Bike Racks & Parking

What's Happening Now? 

The City of Seattle has not had detailed bike parking guidelines. To respond to a growing demand for bike parking these proposed standards were created from guidelines using the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals best practices guide in combination with strategies implemented by other cities such as San Francisco and Cambridge, Massachusetts. These draft Seattle Bike Parking Guidelines will eventually be formalized as part of a Joint director's rule between SDOT and SDCI for a larger Off-Street Parking legislation.

Questions or comments? Please contact or call (206) 684-7583

Want to Request a Bike Rack or Corral?

Please review the information below and then send your request to the email address. Note that most bike rack installations during 2020 will be delayed due to impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sidewalk Bike Racks

The Bicycle Spot Improvement Program installs bicycle racks in neighborhood business districts to encourage bicycling for short trips and errands. The racks provide safe and convenient bicycle parking.

Rack Installation

Racks are installed at the request of citizens and business or property owners or managers. Bicycle Program staff are available to meet with representatives from interested businesses to explain the program, answer questions and select locations for racks. Racks remains the property of SDOT. SDOT assumes responsibility for the racks but not for bicycles parked at them.

Rack Location Criteria

Several criteria are used in siting the racks:

  • Racks are installed in public space within City of Seattle limits, usually on a sidewalk with six or more feet of clear sidewalk space remaining.
  • Racks are placed at convenient, usable locations in close proximity to building entrances without impeding pedestrians.
  • Racks are placed with adequate clearance from curb ramps and crosswalks, street furniture, driveways, and parked cars.
  • Racks can be installed in bus stops or loading zones only if they do not interfere with boarding or loading patterns and there are no alternative locations.

Installation on Private Property

Racks on private property are usually paid for by the property owner. City racks are not available for purchase, but Bicycle Program staff can help property owners choose appropriate racks and installation locations.

Types of Racks

bike circleThe Bicycle Program has selected the following racks that we prefer to install.
  • The Rail-type rack, made of 2" galvanized pipe, 54 inches long, 32 inches high, and holds two bikes. The rack is unobtrusive, has no sharp edges or moving parts, and requires little maintenance.
  • The Inverted-U rack - similar to the rail-type, but narrower.
  • The Bicycle-Circle rack, which converts former meter posts into bike racks.
If you notice a rack has become loose or damaged, please let us know.

On-Street Bike Parking

 On street racks

Why On-Street Bike Parking?

Aside from the fact that a single on-street bike rack can accommodate many more bicyclists than a typical bike rack, pedestrians also benefit from the reduced clutter along increasingly-encumbered sidewalks.  Installing on-street bike racks near intersections or driveways can also enhance sight distance for motorists—a safety enhancement for all users of the transportation network. 

Where do they go?

SDOT will consider installing on-street bike parking upon the request of the adjacent business owner. Converting a motor vehicle parking space to on-street bike parking is typically warranted in locations where bicycle parking demand is high and sidewalks are constrained—for example, outside of restaurants with sidewalk cafes or in neighborhoods with narrow sidewalks flanked with tree pits and assorted street furniture. 

What do the racks look like?

Bike Racks pictureBike Rack on Boren
SDOT has installed Dero “Cycle-Stall” corrals as well as a cluster of inverted U racks.  Selection of the specific type of corral is based on space available as well as demand for bicycle parking.