Secure Bike Parking Now Required in D.C. Residential Buildings
By Jhumur Razzaque
The District of Columbia has adopted rules requiring residential buildings with eight or more units to provide secure bicycle parking spaces, effective as of November 28, 2014. These rules have been added as sections 1214, 1215, and 1216 to Chapter 12 of Title 18 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations. Violations of these rules are civil infractions, punishable by fines.
The new rules require all existing residential buildings with eight or more units to provide secure bicycle parking spaces, located within the building, if possible. If that is not possible, the spaces may be located outside of the building, but the spaces must be secure, covered, and adjacent to the building. The spaces must be made available to employees, residents, and other building occupants.
All new residential buildings are required to have at least one secure bicycle parking space for every three residential units. A “new residential building” is defined as a residential building for which an application of construction was submitted after the date of publication of these rules.
Additionally, all substantially rehabilitated residential buildings with eight or more units must have at least one secure bicycle parking space for every three residential units, or the same number of secure bicycle parking spaces as existed in the building before rehabilitation, whichever provides more spaces. “Substantially rehabilitated” buildings are those to which any improvement or renovation is permitted after the publication date of these new rules, which improvement or renovation equals or exceeds 50% of the assessed value of the building before rehabilitation.
Further, if a property owner or tenant within a residential building submits a written request for bicycle parking, the building must provide a reasonable number of bicycle parking spaces within thirty days after receiving such a written request. Reasonable, according to the new rules, is deemed to be the lesser of either: (a) one bicycle parking space for every three residential units, or (b) enough bicycle parking to meet the requested demand.
The new rules further define how much space is required for the parking spaces, where the spaces should be located within the building, and requirements of lighting, accessibility, and other things.
The only buildings that are automatically exempt from the new rules are elderly housing buildings, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. Other buildings can apply to the District Department of Transportation Bicycle Program Office for exemptions or reduced levels of compliance, but they must demonstrate that providing the required number of bicycle parking spaces is not physically practical, or that undue economic hardship would result from strict compliance with the regulations, or that the nature of the building use is such that the bicycle parking spaces would not be used.