Getting your local council on board is the key to getting great bike parking.  They make the rules for what happens on private property, and decide what happens in public spaces too.  Getting them on board will make a big difference to whether you have decent bike parking available to you.  So how do you do it? Here are 10 pointers to get you on your way to getting great bike parking in your town.

1. Relationships 

Find out who looks after cycling within council.  Connect with your local advocacy group. Find a supportive councillor.  These relationships are key.

2.  Understand

Find out how it works today. Does council have a bike parking budget? Policy? Support from management and council? What help do they need? What do they think makes good bike parking? By seeking first to understand, you can find out where they need help and work with them to improve things.

3.  Educate.

Where needed help educate council officers about what makes good bike parking. Don’t assume they know.

4. Lobby.

Use annual and long term plans as opportunities to highlight the need for bike parking and request that it be budgeted for.

5.  Get businesses on side.

Councils don’t like upsetting businesses and may be more responsive if a business is asking for or supporting a request for bike parking.

6.  Collate requests.

Work with other bike users to collate and prioritise a map of locations where you would like to see bike parking. Google MyMaps is a good way to develop such a collaborative map. It can be as easy as uploading photos of the locations where you’d like bike parking.

7.  Get it in the District Plan.

Find out when your district plan is up for review and ensure bike parking provisions are updated if they are inadequate. Here’s how to get bike parking into your district plan.

8.  Call to account.

If a new development goes in without bike parking, find out why. Ask the tough questions so that better decisions can be made next time.

9.  Help.

If the council officers are struggling to come up with what is needed offer to help them out. A collaborative approach may be what is needed to get bike parking out of the ‘too hard basket’. Bikes Welcome can help you with examples and resources.

10.  Say Thank You.

Say thanks when they do a good job and get a win. Celebrate success together. Share photos of great bike parking and acknowledge those who helped make it happen.

Bear in mind throughout the process that there is a chance that your council cycling officer or team are overworked and under supported by their organisation and management.  They will likely appreciate a collaborative approach and benefit greatly from both practical support and positive feedback.  Together you can get on the road to getting great bike parking.

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