Sunday, August 21, 2011

Should Chicago Require Bicycle Storage?

The City of San Francisco is considering a city ordinance that would require commercial buildings to provide space, locker rooms for cycles, or to allow workers to bring their bicycles into the commercial buildings. The San Francisco ordinance is modeled after the New York City ordinance that created almost two thousand indoor bicycle parking spots within months after going into effect in 2010. The goal of the ordinance is to promote bicycling not only by providing easy parking, but also to reduce crime by lowering the number of incidents of bicycle thefts and vandalism.

This is the kind of ordinance that many property owners would oppose because it might require an increase in operating costs in installing and maintaining a bike room in their building. Chicago has made considerable infrastructure investments in Chicago with new bike lanes and other developments. Chicago also implemented new ordinances in 2008 that made great progress towards protecting bicyclists in Chicago. If San Francisco has a successful result to this proposal, it is quite likely that Chicago will consider a requirement for bicycle storage in commercial buildings.

Coincidentally, Keating Law Offices is moving to a new office suite next month and obviously an amenity at the top of our list is a bike room for our staff and clients who commute by bicycle. One building was very appealing in every respect other than the lack of a bike room. The broker told me that he would try to get "some space" in the basement or in a storage room for me to keep my bike. Both options would be awkward and time consuming at best. I countered that since they were rehabbing the building that for a minimal cost they could install a bike room for minimal cost and then have that amenity as a selling point. Two days later I got an email that the building installed a bike rack in the room behind the security desk to provide "secured indoor bicycle parking." Sometimes the minor victories are the most satisfying.

The lesson from this story is that hopefully business owners realize that secured bicycle parking is low cost and adds value to their property. It is not an unnecessary expense. It makes their building more attractive and accessible in an extremely competitive real estate environment.

If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Source: San Francisco Streets Blog