Bike Racks & Parking

What's Happening Now? 

As part of the Levy to Move Seattle passed by Seattle voters in 2015, we committed to build 1,500 bike parking spaces by 2024. Since that time, we have achieved more than double this goal and built over 3,000 bike parking spaces through various programs and funding sources.

Because we’ve exceeded our goal early, we are currently focusing our resources on maintaining existing bike parking, building safe bike connections identified in the Bike Master Plan, as well as other safety improvements for our Vision Zero and Safe Routes to School programs.

We are continuing to track requests for new bike parking, but installations are limited.

Questions or comments? Please contact walkandbike@seattle.gov 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 walkandbike@seattle.gov email address. Note that most bike rack installations will be delayed due to limited resources.

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, sidewalk cafes, 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.

See the Seattle Bike Parking Guidelines for more information on siting.

Installation on Private Property

Racks on private property are usually paid for by the property owner. Racks are not available for purchase from the City, but Bicycle Program staff can help property owners choose appropriate racks and installation locations.
Developers of most new buildings are required by the Seattle Municipal Code to build both short-term and long-term bike parking. SDOT and SDCI have published a Joint Director’s Rule and the Seattle Bike Parking Guidelines which further detail requirements for bicycle parking on private property.

Types of Racks

A photo of a U type bike rack installed on the sidewalk in downtown Seattle.The 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. This is our preferred model due to its smaller size that can fit into more constrained places.
  • 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 by calling (206) 684-ROAD, emailing walkandbike@seattle.gov, or report the incident on the Find It, Fix it App .

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 bicycles 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.

Materials