker to which the bicycle frame and one or both wheels may be secured by
way of a cable, chain, U-lock or shackle.
c. A Bicycle Locker must allow for a bicycle to stand upright within the locker without
requiring the use of a kickstand.
d. To accommodate a standard bicycle, a Bicycle Locker must provide an interior space
at least two feet (2’) in width and six feet (6’) in length. However, as provided in
6.105.1(d) above, where twenty (20) or more Bicycle Parking Spaces are required, at
least five percent (5%) of the required spaces must accommodate an additional two
feet (2’) of bicycle length to accommodate tandem bicycles or bicycles with trailers.
e. In addition to the requirements set forth herein, all Bicycle Lockers shall conform to
any applicable federal, state or local requirements for accessibility by disabled
persons.

6.105.3 Unacceptable Bicycle Parking Designs. Bicycle Parking Spaces shall not be deemed to
meet the requirements of this Section 6.100 if any of the following are true:
a. Bicycles must be stored lying down or require a kickstand to remain upright.
b. Bicycles must be “hung” with one or both wheels suspended in the air.
c. Bicycles must be lifted off of the ground or floor without any physical assistance
provided.
Otherwise, flexibility in the design of bicycle parking shall be allowed pursuant to the
provisions for modification by special permit as set forth in Section 6.108 below. Such
modifications shall allow for consideration of new or innovative technologies that provide
equal or greater convenience and accessibility to bicyclists when compared to facilities
designed according to the Bicycle Parking Guide standards.

6.106 Access Standards for Bicycle Parking

6.106.1 Primary Access. All Bicycle Parking Spaces must be accessible by way of at least one
clear, stabilized-surface access route. Such access route shall connect to the Bicycle
Parking Spaces from any point or points along the public right of way from which bicyclists
would be reasonably expected to approach the site, and shall meet the following additional
requirements:
a. The primary access route must be at least five (5) feet in width.
b. If there is a change in grade from the public right-of-way to the Bicycle Parking
Spaces, then the primary access route must have a slope no greater than five percent
(5%), or may have a slope of no greater than eight percent (8%) if level landings are
provided at every thirty (30) feet of linear distance; or access may be provided by
means of an elevator with minimum interior dimensions of eighty (80) inches by fiftyfour
(54) inches.
c. The primary access route must not require lifting bicycles over any steps or stairs.
d. All access routes must be clear of obstructions, which shall include Bicycle Parking
Spaces, motor vehicle parking spaces and loading spaces; however, doors or gates
that must be opened to access the Bicycle Parking Spaces shall not be considered
obstructions so long as they may be conveniently opened and closed by bicycle users.
e. All access routes, along with the Bicycle Parking Spaces themselves, must be
appropriately lighted to allow for safe nighttime use.

6.106.2 Additional Access. So long as there is at least one primary access route meeting the
requirements set forth in Section 6.106.1 above, Bicycle Parking Spaces may be accessed
secondarily by routes that do not meet those exact requirements, such as parking garage
entrance ramps or stairways with adjacent flat stairway channels along at least one edge
of the stairway. However, all access routes must be clear of obstructions as set forth in
6.106.1(d) above.

6.107 Required Quantities of Bicycle Parking

6.107.1 Minimum Number of Bicycle Parking Spaces. The required quantities of Long-Term
Bicycle Parking Spaces and Short-Term Bicycle Parking Spaces shall be calculated by
independently applying the minimum rates set forth in the Schedule of Long-Term Bicycle
Parking Requirements and the Schedule of Short-Term Bicycle Parking Requirements
below. Each rate shall be multiplied by the intensity of the applicable land use or uses,
measured in Gross Floor Area, number of dwelling units, or other specified unit of
measurement. Wherever the application of such rate results in a fractional value, such
fraction shall be considered one required Bicycle Parking Space. The total number of
Bicycle Parking Spaces required shall be the sum of the required Long-Term Bicycle
Parking Spaces and Short-Term Bicycle Parking Spaces. Any Bicycle Parking Space that
meets the requirements for both Long-Term Bicycle Parking and Short-Term Bicycle
Parking may contribute to the minimum requirement for one type or the other, but not both.

6.107.2 Schedule of Long-Term Bicycle Parking Requirements. Minimum rates of Long-Term
Bicycle Parking shall apply to specified categories of land use as set forth below. For
specific land uses, the following categories are cross-referenced in the Schedule of
Parking and Loading Requirements set forth in Section 6.36 of this Zoning Ordinance. In
the case of any inconsistency between the list of included uses as set forth below and the
categorization set forth in Section 6.36, the categorization in Section 6.36 shall control.

See Section 6.107.2 For a table on minimum Long-Term Bicycle Parking Rates

6.107.3 Schedule of Short-Term Bicycle Parking Requirements. Minimum rates of Short-Term
Bicycle Parking shall apply to specified categories of land use as set forth below. For
specific land uses, the following categories are cross-referenced in the Schedule of
Parking and Loading Requirements set forth in Section 6.36 of this Zoning Ordinance. In
the case of any inconsistency between the list of included uses as set forth below and the
categorization set forth in Section 6.36, the categorization in Section 6.36 shall control.

See Section 6.107.3 For a table on minimum Sort-Term Bicycle Parking Rates

6.107.4 Open-Air Uses. For any use that occupies land that is open to the air and not enclosed
within a building, the minimum parking rate for the extent of such open-air use shall be
applied per 3,000 square feet of land area instead of per 1,000 square feet of Gross Floor
Area. For such uses, the combined sum of required Long-Term Bicycle Parking Spaces
and Short-Term Bicycle Parking Spaces may be provided as Short-Term Bicycle Parking
Spaces.

6.107.5 Permitted Flexibility. The quantities of Long-Term Bicycle Parking and Short-Term Bicycle
Parking may be adjusted as-of-right in the following ways:
a. For non-residential uses, up to twenty percent (20%) of the required number of LongTerm
Bicycle Parking Spaces or four (4) spaces, whichever is greater, may be
converted to Short-Term Bicycle Parking Spaces.
b. For residential uses requiring four (4) Long-Term Bicycle Parking Spaces or fewer, the
required Long-Term Bicycle Parking Spaces may be designed to meet the
requirements for Short-Term Bicycle Parking Spaces, so long as they are covered to be protected from precipitation and are located on the same lot as the residential uses
they serve.

6.108 Modification of Requirements by Special Permit

6.108.1 Any requirement set forth in this Section 6.100 may be modified upon the granting of a
special permit by the Planning Board. Given that community standards for bicycle use and
bicycle parking have evolved and may continue to evolve in the future, the intent of this
provision is to provide a mechanism for the review and approval of alternative technologies
and methods for providing bicycle parking that may provide equal or greater benefits to
bicycle users but may not conform to the exact requirements set forth in this Section.

6.108.2 Bicycle Parking Plan Requirements. When seeking a special permit pursuant to this
Section 6.108, the Applicant shall provide a Bicycle Parking Plan as part of the Special
Permit Application. Such plan shall include the proposed quantities and locations of bicycle
parking facilities as well as exact details and specifications of the design and layout of
proposed Bicycle Parking Spaces. The Bicycle Parking Plan shall include a narrative listing
the requirements that are proposed to be modified and explaining how the Bicycle Parking
Plan would benefit from such modifications. The Bicycle Parking Plan may also include
quantitative analyses of expected bicycle usage for the proposed land uses.

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