Bike Locking & Parking
If you want to ride your bike in Pittsburgh, you’ll probably have to park your bike in Pittsburgh too.
This page has everything you need à la Bike Parking: where to park, how to park, what to buy, how to install. If you’ve still got questions, shoot us an email.
- How to keep your bike safe
- Where to park your bike
- BikePGH’s Valet Bike Parking & Event Parking
- Buy a Bike Rack!
How to keep your bike safe and secure
Love you bike? Lock it right. Doctors agree, getting your bike stolen causes severe sadness, stress, and irritability. Avoid these symptoms by following this advice.
- Use a U-lock. You can pick one up for around $25 at any Pittsburgh bike shop. Don’t ever rely on just a cable lock to keep your bike secure; a cheap pair of bolt cutters and snip them in a second – reference this article.
Secure the bike’s frame, if possible lock the wheels and the seat too. Your frame is the most expensive part of your bike so make sure to u-lock it to a secure object. Its not that hard to secure the wheels and seat too. [see the links below]. Anything not locked can be stolen (lights, bags, air pumps, etc.).
- Don’t leave your bike in one place for long amounts of time, unless this place is INSIDE your house or office within sight. Unscrupulous eyes may be coveting a bike that’s locked in the same place day after day.
- Lock to an object that’s not going anywhere. Signs may be loose. Railings may be broken. Trees may be cut (not to mention repeated locking to trees harms them). Do yourself a favor and double check that what you’re locking to is locked to the ground.
- Take a picture of the bike & record it’s serial number. Join BikePGH’s free I <3 My Bike Program to join the Pittsburgh database of bikes.
[Opportunity to take action] Now that you’ve read these tips, its a great time to contact your council person and let them know that you want to see more secure places to lock your bike in your neighborhood.
Not-to-miss StreetFilms video series Hal Grades Your Bike Parking
More resources on how to safely secure your bike
- Urban Velo’s Brad Quartuccio on “How to Use Your Lock Properly”
- Sheldon Brown’s “Lock Strategy”
- BikePGH’s message board thread “Love your Bike. Lock It Right.”
- The Sweethome’s Eric Henson on “The Best Bike Lock”
My Bike Was Stolen!
- Call 9-1-1 and report the theft to the police. The police will ask you for identifying information about your bike including the serial number–that’s where we come in.
- If you had your photo taken in the I <3 My Bike photo booth, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-325-4334. Find your picture on our flickr page and send us the link to your photo (photo sets are arranged by event). Tell us your name and other contact information so we can confidentially tell you your bike’s serial number.
- We will share your image through social media to alert Pittsburghers to be on the lookout for your bike!
If you did not get your photo taken in the I <3 My Bike photo booth, you can still get help from the bicycling community by posting to the BikePGH message board and posting to our Facebook page. Notify us and the police of the theft.
Where to park your bike
Bike Pittsburgh has been working closely with the City of Pittsburgh to install bike racks throughout the city. We’re well on our way to providing sufficient, secure bike parking options to all Pittsburgh neighborhoods, however, there’s still a long way to go! If you would like to see bike racks added to your neighborhood, contact email@example.com, and we’ll help you advocate for change.
All of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority Garages have free sheltered bike racks, some even near an attendant. Click Here to see a map of all of the garages.
Century Building Bike Parking Center – The Century Building on 7th and Penn, Downtown offers secure covered bike parking inside repurposed shipping containers. For $100 per year, you can rent a space inside the container where only you and the other renters have 24-hour access. There is also a large number of free, outdoor covered bike parking spaces at this location as well. Click here for more details.
3rd Ave. Garage Bike Parking Facility –This facility offers 50 parking spaces for cyclists, located only a block from Market Square . It includes two areas: a free, public area that offers a bike fix-it station and space for approximately 30 bikes, as well as a premium parking area available by annual lease ($100/year) that offers secure, weather-protected storage lockers and parking for up to 24 bikes. Click here for info about the project. Click here for leasing.
Oakland – Parking on the University Campuses
University of Pittsburgh – Information on parking on Pitt’s campus as well as how to get access to their Secure Bicycle Lockers. Carnegie Mellon University Info on their bicycle policy and parking on campus as well as info on access to their secure bike lockers. CMU also has a map of their campus bike parking.
Valet Bicycle Parking & Event Parking
Yep, its a thing. BikePGH offers a Valet Bicycle Parking service for events – large, medium, small. In the program’s 7 year history we’ve parked thousands of bikes at dozens of different events. Make yours the next! Click here to find out more.
We also offer portable, secure bike racks if you need to temporarily increase your bike parking capacity. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve these racks for your use.
Pittsburgh’s Bike Parking Ordinance
Thanks in part to BikePGH’s advocacy, the City of Pittsburgh amended its Zoning Code in 2010 to incentivize the development of more quality bike parking in a more dense urban area. This amendment to the Zoning Code was a big step for the city, and actually allows developers to create new developments with relatively low mandatory minimum car parking to increase promotion of biking, walking and transit use. An Urbanist win no doubt! click here to read the City’s overview of the amended Zoning Code.
City of Pittsburgh Bike Rack Request Program
Here it is! We know you’ve been awaiting this web page as much as we have. In June 2015 the City released their new bike parking installation guide and permit page!
If there are still more questions, give us a shout.
Purchasing and Installing Bike Racks
BikePGH’s staff has years of experience parking bikes to racks in cities around the globe. We’ve seen it all – the good, the bad, the ugly – and we’ll help you ensure that your facility is a shining example of secure bike parking ingenuity at its best. Call us for a consultation, (412) 325-4334 or email us at email@example.com
We work with the Minneapolis-based bike rack manufacturer, Dero. Dero builds commercial-quality bike parking solutions for municipalities, universities and businesses throughout the country (the City of Pittsburgh purchases all their racks through them). As an added bonus, your purchase of a Dero bike rack helps support BikePGH’s advocacy and programing efforts. We appriciate your support, and we look forward to bringing more quality bike parking to the Pittsburgh area.
There’s different routes to installing bike racks on public vs. private land. Click here to find out all you need to know about buying and installing bike racks.