What criteria are used to determine if a bike rack can be installed?

Bike racks can only be installed in locations that meet the following criteria:

  • there is sufficient demand/necessity for bike parking
  • the location is on public property (e.g., sidewalks)
  • the sidewalk is at least 10 feet wide
  • there is a suitable concrete surface upon which to mount the rack (not asphalt, grass/dirt, etc.)
  • the location is at least 40 feet behind bus stop signs/bus shelters
  • 6 feet from the outside edge of sidewalk cafes
  • at least 4 feet from general utilities
  • at least 3 feet from curb, fence, walls, and fire hydrants
  • at least 2 feet from outside edge of tree planter basins
  • at least 6 feet from CTA subway exit portals

What are the best locations for bike racks?

The best locations for bike racks are locations where they will be used most frequently by the greatest number of people. Locations known to be popular destinations for bicyclists, or locations where it is desirable to encourage more bicycling are good places for bike racks. Some examples:

  • CTA and Metra stations
  • schools, colleges, universities
  • libraries
  • government buildings
  • parks and recreational facilities
  • gyms and fitness centers
  • restaurants, bars, coffee houses
  • grocery and other retail stores
  • large office buildings
  • banks/financial institutions

Where are bike racks not installed?

Generally, bike racks are not installed at the following types of locations:

  • on sidewalks that are less than 10 feet wide
  • on corners
  • streets/areas that are primarily residential in nature (including homes, apartments, condominiums)
  • private property
  • directly in front of an entrance to a building
  • within a marked loading zone (usually a signed “no parking” area in front of the entrance to a business or other facility)
  • within or near a handicapped accessible facility/ramp
  • inside bus stop zones (within 40 feet of sign/shelter)
  • areas that have no obvious destinations (vacant lots, empty storefronts)
  • areas where the sidewalk is too crowded with other types of street furniture
  • on certain vaulted sidewalks, or sidewalks with heating devices embedded in the concrete (with some exceptions)
  • on granite, marble, or other “architectural” sidewalks (with some exceptions)

How long does it take to get a bike rack installed?

Installation can happen in a few weeks, other times it may take several months. Many factors influence if and when a bike rack can be installed, so the date and time of installation cannot be guaranteed.

How can I request a bike rack?

Visit the Bike Parking Request Map to get started.

Where can I get bike racks to satisfy zoning requirements?

The Municipal Code of Chicago may require a minimum number of bike parking spaces to be installed on your private property for certain land uses and new developments. There are a number of bike rack manufacturers from whom you can purchase racks for this purpose. This list is neither comprehensive nor is it an endorsement of any of the vendors. If you represent a bike rack manufacturer who would like to be included on this list, please email us.

American Bicycle Security Company

Bike Arc



Creative Metalworks

Creative Pipe



Dobra Design

Function First Bicycle Security



Palmer Group

Peak Racks

Saris Cycling Group

Sunshine U-Lok



Bike Corrals FAQ