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Parking Your Bike

Parking Your Bike

Wherever you secure your bike, you must park your bike parallel to pedestrian traffic with at least four feet (4’) of clearance for pedestrians. Your bike should never block pedestrian or wheelchair access to sidewalks, curb ramps, or crosswalks, nor block access to fire hydrants, bus stops, or loading zones.

Note: These guidelines only apply to human-powered vehicles (bicycles). Motor vehicles, of any kind, may not be parked on the sidewalk. For more details about parking motor vehicles, including scooters, please refer to the Traffic Rules and Regulations.

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

Where you should lock your bike

Bike parked to rack
To a bike rack

Whenever possible, lock your bike to a bike rack. Make sure your bike is parallel to the rack and that you are not blocking people passing on the sidewalk.

 
Bike parked to a meter
To a parking meter

When racks are not available, lock your bike to a parking meter. Make sure the bike cannot be picked up and removed from the top of the pole and that the meter is not for a handicap-accessible parking space or a commercial loading space.

 
Bike parked to pole
To some sign posts

You may lock your bike to a sign post except for those used to designate handicap-accessible parking (HP) spaces, loading zones, or bus stops.

Where you shouldn't lock your bike

Bike parked to tree
To a tree

Bike locks damage trees, and can even kill them if left in place for too long. Trees are not a secure place to lock your bike as a thief could cut the tree down. Locking your bike to a tree means fewer healthy trees in our city.

 
Bike on handrails
To handrails

Locking your bike to handrails or a handicap-accessible ramp can prevent people and/or wheelchairs from getting past your bike.

 
Bike on fence
To private property

If you lock your bike to private property, you should have permission from the property owner. Otherwise, it is within their rights to remove your bike without notice.

Suggest a location

The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) serves bicyclists through the city by installing and repairing roughly 200 bike racks on city sidewalks each year. You can help us locate the best places for these racks by submitting a request through this form.

BTD will review your 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

Report broken bike racks via BOS:311:

  • Online by using the general request form
  • Over the phone by dialing 311 from any phone within Boston
  • Via the mobile app by using the "Other" category found under "General"

Broken bike rack in front of a police station.
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 that needs to be repaired.