A bike corral in front of Epic Cafe along University Boulevard at Fourth Avenue.

Tucson cyclists who are unhappy with the proposed bicycle parking code  updates —which will make it easier for developers to provide less parking at distances further away from entrances — have one last opportunity to get it changed.

According to Adam Smith from the city’s planning and development services department, the code changes will have a public hearing before the Mayor and City Council on March 8 at 5:30 p.m.

The council has the final say on the code changes and can amend them if they choose.

On a web page devoted to the bike parking update, The Living Streets Alliance suggests attending the meeting or writing the Mayor and council members. (See the contact details below).

During the last Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, members voted to oppose the changes in the code and suggest the Mayor and council adopt the national bike parking standard.

Here are a few excerpts from the BAC’s letter:

At its January 19, 2011 meeting, the BAC discussed the proposed amendments to the bicycle parking standards and voted to endorse the Association of Bike and Pedestrian Professionals (ABPP) standards for bicycle parking. The City of Tucson has made a significant investment in bicycle facilities. Just as a transit system needs sufficient and appropriately located stops to maximize ridership, the City’s bicycle network requires a sufficient number of well-located bike parking spaces to maximize the City’s investment in bicycle facilities.

1. Short-term bicycle parking must be provided within fifty feet of the main building entrance for these reasons:

  • This distance is close enough to the main entrance to provide visibility, and the fifty foot radius provides many options for locating bicycle racks
  • Security for bicyclists and bikes is increased
  • Bicyclists offer purchasing power, and better bike parking brings more customers to area businesses
  • Visible bike parking accommodates bicyclists and promotes bicycle use
  • Flexibility is provided, for instance allowing the bike parking in a parking area

2. The BAC supports the ABPP guidelines because they address other important goals of bicycle
parking standards:

  • Provide reasonable ratios for short-term bike parking at financial services, retail, and wholesaling/industrial uses (1:5,000 sf for retail; 2% maximum daily attendance for entertainment venues; 2 spaces for wholesaling or industrial uses)
  • No caps for long-term parking, but rather flexibility for implementing the standards for long-term parking. We support these because experience has shown that long-term parking is often poorly located or maintained. We do suggest that long-term parking be in a visible location.

In summary, bicycle parking is an amenity that adds value to retail, employment, and community destinations. We support this effort to update the current code, and hope that you consider
including these bicycle-supportive strategies in the parking code update.

The lighter yellow in the center of the illustration shows what the 50 foot distance would look like at this particular Walgreens.The darker yellow is the original 120 foot distance proposed by the land use committee.

Download the entire letter here.

Use the emails below to contact the Mayor and council members.

City of Tucson Mayor and Council, c/o City Hall
255 West Alameda Street
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mayor Bob Walkup – mayor1@tucsonaz.gov
Regina Romero, Ward I – ward1@tucsonaz.gov
Paul Cunningham, Ward II – ward2@tucsonaz.gov
Karen Uhlich, Ward III – ward3@tucsonaz.gov
Shirley Scott, Ward IV – ward4@tucsonaz.gov
Richard Fimbres, Ward V – ward5@tucsonaz.gov
Steve Kozachik, Ward VI – ward6@tucsonaz.gov

There are some good information on this site about bike parking.

9 thoughts on “One month remaining to help fix bike parking code”
  1. It became the policy at the Chicago Department of Transportation’s Bicycle Program, while I worked there from 2007-2010, to install bike parking within 50 of the intended destination’s entrance. Our municipal code doesn’t specify the distance at developer must locate their rack.

    I don’t think presence of security cameras should allow for more distant bike parking unless there’s a stated public policy that the owner of said cameras would assist the police and bicycle owners (including without the police’s involvement) when thefts occur. The Chicago Loop has thousands of security cameras but I haven’t heard a story of any of them being used to solve a bicycle theft.

  2. I agree about the security camera issue – they aren’t monitored in real time and are of such poor resolution that they’re practically useless for post-theft investigation. They provide zero deterrence against bike theft.

  3. I think you are tilting at windmills in the current abti-regulation climate. Better results might be had by coming out in support of getting rid of all parking requirements. Support regulations that encourage bicycle use and oppose regulations that encourage automobile use.

  4. Dear city:

    Every time you make an accommodation for automobiles, you’ve made it less attractive to bicyclers and cycling. It is increasingly difficult to understand why you don’t ‘get’ this. Look at all the parking for cars you have put downtown in just the past couple years and are even still building. What did bicycles get. A corral by the Rialto….some hoops here and there. You want to get bike commuter numbers up, but really do nothing to accommodate bikes at the destination. You want to mandate bike parking to businesses, yet set no example. And that’s too bad because it seems people already want to ride downtown putting you in the unique position to show businesses how much traffic could be generated with bike accommodations. I suggest that you follow the regulations for bike parking that you lay out for business owners.

    Very sincerely,

  5. Speaking of car parking downtown, wouldn’t it help owners of parking lots if parallel parking downtown were phased out? That would create more room for traffic and bike lanes. How much money does Tucson make off parking meters and parking tickets? If it isn’t too much maybe the city should consider getting rid of parallel parking. It doesn’t really help stores because they only get 2 or 3 spots in front of their store and making people park and walk to the shop would encourage shopping, kind of like putting the milk all the way at the back of the grocery store so shoppers have to walk past everything else on the way.

  6. Well, yes. But that helps folks who drive downtown. Does nothing for cyclists.
    It will take a bold action and a leap of faith for the city to make dealing with a car more difficult downtown therefore increasing the appeal to ride a bike there….a reversal of their current direction.

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