Bike Parking Installation of the Month: Montgomery, Alabama

This month we’re highlighting a community that is showcasing their commitment to cyclists. Montgomery, Alabama, recently installed a handful of new parking racks for riders in their city. From a brewery to the local farmer’s market to a community garden, Montgomery riders can now safely park their bikes at some of the city’s most frequented locations.

To learn more, we interviewed the driving force behind Montgomery’s efforts, Deana Acklin.


  1. Why did you choose to add bike parking to your city?

As an avid cyclist who rides for fitness and as a commuter on a daily basis I am very familiar with the rewards of cycling. BICYCLES BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER. Biking encourages discovery and spurs community engagement. Bicycling is a simple solution to many problems that are evident right here in our region, from reducing obesity rates, to cutting parking congestion, to increasing mobility options.

There is a large population of Montgomery residents that are commuting by bicycle every day. Whether it’s a commute to work, trips to the local coffee shops, or picking up groceries…they are moving two-wheels at a time! However, an overwhelming concern by riders and local businesses is the absence of bicycle parking in our great city. Aside from the beautiful racks along the Civil Heritage Trail, there aren’t many options for riders to securely park their bicycles downtown or in the neighboring business communities.

My goal was to be able to give the community the bicycle parking options needed for our daily commuters and for those who just want to ride for a cup of coffee or a beer. With bicycle parking options now available, I really hope that more people are encouraged to get out and ride!

The Cycle Aid Station comes in handy.The Cycle Aid Station has already come in handy.


  1. How has the feedback been from the community regarding the recent addition of bike parking?

Everyone is excited and the racks and cycle aid station/have already been used! Here are a few comments that have been shared with me on Social Media: “Coolest thing I have seen on FB today!! Awesome!!!!” ~R. D. 

Community Garden bike parking“Deana Acklin, Market Town thanks you for your hard work at getting this installed!! We needed it ;)”.


  1. Why did you choose to use Saris Products?

Besides making QUALITY products made in the USA, I have always admired how the company continually works on projects bigger than themselves through bicycle advocacy and by supporting small projects like mine…because it ALL  makes a difference. Working with Saris coordinator Emelye was another reason why. From start to finish she was there every step of the way and always shared genuine excitement for my efforts and this project. 

Before and after photos of the new bike parking options in MontgomeryBefore and after photos of the new bike parking options in Montgomery.


  1. Any valuable information you want to share regarding cycling advocacy projects for others who are interested in adding bike parking to their city?

Reach out to your local bicycle clubs and businesses to find the financial support you will need for sponsorship. They may have the same vision but might not have the time to invest in finding the products or mapping them out. Meet with your city planners to discuss your efforts and to share your vision. This way they can advise you on any restrictions or upcoming development that might interfere with your locations. Finally, get the support of your local leaders by sharing with them the benefits of bicycle parking and the positive impact it will have in your community.

More before and after photos of new parking options in Montgomery, AlabamaMore before and after photos of new parking options in Montgomery, Alabama.

Seeing is Believing, Part 3

In the final installment in our series of lessons learned from the great cycling cities of Europe, we find all is not roses (or tulips in the Netherlands) with respect to their bike infrastructure.

There are blessings and curses for being a top bicycling city. Increased mode share of bike commuting can have both tangible and intangible benefits: less vehicle congestion, better public spaces, healthier citizenry, more productive employees and a cleaner environment. But the “dark-side” of having so many people commuting by bike is where to put all the bikes. In the great cycling cities across the globe, more and more frustration is being expressed at the lack of both quality and quantity of end of trip facilities for bikes.

Bikes parked anywhere and everywhere in Amsterdam.Bikes parked anywhere and everywhere in Amsterdam.

In the latest Copenhagenize Index bike rankings, Copenhagen and Amsterdam both finish on the top steps of the podium at #1 and #2 respectively. High mode share for bikes as well as ingenious infrastructure designs and investment make these cities particularly great examples of a world-class bike city. However, in citizen surveys and polls, they give singularly dissatisfied opinions on their bike parking. How could these “Platinum” bike cities get below-average marks for their bike parking, and what lessons can we take for use in our US communities?

Firstly, there are some design differences between Europe and the US when it comes to both the bikes and the racks being used to park them. Copenhagen and Amsterdam have uniformity in bike style, with the appropriately named “Dutch-Style” or step-through city bike being the dominate style.

“Dutch-style” bikes in Delft, Netherlands.“Dutch-style” bikes in Delft, Netherlands.

Add in the relatively flat terrain of both cities and you find that most bikes traveling the bike lanes of Amsterdam and Copenhagen are quite consistent: single-speed, narrow tires, upright handlebars, and generally non-descript (no flashy colors, graphics, or electronics). The only personal touch seems to be whether to choose wicker or wire for a front basket. With the bikes being so austere, thought of merely as an appliance, bike theft is simply viewed as an occupational hazard. So you rarely see a “U-Lock” or beefy chain lock. Here, the rear wheel lock, or “café-lock” is the standard. All of these characteristics add up to a bike parking standard that is very different from the US. Where the US applies the American Pedestrian and Bike Professionals (APBP) recommendations of fully supporting the bike in two places and ability to use a U-lock, the attitude of bike parking in Copenhagen and Amsterdam is either “park anywhere” or the front wheel sandwich.

Bikes stacked up outside the train station in Utrecht, Netherlands.Bikes stacked up outside the train station in Utrecht, Netherlands.

But even though there are differences between the titans of biking in Europe and the US, we can learn from their successes and failures. There is a simple reason demand has far outpaced supply in these cities: poor planning. Amsterdam has close to 900,000 bikes, but only 400,000 parking spaces. Their Central Station currently employs floating barges to help with the demand, and they are on track to dig beneath their waterfront to add an additional 7000 spots. In Copenhagen, the central station only has parking for 1000 bikes when over 7000 is currently needed. The lesson to take from these quantity deficiencies is plan not for today, but for tomorrow.

Bike parking outside Central Station, Amsterdam.Bike parking outside Central Station, Amsterdam.

Bike commuting in the US is up 62% since 2000, and in selected cities that have invested in bike infrastructure like Washington DC, Pittsburgh, and Chicago commuting is up over 200%! This is not a temporary trend. Demographic shifts in transportation priorities points to continued long-term growth. The other important takeaway is investment in bike parking at transit stations. New stations in metropolitan Amsterdam and Copenhagen are investing millions of dollars in best-in-class parking and services.

Bike parking garage in the new train station in Rotterdam, Netherlands.Bike parking garage in the new train station in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Repair stations, lift-assist racks, bike escalators and parking availability notifications are some examples of the prioritization of bikes, and their users, at these important transportation hubs. As US cities expand their own mass transit systems, the goal should be adequate bike facilities to meet a growing demand among current and future users.

A+ bike parking in Malmo, Sweden.A+ bike parking in Malmo, Sweden.

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns when it comes to bike infrastructure in the world’s leading bike cities. They have their fair share of problems, and bike parking is a glaring one. But because the US is just starting to build out our infrastructure, we have a great opportunity to invest wisely and plan for the future.

Construction of new bike parking at Toronto’s Union Station.Construction of new bike parking at Toronto’s Union Station.

Bike Room of the Month: Parmenter Circle Apartments

As part of an ongoing series, we are highlighting well-designed bike rooms and facilities across the country. In addition to featuring the products and layout, we wanted to understand the motivations and benefits of those creating and using these facilities. For our inaugural showcase, we are featuring a local bike storage area: the apartment complex Parmenter Circle in Middleton, WI, and manager Robert Schwarz:

  1. Why did you choose to update/add bike parking to your building?

    Tenants in multifamily buildings nowadays expect bike parking! And local governments, such as Middleton, want bicycle parking to promote commuting by bike. Also, as an owner/manager of multifamily properties we want our tenants to have an alternative to storing their bikes on their patio or deck. Saris bike parking is a cost effective solution to these needs.

  2. Have you received any tenant feedback?  

    Absolutely, and all positive.  Prospective tenants are impressed when our leasing manager tours the building with them, and once they move in they appreciate storing their bikes in a secure, indoor location (that’s not in their apartment!).

  3. Why did you choose to use Saris products?

    I heard from some biking buddies about what a great company Saris is, how they stand behind their products, sort of the ‘LL Bean’ of the bike carrier business. Their products are super sturdy and flexible in design. At Parmenter Circle we were able to use the spare spaces in the basement (not needed for parking stalls and mechanical equipment) to fit Saris bike parking racks.

Thanks to Robert for seeing the value in best-in-class bike parking for his buildings and tenets. If you are interested in bring this kind of solution and amenity to your business, home, or facility, please contact one of our design and layout professionals at or 800-783-7257 ext 154.


Previous bike parking area
Previous bike parking area left something to be desired.
Easy assembly took less than an hour.
Easy assembly took less than an hour.
The Final Product
The Final Product: easy to see why the tenets are impressed.

Seeing is Believing, Part 2

Part 2 of 3 in a mini-series focused on Scandinavia by Jereme Noffke, Parking Sales Manager

In Part 1 of our story, we journeyed to Malmö, Sweden and discussed first impressions of the bike infrastructure. Now we travel across the Oresund Straight to the crown jewel of biking: Copenhagen

Even after the warm-up in Malmo, filtering into the bustling flow of cycling traffic in Copenhagen was a bit of a shock. The number of cyclists and the speed at which they move about the city was quite impressive. While it only took a couple of blocks to get acquainted, the cycling in Copenhagen is serious business! Copenhagen is one of world’s leading cities in Cycle Track design and implementation. Cycle tracks are typically raised and separated bike lanes that create a safe and dedicated place space for cyclists to move about the city. In Copenhagen, a full network of connected cycle tracks allows cyclists to easily, quickly and safely reach any location in the city limits.

Cyclists riding in a protected bike laneCyclists riding in a protected bike lane.

The thought process in Copenhagen is not necessarily about creating cycling infrastructure, but rather about creating a livable space touting lower noise pollution, higher quality of life and providing public spaces for every citizen to use. Cycling is a huge part of that equation. There is also a large focus on the finer details of the transportation system. They have implemented features such as the “green wave” which is a series of timers notifying cyclists how fast they need to go to make the upcoming traffic lights. This allows cyclist to have a non-stop trip down major corridors.

The Greenwave on display.The Greenwave on display.

There are also other cyclist-friendly features on display in Copenhagen, like garbage cans along the cycle tracks that are angled at 45 degrees allow cyclist to throw their garbage away while not slowing down on the bike.  All of these details communicate the convenience of cycling to both the daily and occasional commuter.

A garbage can for cyclists on the go.A garbage can for cyclists on the go.

Copenhagen has always had a rich cycling history, but I was surprised to hear that they also experienced a love for motor vehicles in the 1950’s. In some cases, cycling infrastructure was actually removed in sections of the city through the 60’s and 70’s with utility cycling falling to an all-time low of about 10 percent. However there was a bike resurgence in the late 70’s that continues today and has helped to build one the greatest active transportation systems in the world. For example, nearly 40% of work trips are being taken by bike. Here at Saris we continue to advocate and create products that will help build active communities along with bicycle infrastructure that the future generations will be sure to enjoy.   I challenge you to do your part in creating the next generation of livable communities across the US.

  Cargo bikes galore. Cargo bikes galore.

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