The Best Bike Policy

By on Aug 19, 2014 in News

As an outdoor enthusiast, I love the warm weather months. It’s great to hop on my mountain bike and head to the local trails or just watch theshutterstock_103860620 kids cruise around the neighborhood while I grill. But I hate the heart-stopping moments when kids on bikes get too close to moving cars or when I can’t park in my space because a bike is hogging it.

An apartment community without a bike policy is asking for trouble in more ways than one. A bike that lays discarded in the breezeway can be a fire hazard. An unattended bike can turn into a stolen bike which turns into a theft report and a community that seems unsafe. Lastly, bikes scattered throughout your community simply look like a mess.

A solid bike policy can help communities maintain the joys of having an active bike population with less of the drama. These five simple tips will help you establish a community bike policy and stick with it!

Set Up Proper Storage

Be sure that bike racks are accessible, especially near areas where children congregate like the playground, pool, and near the bus stop.

Encourage Bike Safety

During your next outdoor event, invite a pro from a bike shop or outdoor supply store like REI and Performance Bikes to set up a presentation on bike safety. It’s free press for them and free safety info for your residents—a win-win situation. The presentation can start with a fun activity or demo to grab kids’ attention and then cover rules of the road, bike registration (which can be as simple as etching the owner’s name into the frame), and basic bike maintenance tips.

Establish the Bike Policy

Kids are kids. There is bound to be a lost or improperly stored bicycle now and then. That’s why it pays to have a bike policy. Include:

  • A designated storage location for lost/discarded bikes
  • A maximum duration of time in which the bike will be held at the storage site
  • A maximum number of times that the same bike can be lost or discarded
  • A bike claiming process
  • A game plan for frequently misplaced and unclaimed bikes–bonus points if your game plan gives back to the community!

In my old complex, the onsite staff would hold the bike for one week in a storage room near the pool. If the bike wasn’t claimed, it was then donated to the local SPCA thrift store which raises money for the no kill shelter.

Be Proactive

In addition to proper bike storage, learn more about biker and pedestrian options in your area. If those resources are lacking, become an advocate. Neighborhoods with bike lanes and pedestrian friendly access to local amenities rank high on renters’ lists. Besides, residents love to see their onsite staff having a positive influence in the neighborhood. It encourages a sense of community!

Be Consistent 

Consistency promotes respect and fairness.  If rules are sometimes enforced, they’ll never yield enough influence to be productive.  Fairness will help onsite staff avoid disputes.

Does your community have an effective bike policy?