Bike Rack program
We want people to bike confident that their journey will end with a safe and convenient place to park. This is one of the ways we aim to quadruple the number of people who bike to work by 2030.
The City of Boston’s standard rack is a black, powder-coated post-and-ring rack. These racks meet all of the City’s performance criteria. They are the only racks approved for installation on City sidewalks, plazas, and other locations in the public right-of-way. Each post-and-ring rack provides two bike parking spaces. They may be installed in a series to create parking areas of variable quantities.
All other racks, including custom racks, must be pre-approved by the Transportation Department as satisfying the City’s performance criteria. These criteria ensure that racks support bikes upright, allow users to lock their bikes securely, and are intuitive and accessible to use.
NEW BIKE PARKING GUIDELINES
We want everyone to have a safe and convenient place to park their bike—at their residence, place of employment, school, or other everyday destination.
Every year, we add approximately 120 new bike racks to Boston streets.
The map below shows where we have installed racks in the public right-of-way. It does not include racks installed by developers or other entities. We highlight racks installed in the last few years in color. We prioritize racks in commercial corridors, and focus on a few areas every year.
We cannot guarantee that each rack remains in location.
What makes a good location?
Visitor parking meets the needs of people visiting businesses, institutions, residences, and other destinations for short periods of time. This is generally no more than a few hours. Because users may be infrequent visitors to a location, parking must be:
- visible from the public right-of-way
- well-lit during both daytime and nightime hours, and
- convenient — ideally less than 25 feet away from destinations.
Importantly, racks must preserve accessibility for people walking and using assistive mobility devices. We must leave at least 5 feet of clearance along sidewalks and other lines of travel. For more information, review our full siting guidelines:
Suggest a location
Report a broken rack
Report broken bike racks via BOS:311:
If you are reporting the rack online or via the mobile app, please include a picture of the rack that shows what's behind it. This helps us locate the rack.
Report an abandoned bike
Report abandoned bikes via BOS:311:
If you are reporting the bike online or via the mobile app, please include a picture of the bike that shows what's behind it. This helps us locate the bike.
If you believe a bike has been abandoned, it will be added to the list for our team to investigate. We investigate bikes in the order that they are reported. It may take up to one month for us to investigate a bike.
If the reported bike is identified by our team, we will then attach a tag to the bike. The tag warns the owner that the bike will be removed in a few weeks. The tag includes the case number reported through 311. The owner may simply move the bike or may call 311 to ask that the case be closed.
Tagged bikes are picked up by our team a few weeks after the tag has been attached. We store all bikes for at least one month. There is no fee to recover your bike. Before returning the bike, we need you to describe the bike, where it was locked, and otherwise demonstrate that the bike belongs to you.
If you believe we may have removed your bike, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.