Carmel City Council makes bike parking encouraged, but not required

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The Carmel City Council voted unanimously Aug. 15 to approve several changes to building requirements, which include new incentives for employers to add covered, long-term bicycle parking when constructing buildings.

Previously, it was proposed that bicycle parking and employee showers be mandatory for new buildings of a certain size. There was a formula to determine how much of each was needed, but some city councilors and business leaders questioned this requirement, and the ordinance was changed in committee. First, employee showers were dropped from the bill, and then it was decided that bicycle parking would be encouraged by allowing a 5 percent reduction in car parking. The ordinance also deals with several changes involving fences.

New parking garages will be required to have proper space for bicycle parking with a water fountain and maintenance area.

City Councilor Bruce Kimball, a sponsor for the ordinance, said he’s happy with the compromise, and he hopes employers will consider these amenities when finding ways to attract new workers.

“This is actually a win-win for bicycling and business owners,” he said. “With a car-parking space costing $10,000 to $30,000 each, the new ordinance allows reduced car parking by 5 percent if they meet the long-term, bike-parking guidelines.”

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