Richard Z's picture

Downtown Bike Parking Problems and Opportunities?

Bike Calgary regularly receives inquiries from cyclists who are looking for secure bike parking downtown because their own building either doesn't have any or it's full. What's it like in your building?  Waitlists? 

Our page on bike parking

is a bit meagre right now.  Can you add to it or correct the information on it?  Do you have any leads?




winterrider's picture

Bike parking business

Does anyone remember a poster enquiring on the feasibility of opening a monitored pay bike parking lot downtown?

Maybe he was on to something....

KimKelln's picture

Centennial Parkade lot

The Calgary Parking Authority Centennial Parkade bike lockup is heated and indoor, but it only holds 15 bikes. They've just oversold it by one unit as well. Openings are rare - I waited two years before I got one. They don't have a waiting list either. You just have to keep popping into their office in the Centennial Parkade and ask. Sometimes you get lucky. The City Centre parkade on 10th (the backside of the Gulf Canada Square parkade) is secure but not heated.

Sean007's picture

Downtown parking

BP tower is free, but only open to buiding residence. Underground cage hold ~60, so get there early on fair weather days. It's packed in the summer; my new bike is all scratched up 'cause the hangers slide so people can realy wedge thier bikes in. I would pay for a secure reserved spot.

goforstars's picture

it is an opportunity

For commerical building owners, since one can have a caged locked area tied to one's security card and fit more bikes than cars.  However the fee if charged, should be reasonable. ie. under $50.00 per year per cyclist. 

When I worked and cycled into downtown Toronto (in 1990's, from the suburbs), there were similar problems of bike parking for some bike commuters.  I took the risk of parking and locking up my bike outside one of the office towers....for 3 yrs. Believe me, I was very lucky and cycling daily spring, summer and fall!  For another employer, I couldn't even lock up my bike in an open underground garage for one of the courthouses in Toronto. So I left my bike with the parked cars. Fortunately there was real security (for the judges).  Their concern was my bike falling accidentally against a judge's car and scratching it.....which never happened.

I have worked for several employers in Vancouver and Toronto where as an employee with a security card I could lock up my bike for free in caged, locked bike area. 

Hopefully Calgary employers would be moving to promoting employee offering bike parking as of the perks.

Julie Gregg's picture

Eighth Avenue Place

My office is located in the new EAP, I pay $100 per year to park my bike and am happy to do so. The bike parking area has a separate entrance, is secure and along with bike parking I get a locker and shower area.

Richard Z's picture

Experience with management?

Has anyone successfully gotten their building to install facilities for bike commuters? How did you do it?

gyrospanner's picture

There oughta be a law....

A bylaw, that is!  Or the City should provide some kind of incentive such as property tax reductions or something...

themacneils's picture

Sun Life Plaza

Sun Life Plaza (4 Ave & 1 St SW) has bike parking in the underground parkade, however it is only available for tenants.  There is no fee, and there are 5-6 bike racks (not behind a cage or anything) which are fairly empty in the winter but pretty jammed in the summer.  Access is off 3 Ave SW, where there is a secure ped/cyclist entrance into the parkade.  One small but thoughtful addition the landlord added in the past year is that the door automatically opens up when you scan your card.

There are free showers and lockers, which are used no where near as much as the bike racks - I suspect larger tenants have their own shower facilities in house.

RichieRich's picture

Bike parking survey (downtown)

Posting for a friend:

This is basically an exercise for business planning for an MBA class, looking for business opportunities. The results will be worked up to see if there is a viable business opportunity in bike parking for downtown. The survey only takes about 1 minute to complete and your feedback is greatly appreciated.  The friend is aware of BikeCalgary and in particular this "Bike Parking" general forum, however in order to make overall statistical analysis and sample reasonable the survey format was requested.

Other comments, recommendations, and such on this forum are also appreciated.

RichieRich's picture

survey says...

I'll try to get the results of this survey once it's complete... would be nice to get some feedback.

hopefully you don't mind taking a few moments to complete it.


TheAubster's picture

Bike Survey Results

See the results of the bike survey below, if you know anyone who would be able to offer more input please send the link from before on to them. There were 29 responses at the time of this posting. The biggest challenge so far seems to be the price that seems reasonable to pay for secure parking versus what it would cost to, for example, rent a car space and put a locker in it do not come close to each other. Responses welcome. Cheers!


Edit for formatting, the last one wasn't supposed to be

Let's see if this is better to read:

1. Approximately how many days per year do you ride a bicycle to work?

0-10         3.4%    1
11-25         0.0%    0
26-40         3.4%    1
41-52         6.9%    2
52+         86.2%    25

2. Approximately how many months of the year do you ride to work at least ONCE?
1-3         6.9%    2
4-5         3.4%    1
6-8         17.2%    5
9-12         72.4%    21

3. What is the availability of secure bicycle parking at your place of work?
None Available                     3.4%    1
Limited Street Parking Only             17.2%    5
Limited Indoor Parking - With a Wait list    48.3%    14
Unlimited Indoor Parking             37.9%    11

4. When you're not riding to work, what other transportation do you use?

Walk                         24.1%    7
Public Transport (Bus and/or LRT)         79.3%    23
Car                         34.5%    10

5. For a bicycle parking service, would you rather pay:
Daily         13.8%    4
Monthly         65.5%    19
Yearly         34.5%    10

6. Assuming you don't already have parking, if you were to pay for secure, indoor bicycle parking in downtown Calgary, what is the highest would you be willing to pay (on a monthly basis)?
Nothing         0.0%    0
$10-$30         69.0%    20
$31-$60         27.6%    8
$61-$90         10.3%    3
$91-$110    3.4%    1
$111+         3.4%    1

7. Knowing that LRT fare is $5.50 per day outside of Downtown Core, are you willing to pay this for a single day use of a secure bicycle parkade?
Yes         27.6%    8
No         72.4%    21

8. What is your approximate age?

20-30         13.0%    3
31-40         47.8%    11
41-50         26.1%    6
50+         13.0%    3

9. What is your gender?

Male                 78.3%    18
Female                 21.7%    5
Prefer Not to Answer         0.0%    0

10. What would you like to see in terms of improvements for bicycle parking availability in Downtown Calgary?

Responses omitted due to length.



billrennie's picture

Survey results

The responses don't surprise, me, however statistically, you would need alot more participants to draw any conclusions.

wahsabi's picture

Paliser South Fee Increase

I just foudn out today that the yearly fee for the Palliser South bike cage went up from $100 to $160. Does anybody else think that is getting steep? I know they added another cage since last year, but looking over this thread, the new fee seems high. Can anybody else comment on their facility's 2013 fees?

Charlie's picture

Mine hasn't changed

It's $65/year and has been flat for several years. It does not include showers and is just for access to regular racks, not a secured cage. But at least it's indoors. Of course, If you factor in a membership at the nearby gym for shower access it's very expensive (the curse of an old building).

RichieRich's picture

Parking Fee

I just paid $100 this past September for a full-year of inside covered secured bike cage parking, and this is in a new building.  I think $160 is well well above average for Calgary and would question what else it might include?  I would certainly encourage active discussion/disagreement with your building manager over the fee.  Last thing we want is this spreading to other buildings!!

gyrospanner's picture

There oughtta' be a law!

Or something by City Council that caps fees or sets fees.  I'm not relally a supporter of gov't interference, but I think that when it comes to something as green, healthy, and traffic congestion reducing as commuting, the last thing that needs to be put in place is something that deters somebody from commuting.


My fees are $85 per year for secured cage, but is up for renewal soon, I hope that the building mgmt doesn't get greedy....

ICE_Trike_1's picture

Examples of good parking/change facilities downtown?

I'm working with our building manager to improve the bike commuting facilities in an older office tower downtown. Can anyone provide examples of good parking and/or change facilities in any of the newer downtown offices? Ideally, i'd like some photos or even arrange to tour some of these facilities for ideas. For parking we are looking at setting up a secure caged area with racks, small repair area, and bike wash. Ceiling height is limited to about 7'


Ponderosae's picture

Secure cage

This may seem obvious but the cage should include a top.  The 'secure' bike cage in my downtown office parkade does not have a top and video from numerous breakins show that thieves are climbing over the sides of the cage.  Building management says that they cannot place a top (ie cage ceiling) as the pipes above the cage need to be accessible for maintenance.

winterrider's picture


I've come across homeless people in my bike cage, it's easy to climb over the top and kind of pointless the way it is.

Namasteve's picture


Eighth Avenue Place has great parking and change facilities. I will try and get some pics and post them up here. 

Bluhrgirl's picture

I have some photos

that were submitted by companies downtown for the bike awards. None with cages though. BikeFinity does custom bike storage solutions, although I couldn't see any details about it on their website. 

RichieRich's picture

Bike Facilities

1. Bow Building bike parkade - easy enough to get in there yourself to look.  Key card access to garage and caged access.  Showers however are within the building on a specific floor.  Conventional on-wheel horizontal storage.  For a modern building I was quite disapointed and "had words" with certain building folks there within first week of working in that building; some really stupid stuff initially.  as in WTF.  It's now good-enough, basic, perhaps better than many still but they REALLY missed a huge opportunity.

2. Jamieson Place, 308 4 Ave SW, Calgary - in-garage parking via key card access to caged area.  Not enough storage for building.  Facilities within garage near bike cage (also key card access) c/w day-lockers, showers, and towel service.  Sweet!    I would expect Livingston Place (newer building, same management) may be even better.

3. Sun Life Plaze - 2 options - 1) in garage parking on conventional racks; key card access to garage but open bike storage.  Thought it would experience higher thefts but didn't hear of any??  Personally wasn't comfortable bringing good bike in.  Very basic & free but effective.  2) deeper into the garage is a key-card access bike cage that you pay extra for; out of sight and unknown to everyone except for the most observant (until this message anyways!).  Has air for tires (Schraeder only of course) and small area for working on (no tools). Showers are 5min walk upstairs within workout facility (tenant only, $35/mo, shower & towel & lockers service & gym too!!).  sweetest!!   Even sweeter when you consider the age of the building.

Reality is how often really does one need to work on a bike at the facility?  perhaps 1x yearly?  or even wash a bike? 

Key things to consider:

- ease of entry and exit : a regular width door sucks when you have a loaded bike with panniers, a heavy spring on the door, or key-card access where the scanner is at a stupid height/hard to reach or has open grating beneath it

- lock bar : who wants to cart their lock back and forth every day.  the bar lets you lock it there at night.  Nothing worse than people leaving their locks on the racks all the time, especially when often they're hardly used, and/or interfere with bikes.

- accessibility to the general public : obvious theft concerns.

- security & signage : private/no trespassing, security camera, visibility, etc...

mike runs's picture


I'm in Livingston.  The bike cage is on the first parkade level in sight of the loading dock and security office so I think its relatively safe 9-5.  Hanging racks.  There's a small selection of tools and a pump.  Its pretty busy in the summer but I've never not found a spot for my bike.  Access is by key card.  There are shower facilities on the parking level (including towels) and a fitness centre on the +15.  No charge for bike storage or showers.  I literally have no complaints.

ICE_Trike_1's picture

Thanks for the info

Great information. I had heard about Sunlife Plaza. Don't dismiss the appeal of a work area and bike wash - especially for us winter commuters.



goforstars's picture

workplace bike parking

One thing for certain, I hate hanging vertical bike racks (or whatever you call them). I'm small/short and my bike isn't super featherlight carbon but it's light enough for me to lift onto a bus bike rack. That's all. Really, given the greater diversity of bike weight, bike geometry, types of bikes, tire width (try a fat bike...)a bike that does get mucked up in bad weather enroute and attachments (bike box, trailer, etc.), hanging, vertical bike racks should never be the dominant installation type at all. Never.

We do have the rare cycling parents with the bike chariots for their 1-2 small chiildren ..commuting to and from downtown core to midtown home, where they lock up their bikes in the employee collective bike cage to bike lock post.

ICE_Trike_1's picture

Good point

Yes, you make a good point. Also, I took a look at the EAP facility recenty - very nice. (and no hanging, vertical racks...)