City of Madison Bicycle Parking Ordinance

Bicycle Parking Ordinance: Madison

 Bicycle Parking in Madison

On March 1, 1988, the Madison Common Council passed an ordinance requiring the provision of off-street bicycle parking for new developments, expansion of existing developments, and changes in use that would require additional parking.

For expansions or changes in use, bicycle parking is required based only on the extra amount needed by the addition or change in use, not for the entire development. This is similar to the way in which off-street automobile parking requirements work. In fact, the bicycle parking requirement is included in zoning ordinance section 28.11 dealing with off-street parking and loading facilities.

The number of bicycle parking spaces required for a development is determined by the ZoningAdministrator based on guidelines included in the ordinance. Bicycle parking facilities arerequired in all districts, including the Central Area.

The purpose of this ordinance is to provide adequate and safe facilities for the storage of bicycles.

The size of each bicycle parking space is specified as at least two feet wide by six feet long withan access aisle of five feet and a vertical clearance of at least six feet. Many commonly marketed bicycle parking racks have spaces narrower than two feet, these racks are unacceptable.

Bicycle parking requirements can be fulfilled by lockers, racks or equivalent structures in or upon which the bicycle may be locked by the user. All racks must be securely anchored to the ground or building surface. Racks must be designed to accommodate U-shaped locks. These high security locks are increasingly popular due to high bicycle theft levels and the rising price of new bicycles. U-shaped locks are designed to allow the user to lock one or both wheels (if the front wheel is removed) and the bicycle frame to a stationary object. Many commonly marketed bicycle parking racks do not facilitate this type of lock, however. These racks area unacceptable. The attached Bicycle Parking Rack Selection guidelines includes a list of acceptable bicycle parking racks.

Bicycle parking needs to be located in a clearly designated, safe and convenient location. A safe bicycle parking location is one in which activity around the bicycle rack is easily observable. Bike racks located in remote locations such as alleys or behind landscaping gives bike thieves time to work. A safe location also ensures adequate separation of parked bicycles from motor vehicles and pedestrians. A convenient location is close to the bicyclist’s destination. Usually this will be
close to a building entrance. Surfaces around bicycle parking racks must be maintained to be mud and dust free.


(1) Statement Of Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide for the regulation of accessory off-street parking and loading facilities, and to specify the requirements for off-street parking and loading facilities for different uses. The regulations and requirements
which follow are established to promote the safety and general welfare of the community by:
(a) Increasing the safety and capacity of public streets by requiring off-street parking or off-street loading facilities to be provided.
(b) Minimizing adverse effects of off-street parking and off-street loading facilities on adjacent properties through the requirement of design and maintenance standards.
(c ) Lessening congestion and preventing the overtaxing of public streets by regulating the location and capacity of accessory off-street parking or off-street loading facilities.
(d) Providing adequate and safe facilities for the storage of bicycles. (Am. by Ord. 9426, 3-11-88)

(2) General Regulations.
(a) Scope Of Regulations. The off-street parking and loading provisions of this ordinance shall apply as follows:
1. For all buildings and structures erected and all uses of land established after the effective date of this ordinance, accessory parking and loading facilities shall be provided as required by the regulations of the districts in which such buildings or uses are located. However, where a building permit has been issued prior to the effective date of this
ordinance, and provided that construction is begun within ninety (90) days of such effective date and diligently prosecuted to completion, parking and loading facilities in the amounts required for the issuance of said building permit may be provided in lieu of any different amounts required by this ordinance.

2. When the intensity of use of any building, structure or premises shall be increased through addition of dwelling units, gross floor area, seating capacity or other units of measurement specified herein for required parking or loading facilities, parking and loading facilities as required herein shall be provided for such increase in intensity of use.

3. Whenever the existing use of a building or structure shall hereinafter be changed to a new use, parking or loading facilities shall be provided as required for such new use. However, if the said building or structure was erected prior to the effective date of this ordinance, additional parking or loading facilities are mandatory only in the amount by which the requirements for the new use would exceed those for the existing use if the latter were subject to the parking and loading provisions of this ordinance.

4. Bicycle parking facilities shall be provided as required for all new structures and uses established as provided in Sec. 28.11(2)(a)1. or to changes in uses as provided in Secs. 28.11(2)(a)2. and 3.; however, bicycle parking facilities shall not be required until the effective date of this paragraph. Notwithstanding Secs. 28.08(1)(i), 28.09(1)(i) and 28.09(5)(a), bicycle parking facilities shall be provided in all districts including districts in the Central Area. (Cr. by Ord. 9426, 3-11-88)

(3) Off-Street Parking Facilities. Off-street parking facilities accessory to uses allowed by this ordinance shall be provided in accordance with the regulations set forth herein as well as in subsection (2) above.

(a) Utilization.
1. In the residence district, accessory off-street parking facilities provided for uses listed herein shall be solely for the parking of passenger automobiles (including passenger trucks) and bicycles of patrons, occupants or employees. Such vehicles are limited in size to less than one (1) ton in capacity.
(e) Size. . . . Required bicycle parking spaces shall be at least 2 feet by 6 feet. An access aisle of at least 5 feet shall be provided in each bicycle parking facility. Such space shall have a vertical clearance of at least 6 feet. (Am. by Ord. 11,205, Adopted 3-21-95)
(h) Design and Maintenance.

2. d. Bicycle Parking Facilities. Accessory off-street parking for bicycle parking shall include provision for secure storage of bicycles. Such facilities shall provide lockable enclosed lockers or racks or equivalent structures in or upon which the bicycle may be locked by the user. Structures that require a user-supplied locking device shall be designed to accommodate U-shaped locking devices. All lockers and racks must be securely anchored to the ground or the building structure to prevent the racks and lockers from being removed from the location. The surfacing of such facilities shall be
designed and maintained to be mud and dust free. (Cr. by Ord. 9426, 3-11-88)  (Sec. 28.11(3)(h)2. R. & Recr. by Ord. 4556, 5-13-74)
(I) Location. All parking spaces required by this ordinance shall be located on the same zoning lot as the use served except that parking facilities may be located on land other than the zoning lot on which the building or use served is located, provided:

3. Bicycle parking facilities shall be located in a clearly designated safe and convenient location. The design and location of such facility shall be harmonious with the surrounding environment. The facility location shall be at least as convenient as the majority of auto parking spaces provided. (Cr. by Ord. 9426, 3-11-88)
(l) Schedule Of Required Off-Street Parking Facilities. Accessory off-street parking spaces shall be provided as required hereinafter for the following uses. . . .

1. Bicycle parking facility spaces shall be provided in adequate number as determined by the Zoning Administrator. In making the determination, the Zoning Administrator shall consider when appropriate, the number of dwelling units or lodging rooms, the number of students, the number of employees, and the number of auto parking spaces.

a. In all cases where bicycle parking is required, no fewer than two (2) spaces shall be required.
b. After the first fifty (50) bicycle parking spaces are provided, additional bicycle parking spaces required are 0.5 (one half) space per unit listed.
c. Where the expected need for bicycle parking for a particular use is uncertain due to unknown or unusual operating characteristics of the use, the Zoning Administrator may authorize that construction and provision of not more than fifty (50) percent of the bicycle parking spaces be deferred. Land area required for provision of deferred bicycle parking spaces shall be maintained in reserve. (Sec. 28.11(3)(l)1. Cr. by Ord. 9426, 3-11-88)

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