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Bike Permits: Frequently Asked Questions


- Always display your Bike Parking Permit at a conspicuous place on the bike.
- Park only in designated bike parking spaces. Even if the bike has a permit it is not necessary to park in any parking zone.
- Look for any specific restrictions even in designated parking spaces like ‘no parking after hours,’ or ‘2 hours Max Parking.


Following are the type of bike parking spaces:

1. Bike racks or bike bollards or Bike Stalls - Bike is supported upright by its frame in two places.
2. Bike lockers - Stand-alone lockers or boxes designed to hold one or two bicycles per unit.
3. Bike lockups - Parking shelter to store multiple bicycles under one roof.
4. Bike corrals - Groups of 6, 9, or 12 bicycle racks installed in the parking strip.
5. Bike garage - A parking garage has all types of parking spaces, including bike parking.

It depends on different rail services. Whichever train services allow bicycles on the train, will have their own rules about Bike Permit. It is best to check the official webpage of the rail service or your state’s Department of Transportation for the exact rules on permits required to carry a bike on the train.

Most railroad services like Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), Metropolitan Transit Authority, Shore Line East, NJ Transit, and Amtrak have onboard bicycle policies where passengers are allowed to ride the rails along with their bikes. New train cars are being built with bicycle hooks to assist bicycle commuters.

New York, New Jersey, Vermont, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, along with many, other states offer bike access on state-supported trains. While some states offer this service for free, others charge for the permit to carry bicycles on the train.


Bike permits are mostly used in the following places -

- Residential buildings/HOAs
- Schools/University campuses
- Business and Office premises
- Parks, sidewalks, and other municipal amenities
- Public transit stations, pick-ups/drop-off points
- Hospitals
- Parking garages
- Other public spaces intended for usage by the community

Most parking lots are private property, so access to bikes is completely based on the personal discretion of the property owner. If the parking lot serves a commercial use, it’s likely the city or county required the property owner to provide bicycle and pedestrian access as a condition of approval when the property was developed. For example - New York requires parking garages or lots that accommodate 100 or more vehicles to provide parking for bicycles too.

The garage must furnish ways to secure bikes, such as racks or poles, as well as devices, like locks and chains. Garages must be equipped to park at least one bicycle for every ten automobile parking spaces, up to twenty bikes. Parking garages or lots cannot refuse to provide parking for a bicycle unless as long as the garage has room.


Following steps should be taken to exercise caution in parking lots by bikers -

- Ride with traffic.
- Abide by lane markings and signal your turns and moves.
- Do not ride in restricted areas like sidewalks, pedestrians paths, etc.
- Ride slowly and defensively. Do not ride faster than automobiles. Cars may cut you off if there’s an open space.
- Try to stay on the main thoroughfares at the parking lot perimeter and stay from riding down the rows of parked cars.
- Do not ride too close to the doors and tailgates. Lots of big vehicles have rear doors that can suddenly open through a remote key.
- Stop at all stop signs.
- Wear a helmet, use lights and wear bright reflective clothing if riding a bike in dark.

Most transportation agencies issuing Bike Permits do require registration. But you must check with the individual authority for the exact requirements. Registration of the bike is mostly required for an accurate database of bicycles and bicycle owners. Providing basic details of the bike and contact information of bicycle owners helps any organization to better manage bicycle traffic and reach out to bicyclists who might be impacted by a temporary event, like a construction work on the property that requires bike to be moved. A simple scan of the bicycle permit makes it easy to send specific information to bike users easy.

If Bike Permits are registered, proof of ownership can be validated before cutting a bike lock due to a genuine defect in the lock. Registration also prevents bike theft and makes it easier to find a lost bike.

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