Bicycle Parking Program

Bicycle parking: post-and-rings on Dunster Street in Harvard Square

About the program

The City of Cambridge provides bicycle parking throughout the city in order to support and encourage the use of bicycles as a mode of transportation. Bicycle parking is provided on both public and private property through inclusion in infrastructure projects, as a requirement of new development projects, and through the City’s bicycle parking program. There are presently over 1000 bicycle parking racks on the public right of way throughout the city, about 90% of which are located in commercial districts. The number of cycling trips in Cambridge has increased by almost 150% between 2002 and 2010, accompanied by an increase in the demand for bicycle parking.

In FY12, the City anticipates installing approximately 275 bicycle racks using city funds. About 1/3 of the racks will be installed in major squares (Kendall, Central, Harvard, Porter, Inman), about 1/3 along street segments with a high density of businesses (e.g., Mass Ave, Cambridge Street) as well as small business districts (e.g., Huron Village), and the remaining 1/3 at schools, public housing, neighborhoods, and for specific requests. During Summer 2012, we plan rolled out a pilot program to replace a few on-street car parking locations with “cycle stalls”, to be removed during the winter months. One stall fits in one vehicle parking space and holds up to 14 bicycles.

Ongoing needs assessment surveys are conducted by City staff to identify locations where additional bicycle racks are needed. The surveys focus on large, medium, and small business districts, parks, and public buildings, including schools. The survey methodology consists of field visits to identify locations where the demand for bicycle parking exceeds the capacity, indicated by the presence of bicycles locked to fences, poles, and trees.

Since 2008, the City has been participating in the MAPC Regional Bike Parking Program, which provides funds for reimbursement of the purchase cost of bicycle racks (note that funds cannot be used for installation of bicycle racks.) Funding for this program is provided by the regional MPO through the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) program.

Report a Broken or Damaged Bike Rack

Click here for an on-line form.

Requests for Bike Racks

To request that a bicycle rack be placed on public property, please email

Map of Bike Racks

Click here for a map showing bicycle parking on public property.

Zoning and Development Projects

Zoning requires bicycle parking to be provided in most new development projects or major reconstruction projects. For commercial projects with associated automobile parking, the requirement is a ratio of 1 bicycle parking space to every 10 car parking spaces. For multi-family residential projects, the ratio is one bicycle parking space for every two units. City staff is currently developing a proposal for updated zoning requirements that more accurately meet the demand for bicycle parking and support city policies regarding the promotion of sustainable transportation.

Click here for Article 6 of the zoning code.

Bicycle Parking Guidelines

Click here for guidelines for installing bicycle parking as part of a development project.

For more information

For more information contact Jeff Rosenblum at or 617/349-4615.