How do I get a bike rack?

We get a lot of questions about bike parking. Dero, a company that makes racks, has a really great summary of how to do bike parking right. You can read it here:

If you are wondering how to how to have bike parking installed somewhere, here’s a quick breakdown:

To request bike parking in public space:

  • In Arlington County, use this form.
  • In the City of Alexandria, use this webtool.
  • In DC:
    1. If the space is in a Business Improvement District, start by calling your BID.
    2. If you’re not in a BID or your BID doesn’t help you, submit a request through 311 for Bicycle Services. Include a a photo and detailed description of the location.
    3. If you are a business and want to install your own racks in public space, you’ll need to purchase your own racks (be sure they comply with DDOT’s design guidelines), get a permit for each installation (like any other public space construction/installation), and find a contractor with the necessary tools (a hammer drill) to do the installation. See the Contractor section below for more information.
  • In Fairfax County, call (703) 877-5600.
  • In Montgomery County, use this form. Find more info on this page.
  • Prince Georges County does not have a way to request bike parking, but some of the cities and towns within the County do. We recommend calling your city hall directly.

WABA repaired & installed rack

Regulations and guidelines for bike parking in private space (which includes things like store parking lots and apartment buildings) vary across jurisdictions.

  • In Arlington County, see their Bike Parking Specifications (PDF).
  • In the City of Alexandria, see their Bike Parking Standards.
  • In DC, see their Regulations and Requirements and Bike Parking Guide (PDF).
  • In Fairfax County, bike parking guidelines are written and in the process of being approved. Check here for updates.
  • In Montgomery County, bike parking requirements depend on size and zoning. They are described in section 6-2.4.C of the recently approved zoning code (very large PDF). Bike parking standards are in section 6-2.6 of the same document.
  • In Prince Georges County, bike parking requirements and design guidelines are in section 27A-707 of the Zoning Code, which you can find here.  Note: because of the structure of the site, we can’t link directly to the relevant section. You’ll need to click through the table of contents (Zoning > 27A > 707), and the actual Zoning Code is provided as a Microsoft Word file. :/

Finding an installation Contractor:

When selecting a company to install bike racks for you, there are several factors to consider. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Determine your requirements: Start by assessing your needs and requirements for bike racks. Consider factors such as the number of bikes you need to accommodate, the available space, security features, any specific features or designs you prefer, and your budget. If you don’t know what rack options exist, no problem, share your needs with the companies and see what they suggest.
  2. Research local companies: Look for companies in your area that specialize in bike rack installations. Finding a bike rack installer isn’t as easy as finding a plumber, so to help you get started, check out WABA business member, MetroBike , LLC, which has done many residential, commercial, and municipal installations in the DC region.
  3. Evaluate experience: Assess the experience of the companies on your list. Look for companies that have been in business for a significant period and have a track record of successful bike rack installations. Consider their portfolio or examples of their previous work.
  4. Request quotes: Reach out to the shortlisted companies and request quotes for your project. Provide them with the necessary details, such as the number of racks needed, the location, and any specific requirements.
  5. Ask about the warranty and insurance: Inquire about the warranty provided for the bike racks and the installation, as the warranty period may differ. A company that stands behind its workmanship with a warranty demonstrates their commitment to customer satisfaction. Check if they have insurance.

    Finally, enjoy parking at your new rack!

Historical Note: In 2013, WABA was the contractor that installed bike racks for DDOT. This is no longer the case.