Bike Parking

Welcome to our bike parking archive page. Browse posts below and click a headline for the full story. If you love bike parking, you might also be interested in our collection of bike parking photos.

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Bike Parking Review: Renaissance Commons in Kenton

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 10th, 2020 at 10:21 am

Renaissance Commons on North Argyle in Kenton.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to our new Bike Parking Review column.

Grading bike parking is something we’ve done for years around here, so I thought it would be fun to give it a bit more structure and have some set judging criteria. This will hopefully give people a better guide for how to advocate for and create quality bike parking.

Quality bike parking is an absolutely essential ingredient to create a strong culture around cycling and increase the number of people who ride. We’re fortunate in Portland to have a transportation bureau who understands this. While we have many excellent examples around town, there’s a lot of room for improvement. Hopefully this column will help everyone do a better job.

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To help guide the grading, I’ve developed a list of 10 elements of quality bike parking:

Protection from the elements: Are the racks covered or in an area where users won’t get wet in the rain? Obviously this will be a slam dunk element for all indoor parking.

Lighting: People on bikes need illumination in parking areas even more than car users because bikes don’t come with interior lights. Folks need lights to find their lock keys, rifle through cargo, and so on. Lighting is also related to security.

Rack spacing: Often overlooked, this element has to do with how much breathing room each rack is given. Especially important due to the popularity of larger cargo bikes and heavier electric bikes that are harder to maneuver.

Quantity: Self-explanatory. But keep in mind this will depend a lot on context.

Quality: Ribbon racks are automatic failure. Standard staple racks like the blue ones issued by City of Portland are the gold-standard. Art racks beware.

Location: Right up front near the main entrance is usually the best, but there can be exceptions. Strongly related to security.

Accessibility: One curb can be deal-breaker. Related to spacing.

Electrical charging access: This element has become a much bigger deal lately with the e-bike boom.

Security: Many factors go into this and it might be the single most important element these days — given how many people don’t even use bikes out of fears about getting them stolen.

Promotion/Signage: You can build the best bike parking in the world, but if you don’t make it drop-dead easy to find it’s a waste.

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Renaissance Commons (2133 N Argyle Street) – Score: 7/10


Today’s subject is a new housing development in north Portland: Renaissance Commons in the Kenton neighborhood on the corner of Denver/Interstate and Argyle. This is a recently completed, 189-unit project designed by MWA Architects and developed by Reach Community Development Corporation in partnership with the Portland Housing Bureau.

For this review I’m going to focus on the outdoor, short-term parking. It’s worth noting the site also has a full bike parking room (pictured above) behind a locked door and clearly visible from the main courtyard. From what I could tell it looks OK (although these indoor bike rooms have a horrible theft record) and consists of staple racks and some wall hooks.

Here are my grades on the outdoor racks…

Protection from the elements: ❌ No coverage at all.
Lighting: ✅ None specific to the racks, but they’re close to other light sources.
Rack spacing: ✅ Plenty of room to have two bikes side-by-side.
Quantity: ✅ 7 staples = 14 spaces. There are another 3 staples on the premises. This feels like enough at this time/location. Keep in mind there are other racks on other properties nearby.
Quality: ✅ These are beautiful racks of good quality.
Location: ✅ Right up front in the main courtyard near a busy corner!
Accessibility: ✅ Excellent. Adjacent to a wide sidewalk and there’s a curb ramp nearby for easy roll-in, roll-out. Could be even better if they had more room away from vegetation.
Electrical charging access: ❌ None.
Security: ✅ Location is everything and the high-visibility spot they chose will keep thieving to a minimum. Not sure if there are cameras in place (it’s likely in a new development); if so that would make this element even stronger.
Promotion/Signage: ❌ I didn’t notice any special signage or markings to help folks find these racks. Then again, they are in a very prominent place, so it’s not as important in this case.

Overall, this is a great example that quality bike parking doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Nice job MWA, ReachCDC and PHB!

I hope you found this helpful. I know we have some bike parking experts in the community, so if you have input on how to make this column more useful, I’m all ears.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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City now offers bike parking subsidy for northwest Portland building owners

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 1st, 2020 at 3:18 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Northwest Portland is on a roll when it comes to becoming more bike-friendly. The district has projects under construction, a major new plan for more of them headed to city council next week, and now there’s a new funding source for bike parking.

Late last month the Portland Bureau of Transportation launched the Northwest Bike Parking Fund. This new initiative uses money raised from the Northwest/Zone M Parking District (established in 2016) to subsidize the cost of new bike parking facilities. The program is for residential, commercial, or mixed-use building owners who want to create or improve long-term parking such as secure bike rooms.

Once building owners fill out an interest form and meet on-site with PBOT staff, PBOT makes a recommendation and will provide up to $5,000 to purchase the parking equipment. PBOT buys the equipment, then building owners install it and retain ownership once it’s in the ground. [Read more…]

Duckworth Dock to get new bike parking area

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 17th, 2020 at 3:02 pm

(Image: Human Access Project/MIG)

[Read more…]

Couch Curve gets a ‘bike bar’ but don’t get your hopes up

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 13th, 2020 at 1:24 pm

Can you guess what this metal thing with the holes is for?
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

City of Portland phasing out bike lockers in favor of rooms

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on April 24th, 2020 at 10:46 am

PBOT bike lockers inside Smart Park garages. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)[Read more…]

Portland City Council passes first major bike parking code update since 1996

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 4th, 2019 at 5:44 pm

It’s official!

[Read more…]

Tech troubles delay opening of secure parking at TriMet bike-and-ride facilities

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on September 4th, 2019 at 10:49 am

The bike parking cage at Goose Hollow was supposed to open last spring.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

There’s perhaps no more important place for high-quality bicycle parking than a location where bike theft is rampant and that sits at the bottom of a big hill separating two major employment zones.

That’s why many bicycle users were excited about the new bike parking at TriMet’s Goose Hollow MAX station. Unfortunately the facility is now over a year behind schedule and remains mostly unused. Reached this morning for comment, TriMet says a technology issue is preventing them from opening the high-tech secure facilities at three stations: Goose Hollow/Jefferson Street, Beaverton Creek, and Gateway Transit Center.[Read more…]

Pearl District building owner violated city code by blocking bike racks with locked gates

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 20th, 2019 at 11:24 am

Gates succeed at keeping everyone out; but they fail at complying with city code.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The owners of the Asa Flats & Lofts in the Pearl District wanted to prevent people from sleeping in alcoves of their building along Northwest Marshall and Lovejoy streets. Their solution was to erect large metal gates. But the gates kept out more than people seeking refuge, they also prevented customers of nearby businesses from accessing bike racks.[Read more…]

‘Bike nooks’ concept part of major bike parking overhaul headed to city council

Avatar by on March 28th, 2019 at 11:38 am

That’s a bike rack that meets our current in-unit code. Not great.
(Photos: Liz Hormann/City of Portland)

Story by Chris Smith, a member of the Portland Planning & Sustainability Commission. He previously wrote about how bicycles and streetcars can co-exist.

After a supportive vote from the Portland Planning & Sustainability Commission (PSC) at their meeting last month, the first full overhaul of Portland’s Bicycle Parking zoning code in two decades is now headed to City Council.

The package is largely similar to the output of a stakeholder committee last year, as refined in the proposed draft (PDF) sent to the PSC, with one big exception: something we’re calling “bike nooks”.

Our current parking code (from last century) allowed bike parking to be located in an apartment or condo, something no other major city allows. Despite efforts to refine this code in 2010, we still saw horror stories like bike racks above beds or couches (see photo).
[Read more…]

First look at TriMet’s new Bike & Ride parking at Goose Hollow

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 30th, 2019 at 1:00 pm

The new facility is tucked behind the existing waiting area.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Goose Hollow MAX light rail station in southwest Portland has more cycling activity than any other one in TriMet’s system. That’s not surprising given that it’s at the bottom of a hill and along a major commuter corridor that connects downtown to the west side and Washington County.[Read more…]