Bike share exists within the larger frame of a city’s safety and cycling policies and can play a key role in a city’s traffic safety and sustainability vision. Good station placement can attract riders, serve as a permanent promotion for the system itself, create value for sponsors, contribute to larger road safety designs, and add activity to the pedestrian realm.
Decisions about station placement take into account technical criteria—such as sidewalk widths, pedestrian volumes, location of fire hydrants, bus stops, and utilities—as well as political considerations and community desires. Station locations must be operationally feasible—for example, adequate sun exposure if solar power is used, or close to access points for maintenance and rebalancing vehicles. Locations that impede pedestrians or create conflicts with other major streetscape elements—e.g. bus stops, hydrants, loading bays—should also be avoided. Adherence to these guidelines ensures that bike share stations are situated in the streetscape in safe and desirable ways and that stations are easy to find and use.
All across the world, data shows that proximity to a network of high quality bike lanes increases bike ridership. Good bike share station siting can encourage new cyclists and increase the use of bike lanes, further justifying municipal investment in growing cycling. Ensuring that investments in bike share are matched by investments in high comfort bike lanes is necessary. Systems that are implemented or expand without considering where people will ride and the real and perceived safety of those routes will not succeed. While not all stations can or should be directly on or adjacent to a bike lane, planners should ensure that bike share program areas are well served by a strong bike lane network.
Download the Bike Share Station Siting Guide
Materials and Design Elements