Rackspotter: A Crowdsourced Bike Parking Map

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Maggie Awad Tweet Us @magsawad@magsawad December 7, 2016

Maggie Awad is the Marketing Director at Arlington Transportation Partners. She says every commute to work is different with so many options in her neighborhood including bus, Metro, and Capital Bikeshare.

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Use Rackspotter, a free crowdsourcing tool, to find available bike parking near you - available on your phone and desktop.

What is Rackspotter?

Rackspotter is a free, crowdsourced site that bicyclists can use to find bike parking locations throughout the greater Washington, DC region. Rackspotter is available both on desktop and smartphones.

bike parking outside a commercial building, arlington county virginia

How does it work?

Since Rackspotter is a community driven online tool, the accuracy and detail of available bike parking relies heavily on contributors who login and use their phone’s GPS to pin a location and place a bike rack on the map. Participants are asked to enter details like rack type, number of parking spots and a photo of the rack (photo optional). The location is then instantly added to the map and made available for search by the public.

Why Rackspotter?

Rackspotter is great for new or seasoned riders, as well as planning professionals in the region. For people who ride bikes, Rackspotter is a great tool to see what parking is available in an area before starting a trip. It’s also great to do a quick search for a rack after arriving at a location.

Rackspotter Screen CapCurrently there are approximately 6,500 individual locations across the United States that have been identified as having bicycle parking.  Across those locations, there are about 48,000 individual bays/spaces for a bicycle (as many racks can accommodate multiple bikes at the same time).

There are approximately 723 locations in Arlington (with about 4,500 individual spaces), 247 in Alexandria, 2,978 in DC and 1,831 across all of Maryland.  Outside of these jurisdictions, there are about 400 locations in the rest of Virginia (Fairfax & Loudoun Counties, but also in areas further south in Virginia like Charlottesville).

That leaves about 300 other locations across the county that have approximately 1700 individual spaces counted.  A few notable locations include: Juneau, Chapel Hill, Seattle, Cape Coral Florida, and Chicago.

As for planning professionals, the information gathered and contained is ideal in determining current inventory of bicycle parking in specific neighborhoods, urban villages or regions. Since bike racks are often installed by local government, private developers or other interested groups, maintaining an accurate inventory can be difficult. Rackspotter allows planners to identify gaps and needs to additional parking across the region. Ready to get started? Check out Rackspotter.

Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/Kittner.com

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