With the surge in bike sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for more bike-friendly parking continues to rise. Including bike racking options within your design not only benefits you as the architect but can also greatly benefit your client. Here are four reasons you should include bike racks in your next design.
Earn LEED Points
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will award Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points to those who include bicycle facilities in their design. Bicycle facilities can be bike rack solutions, long-term bicycle storage, etc. According to the USGBC, the intent of this is “to promote bicycling and transportation efficiency and reduce vehicle distance traveled. To improve public health by encouraging utilitarian and recreational physical activity.”
The requirements for earning LEED points for a bike rack solution vary depending on the building type. The USGBC has broken it down into four main categories:
- Non-residential other than retail
- Multiunit residential buildings
- Retail buildings
- Mixed-use buildings
All application-specific requirements can be found here on USGBC’s official website.
Including bike racks in your design promotes an eco-friendly means of transportation that helps lower the overall environmental footprint. Along with environmental sustainability, providing bike rack options at your facility can also help with the sustainability and longevity of your application.
When bike rack options are not available, cyclists will park their bikes on other areas of the property including railings, gates, fences, stairs, etc. Repeated contact with metal chain locks, cable locks and U-locks can take a toll on a property or building over time. Including bike storage or parking options in your application can alleviate the risk of damaging the intricacies of your design.
Satisfying the needs of your client is always a top priority. Whether you’re designing a corporate office, restaurant or retail store, there are numerous reasons why your client will value the inclusion of bike-friendly parking at their facility, such as:
- Increased Revenue. Adding bike parking allows a larger customer base to engage with a storefront. When there are no accessible bike parking options, cyclists will feel less inclined to visit that establishment. Some small-scale studies have shown that cyclists bring in more revenue to street-level businesses than those who take other modes of transportation.
- Preventing Bike Theft. With an increased number of people biking as their means of transportation, it’s important to give cyclists a proper space to lock their bikes while visiting a store, restaurant, etc. to help prevent theft. There are even vandal-resistant square loop bike racks that cannot be cut with standard pipe cutters as they’re primarily used to cut round pipe.
- Promote Wellness. As most companies are working towards better wellness programs and initiatives, many businesses are including bike parking for their employees to promote healthy living.
Bike racks have come a long way and now come in a variety of styles and mounting options that can satisfy both the aesthetics and requirements of your design. Bike-friendly spaces can also help preserve the long-term look and feel of your site. Allowing proper parking locations in your design allows cyclists to lock their bikes in a uniform area that can prevent the space from looking cluttered and uninviting.
Commercial bike racks offer a simple solution that can create uniformity and elevated curb appeal within your design. New, innovative designs have hit the market such as an arc design or the post and ring design that can be a beautiful addition to your design’s landscape. Galvanized or stainless steel bike rack options are a great choice to ensure they don’t rust over time.