City of Madison Bicycle Parking Ordinance

The standards in this section are intended to:

  • Encourage reduction of surface parking as a means of reducing dependence on private automobiles and reducing the pollution and congestion that are associated with automobile use.
  • Encourage reduction of surface parking as a means of fostering more compact development patterns and encouraging transit, bicycle and pedestrian circulation.
  • Encourage bicycle circulation by providing bicycle connections, adequate parking, and storage space for bicycles.


The following sections of Madison City Ordinances are taken from 28.141 – PARKING AND LOADING STANDARDS.

 (4) Off-Street Parking Requirements, Applicability .

Table 28I-3 establishes the minimum number of automobile parking spaces required, the maximum number of automobile parking spaces permitted, and the minimum number of bicycle parking spaces required, for the uses indicated. Compliance with this Section is required in the case of any change in use or occupancy. Where the Zoning Administrator determines the minimum or maximum parking requirement, consideration shall be given to the expected number of public visiting the site, as well as the number of persons employed or residing on the site.

(a) Number of Employees . Where number of employees is used to determine parking, it shall be based on the number of employees on the maximum working shift at the time the occupancy permit is requested. Parking requirements based on number of employees will not change unless new construction or expansion is proposed.

(b) Floor Area Calculation . Floor area used to calculate parking and loading requirements is defined as the sum of the gross horizontal areas of the floors or parts of a building devoted to the use, measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls or from the center line of walls separating two buildings. It does not include porches, garages, or space in a basement or cellar when used for storage or incidental uses.

(c) Bicycle Space Minimum . A minimum number of two (2) bicycle spaces (the equivalent of one two-sided bike rack) is required for nonresidential uses.

(d) Computation . Fractional space requirements of up to one-half (½) space shall be rounded down to the next whole number and greater than one-half (½) rounded up to the next whole number.

(e) Parking Requirements For Persons With Disabilities . The provisions contained in Wis. Stat. §§ 101.12, 346.503, and 346.56 and any related Wisconsin Administrative Code sections are hereby adopted by reference and made applicable to all parking facilities whenever constructed.

(f) Unspecified Uses . Where buildings are constructed without uses specified, the use with the highest parking requirement among all uses specified for the zoning district where the site is located shall be used to calculate off-street parking requirements.

(g) Unlisted Uses . For uses not listed in Table 28I-3, the Zoning Administrator also may consider the following:

  1. Documentation regarding the actual parking and loading demand for the proposed use.
  2. Evidence in available planning and technical studies relating to the proposed use.
  3. Required parking and loading for the proposed use as determined by comparable jurisdictions.
  4. Examination of the parking and loading requirements for uses most similar to the proposed use.

Table 28I-3. Off-Street Parking Requirements.  (Please refer to table 28I-3 for Bicycle minimums by property use)

(Am. by ORD-13-00007, 1-15-13; ORD-14-00143, 9-12-14; ORD-16-00052, 5-25-16)


 (11) Bicycle Parking Design and Location .

(a) Parking Designation . Bicycle parking requirements are as shown in Table 28I-3 and shall be designated as long-term or short-term parking.

  1. For all residential uses, including those in combination with other uses, at least ninety percent (90%) of required resident bicycle parking shall be designed as long-term parking. Any guest parking shall be designed as short-term parking. Except as allowed in Secs. 28.141(11)(f)-(h) below, all bicycle parking shall be ground mount non-vertical, and have a six (6) foot vertical clearance.
  2. For all other uses, at least ninety percent (90%) of all bicycle parking shall be designed as short-term parking.

(b) Required short-term bicycle parking spaces shall be located in a convenient and visible area at least as close as the closest non-accessible automobile parking and within one hundred (100) feet of a principal entrance and shall permit the locking of the bicycle frame and one (1) wheel to the rack and shall support a bicycle in a stable position. No fee shall be charged for resident bicycle parking where free auto or moped parking is provided on-site.

(c) Required long-term bicycle parking spaces shall be located in enclosed and secured or supervised areas providing protection from theft, vandalism and weather and shall be accessible to intended users. Required long-term bicycle parking for residential uses shall not be located within dwelling units or within deck, patio areas, or private storage areas accessory to dwelling units. With permission of the Zoning Administrator, long-term bicycle parking spaces for non-residential uses may be located off-site within three hundred (300) feet of the site. No fee shall be charged for resident bicycle parking where free auto or moped parking is provided on-site.

(d) Bicycle parking spaces shall be located on paved or pervious, dust-free surface with a slope no greater than three percent (3%). Surfaces shall not be gravel, landscape stone, or wood chips.

(e) Bicycle parking spaces shall be a minimum of two (2) feet by six (6) feet. There shall be an access aisle a minimum of five (5) feet in width. Each required bicycle parking space must be accessible without moving another bicycle and its placement shall not result in a bicycle obstructing a required walkway. Bicycle racks shall be installed to the manufacturer’s specifications, including the minimum recommended distance from other structures. (Am. by ORD-13-00007, 1-15-13)

(f) Up to twenty-five percent (25%) of bicycle parking may be structured parking, vertical parking or wall mount parking, provided there is a five (5) foot access aisle for wall mount parking.

(g) Bicycle parking not meeting dimensional or access aisle requirements may be installed but shall not count towards a minimum bicycle parking requirement.

(h) All racks shall accommodate cable locks and “U” locks including removing the front wheel and locking it to the rear fork and frame.

(i) Bicycle parking substituted for auto parking may be horizontal or vertical, as long as dimensional requirements are met.

(j) For multi-building development, bicycle parking shall be provided for each building.

 (e) Idling as needed for traffic conditions over which the driver has no control, including, but not limited to, traffic congestion, an official traffic control device or signal, a railroad crossing while a train is passing or the crossbars are down, traffic controls in a construction zone, or at the direction of a law enforcement official.

  1. Any property owner violating Paragraph 1. shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less than twenty dollars ($20) nor more than three hundred fifty dollars ($350) for the first offense, a forfeiture of not less than three hundred fifty dollars ($350) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) for the second or subsequent conviction within seven (7) years, and a forfeiture of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than seven hundred dollars ($700) for the third or subsequent conviction within seven (7) years.

(Am. by ORD- 17-00091 , 9-13-17)