Baden-Württemberg prescribes parking spaces for bicycles

Baden-Württemberg sets the tone: The promotion of cycling starts right at the front door. Under the new building code, every builder of private homes must also provide reasonable bicycle parking in the future.

“In Baden-Württemberg, the new building code stipulates with immediate effect that two weather-protected parking spaces for bicycles must be available for each dwelling, providing effective anti-theft protection,” says Edgar Neumann, press spokesman for the state Ministry of Transport in Stuttgart. For example, with eight apartments, that’s 16 parking spaces. If possible, they should be accessible at ground level or easily accessible by ramps or elevators. Both the traditional Bicycle racks can be built and areas or spaces can be set up to park bicycles, strollers or walkers.

This change is timely. Today, residential buildings often do not provide any space at all for bicycles or strollers. The vehicles are parked in the hallway of necessity and stand there in the way.

Nevertheless, the bill caused a lot of excitement even before it was passed: The daily newspaper Die Welt reported slightly mockingly on the covered Bicycle racks, and the FAZ found them expensive. However, the fact that buyers or tenants of an apartment are forced to build and finance a car parking space, even if they do not have a car at all, is not mentioned.

The step taken by the green-red state government is only logical and a logical consequence of the intention to promote cycling in urban and rural areas. If you want more cyclists in the city, you also have to create suitable parking facilities – both private and public. The indignant gasping for breath in the press and in politics only shows again that cycling continues to have an extremely low status in Germany.

In future, building owners in Baden-Württemberg will be able to replace up to a quarter of the required vehicle parking spaces with bicycle parking spaces. In doing so, they must build four bicycle parking spaces for one parking space. Ideally, this is bicycle promotion in its purest form.

The example of Bike City in Vienna shows what this can look like. There are 320 bicycle parking spaces for every 100 apartments. On the individual floors there are partly glass storage rooms for bicycles and strollers, partly bicycle parking directly in front of the front door. This is no problem because the elevators are so large that three bicycles and three people can comfortably fit inside. Vienna transportation expert Michael Szeiler explained in an interview that even the less bike-loving residents biked more after they moved in than before they moved into Bike City.

If it works similarly in Baden-Württemberg, the politicians will be one step closer to their goal of increasing bicycle traffic. In the long term, Neumann says the Stuttgart government is aiming for a 20 percent share of traffic for cyclists nationwide.

Baden-Württemberg does not want to abolish driving. Rather, it’s about making biking more convenient and getting more people to switch so traffic on the roads flows again. Drivers are the main beneficiaries of this. But this is mostly not perceived.

Here are the decisive paragraphs of the state building code for Baden-Württemberg in wording:

§ 35 Apartments

(4) Two suitable weather-protected bicycle parking spaces shall be provided for each dwelling unit (required bicycle parking spaces), unless they are not required or not required in this number due to the type, size or location of the dwelling unit. (…)

§ 37 Parking spaces for motor vehicles and bicycles, garages

(1) When constructing buildings with apartments, a suitable parking space for motor vehicles shall be provided for each apartment (necessary motor vehicle parking space). In the construction of other structures and other facilities where access and egress traffic is anticipated, necessary motor vehicle parking spaces shall be provided in such numbers as are sufficient for the proper use of the facilities, taking into account local public transportation. Instead of necessary motor vehicle parking spaces, the construction of necessary garages is permissible; subject to paragraph 8, garages may also be required. Up to one quarter of the required motor vehicle parking spaces pursuant to sentence 2 may be replaced by the creation of bicycle parking spaces. Four bicycle parking spaces shall be created for one motor vehicle parking space; the bicycle parking spaces created in this way shall not be counted towards the obligation under paragraph 2.

(2) When constructing structural facilities where access and departure traffic with bicycles is to be expected, necessary bicycle parking spaces shall be provided in such number that they are sufficient for the proper use of the facilities. Required bicycle parking spaces shall provide effective anti-theft security and shall be accessible from the public circulation area at ground level, by ramps, or by elevators.

(3) In the event of changes or changes of use of facilities, parking spaces or garages shall be constructed in such numbers that the additional motor vehicles and bicycles expected as a result of the change can be accommodated. A deviation from this obligation shall be permitted in the case of the division of dwellings as well as in the case of projects for the creation of additional living space by means of expansion, extension, change of use, addition or change of roof, if the building permit or notice for the building was issued at least five years ago and the production on the building site is not possible or only possible with great difficulty.