• DC Passes Bibycle Storage Rules Applicable to Condominiums
  • February 26, 2015
  • Law Firm: Chadwick Washington Moriarty Elmore Bunn PC - Fairfax Office
  • The DC Department of Transportation has finally adopted a rules that require residential buildings to provide for bicycle storage. DDOT's rules have been under consideration for some time, but became final and effective on November 28, 2014. The new rule recognizes the District's increasingly bike-friendly environment.

    Under these rules, DC residential buildings with more than 8 units -- including condominiums and cooperatives -- must now provide a reasonable number of secure, safe bicycle storage spaces. Here is a summary of the new DDOT rules and how they work:

    1. Reasonable Number of Bike Spaces - Upon Request. The Association must provide a reasonable number of bicycle parking spaces within 30 days after receiving a written request from 1 or more tenants/owners. “Reasonable number” means the lesser of 1 bike space for each residential unit or “enough bicycle parking to meet the requested demand."
    2. Complaints to DDOT. If a complaint is filed with DDOT by one or more residents, DDOT will first facilitate discussions between the parties to determine the number of spaces the building will provide. If the parties cannot agree, DDOT will decide.
    3. New vs. Rehabbed Buildings. New residential buildings must have at least 1 secure bike parking space for each 3 units. Substantially rehabbed buildings with 8 or more units shall have at least 1 secure space for each 3 units OR the same number of spaces as were in the building before rehab (whichever greater).
    4. Exemptions Can Be Granted. DDOT can grant, upon written application of the building owner, an exemption or reduced level of compliance. It must be shown that providing the bike spaces is not physically practical; creating spaces would create an undue economic hardship; or that the nature of the building issue is such that bike spaces would not be used.
    5. Requirements for the Bicycle Spaces:
    • If possible, spaces must be located INSIDE the building. If outside, spaces must be secure, covered and adjacent.
    • Interior spaces located no lower than first cellar level or first complete parking level below grade (and no higher than first above-grade level).
    • Spaces must be available to employees, residents, building occupants.
    • Required parking must be provided as racks or lockers. Interior racks must be provided in parking garage or bicycle storage room. When required bike parking is in garage, it must be clearly marked and separated from adjacent motor vehicle parking spaces by wheel stops or other barriers.
    • For bike rooms with solid walls, entirety of interior must be visible from entry door. Motion-activated security light shall be provided, unless otherwise illuminated so bikes clearly visible.
    • When parking provided in lockers, they must be securely anchored with certain minimum dimensions.
    • Minimum aisle width of 48 inches and vertical clearance of 75 inches. Parking must be horizontal -- but some vertical bike racks are acceptable.
    These rules could have a major impact on buildings throughout the City. Condominiums and cooperatives should strongly consider evaluating their options to determine how (or if) they can provide compliant facilities -- and how these requirements mesh with their governing documents. While this law is request-based, which implies that there may be time to consider the options, bear in mind that those requests will surely come.