California city limits bike parking in public areas

The city of Costa Mesa in Orange County, California limits parking and locking bicycles on public property to bike racks. Since there are only a handful of public bike racks in Costa Mesa, this is effectively a ban on bike parking.

The city has had numerous complaints about bicycles attached to poles, fire hydrants, bus and park benches around the city, often blocking walkways at city parks or in the street, said Costa Mesa police Sgt. Victor Bakkila.

The ordinance is part of the city’s Homeless Task Force and the group’s look into quality-of-life issues for residents. The task force, created in January 2011 to address a large homeless population in Lions Park, has since removed a railing and picnic structure at the park where many homeless locked their belongings.

The ordinance limits locking of bikes at public facilities and properties to bike racks and prohibit parking in places which obstruct the public’s right-of-way.

More at the Orange County Register: Costa Mesa bans parking, locking of bikes on public property. Reader comments following the article include laments from people working service jobs who bike to work and normally lock up to a signpost, and parents of children who bike to the park and lay their bike in the grass as they play.

Via Biking In LA, who notes that there are only 38 bike parking spots in the city’s 30 parks.


  1. It’s not a ban on parking, just awful planning. It is rather annoying when trees and signs are covered in bikes, since it often makes the sidewalk narrower and less safe, so I can understand why they would not allow that. But some reasonable thinking would then realize that the solution would be to add more racks to meet that demand.

  2. For typical errands (shopping, eating) I almost always end up using something OTHER THAN a bike rack to lock my bike to.  This is in the ‘burbs, so sidewalks aren’t an issue, and my bike is usually the only one around.

    Even in the few places where there’s a bike rack in the area, it’s typically in a bad location, or it’s a useless design, or both.

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