DDOT submitted new bicycle parking regulations to the DC Council last week, moving them one step closer to implementation.
The new regulations are a response to the 2007 Bicycle Commuter and Parking Expansion Act (page 11) which created a requirement that residential building owners "provide secure bicycle parking spaces for all existing residential buildings with 8 or more units." Though the law has been on the books for 5 years, without the rules it couldn't be enforced.
The rules provide for a hardship waiver, if the owner can demonstrate to DDOT that bicycle parking “is not physically practical, that undue economic hardship would result from strict compliance with the regulation, or that the nature of the building use is such that bicycle parking spaces would not be used.”
The parking should be inside, if possible, no lower than the first cellar level or first complete parking level below ground. Bicycle rooms must have solid walls and a motion-activated security light.
If there’s no room inside, outside parking must be secure and covered. The rules also define the minimum size of bicycle lockers, the minimum dimensions of the parking space access aisles, and the minimum width of each parking space — depending on whether bicycles are parked vertically or horizontally.
Of course, if a building had a parking garage attached to it, it was already required to provide bike parking for each 20 car spaces, but this should create more parking, better parking and parking in buildings without car spaces.
And now that the rules are finished, a study should be performed on commercial buildings in the District similar to the one done on government buildings last year. And, of course, enforcement.