Ordinance Overview

 San Francisco Bicycle Parking in Existing Commercial Buildings

The Tenant Bicycle Parking in Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance encourages commuting to work by bicycle and requires commercial property owners to allow tenants to bring their bicycles into their building.


Tenant Bicycle Parking in Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance Overview 

Effective March 2012, the  San Francisco Tenant Bicycle Parking in Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance encourages bicycling to work by requiring commercial property owners to provide secure bicycle parking, or allow tenants to bring their bicycles into the building. 

Passed in partnership with Supervisor John Avalos, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC), the legislation assists in attaining the goal of 20 percent of all trips by bicycle by 2020. This is part of the city’s larger goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 1990 levels by 2017.

The San Francisco Tenant Bicycle Parking in Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance requires commercial property owners to:
  • Allow tenants to bring their bicycles to their leased space, or
  • Provide secure bicycle parking on-site, or
  • Provide no-cost off-site bike parking access for tenants within 750 feet of the building

The Ordinance applies to commercial properties housing tenants that provide goods and/or services to the public, and/or to the business community direct

Compliance for Commercial Property Owners

If you are an owner, lessee, manager or other who controls a commercial property, you are required to allow your tenants to bring their bicycles into their leased space or designated bike parking area. You are required to be compliant with the ordinance.  SF Environment must receive your Bicycle Access Plan or Exception Form.  Please follow the directions below to be in compliance with the law:

Full Bicycle Access, No Tenant Restrictions

If you allow tenants to use any area in the building to transport and store their bicycle including elevators, stairwells, office spaces and other areas, you are in compliance with the Ordinance.  No further action is necessary.

Prescribed Bicycle Access, Some Tenant Restrictions:

If you allow tenants to bring their bicycles into the building, but would like to prescribe specific details and limitations on bicycle access, you will need to complete a Bicycle Access Plan.  Your submitted Bicycle Access Plan, will be kept on file at the San Francisco Department of the Environment.  You are also required to notify your employees about the prescribed route and post the Plan or routre diagram in your lobby. After you make the submitted form available to all tenants of the building, no further action is necessary. 

Exception:

You may apply for an exception ONLY if your building’s elevator is not available for bicycle access due to substantial safety risks, OR alternate covered off-street or alternate indoor no-cost bicycle parking is available for your tenants to use.  Please see Exception section below for more information.

Bicycle Access Plan

If you are an owner, lessee, manager or other person who controls a commercial property, submit a Bicycle Access Plan if you identify specific details and limitations on bicycle access, including route to elevators or stairs that accommodate bicycle access, route to a designated area for bike parking and other information as listed in the Ordinance.  

The Bicycle Access Plan must be submitted online. You will receive an email confirmation of your submission (please check your Spam filter if you do not see it).

Bicycle Access Plans should be submitted to the Department of the Environment. The Plan will be kept on file at the Department and made available upon request to tenants. If you would like to update their Bicycle Access Plan, re-submit a Bicycle Access Plan with the included updates.  

If you do not want to prescribe specific details by which your tenants bring bicycles into your building, no action is required.  By not prescribing access, you are allowing tenants to bring their bicycles into their leased spaces.

Exceptions

If you are an owner, lessee, manager or other person who controls a building, you may fill out an exception form if:

  1. Your building’s elevator is not available for bicycle access due to substantial safety risks; or 

  2. Alternate covered off-street or alternate indoor no-cost bicycle parking that meets the security requirements of Planning Code Section 155.1 and 155.2, and is available within three blocks or 750 feet at no-cost, whichever is less, that accommodates all tenants requesting bike access. 

The Department of the Environment, after consultation with the Municipal Transportation Agency and Department of Building Inspection, will either approve or deny the  exception request. Commercial properties that file for an exception should also complete a Bicycle Access Plan to ensure that tenants are aware of the specified location to park their bicycles.  

Planning Code Section 155.2

Bicycle parking requirements for commercial properties are found in Planning Code Sections 155.1 to 155.2.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about the Tenant Bicycle Parking in Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance? Consult these Frequently Asked Questions for assistance. 


Contact Information

CommuteSmart
San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment)
City & County of San Francisco
Phone: (415) 355-3727
Email: CommuteSmart@sfgov.org


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