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Bike Rack program

We install and repair roughly 120 bike racks on City of Boston sidewalks each year.

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.

Still have questions? Contact:
Boston Bikes
1 City Hall Square, Room 721
Boston, MA 02201

OUR RACKS

Cargo bike U-locked to a post-and-ring rack

 

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. 

View the guidelines

Recent Installations

Every year, we add approximately 80 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.

Grey dot signifying racks installed before 2017

 Racks installed before 2017

Racks installed in 2017

 Racks installed in 2017

Racks installed in 2018

 Racks installed in 2018

Racks installed in 2019

 Racks installed in 2019

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:

Download siting guidelines.

Suggest a location

You can help us locate the best places for racks by submitting a request through this form. We review requests on a rolling basis. We prioritize racks in commercial corridors and in partnership with civic institutions, such as libraries and community centers.

Suggest a location for a bike rack

Report a broken rack

Image for boston by bike bike parking broken rack

Report broken bike racks via BOS:311:

  • online by using the general request form
  • over the phone by dialing 3-1-1 from any phone within Boston, or
  • via the mobile app by using the "Other" category found under "General."

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:

  • online by using the general request form
  • over the phone by dialing 3-1-1 from any phone within Boston, or
  • via the mobile app by using the "Abandoned Bicycle" category found under "Vehicle/Parking".

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.

Close-up view of a paper tag attached to a black bicycle. The tag says "NOTICE TO OWNER" and features the City of Boston Transportation Department logo.

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 bostonbikes@boston.gov.