Cycling enthusiasts and activists have made substantial progress in turning California into a safer place for bicycles and motor vehicles to share the road. While there’s still a long way to go, cycling is a form of transportation that continues to gain momentum and has become much more mainstream and accepted.

In fact, lawmakers and activists alike have begun to realize that the state of California needs to reconsider how it allocates and mandates parking, especially for residential areas and multi-unit rental buildings. Bicycle advocacy has long involved pleas for safe places for cyclists to park and store their bikes.

With more people commuting or traveling on bikes, there is a greater need for secure bicycle parking around urban spaces and potentially a reduced need for motor vehicle parking at the same time. Lawmakers may change certain state rules in a way that will benefit cyclists to address this very issue.

Residential buildings could replace some of their mandatory parking with bike parking

Those building new facilities and those retrofitting or remaking existing structures to better suit their tenants’ needs often have to comply with local ordinances or rulings regarding parking obligations to their tenants. Parking can become expensive, as it takes a lot of space and investment to accommodate hundreds of vehicles at a time.

Under a bill sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition, new residential developments and construction projects could replace some mandatory parking with bike parking and ride-share parking spaces. The law allows for flexibility in the kind of parking for bikes, including secure inside storage, and allows companies to trade up to two parking spaces for certain ride-share or long-term bike parking offerings.

Knowing when the laws change helps you advocate for yourself

It can be frustrating to have to rely on the goodwill of people for what is a basic necessity for your form of travel. Changes in laws and local attitudes about cyclists and their rights, including the right to park their bike somewhere other than inside their apartment, will benefit cyclists and property owners alike.

Expanding laws that protect cyclists and retrofitting existing infrastructure to better accommodate them are two examples of how California is becoming more bicycle-friendly, even for those who rent.