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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane City Council passes ordinance to encourage increased bike parking in new developments


Up to 25% of required parking spaces for new Spokane developments can now be substituted with bike parking spots, after the City Council voted unanimously Monday night to modify city code.

Car parking requirements in Spokane vary dramatically based on a new building’s use, such as an office versus a residence, with additional exceptions and allowances based on an area’s zoning and other factors.

Changes to these requirements, including the proposed bicycle parking space substitution, only apply to new developments, although older buildings may have to meet new standards if they expand or are moved to a new location.

Previously, up to 10% of those required parking spaces could be replaced with bike parking, with five bike parking spots substituting for one car parking spot. After Monday, most parking spots can be substituted with four short-term places to leave a bike, such as bicycle racks, or one long-term space, which can include lockers, indoor spaces to lock a bike or other secured and weather-protected spaces.

In addition to allowing bike parking to replace car parking, the City Council established increased bike parking requirements for new developments. Like car parking requirements, the bike parking requirements vary widely based on the developments’ use, such as for residences, offices or entertainment venues.

For instance, Spokane City Hall has approximately 350 employees. If a similar building was built today, it would be required to provide 16 short-term and eight long-term bike parking spaces, said city planner Tyler Kimbrell.

The code changes align with the city’s Bicycle Master Plan and Comprehensive Plan, both of which call for increasing short- and long-term bike parking, and the latter of which calls for reducing on-site car parking requirements, Kimbrell said.