Planning Board Approves Bike Parking in Winston-Salem

At it’s July 9, 2015 public meeting the City-County Planning Board in Winston-Salem approved proposed bike parking regulations for almost all new developments – with the exception of single family homes – in much of the city. Representatives of PTAA have been working with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County planning staff for months on the proposed regulations, and while we still feel that in concept this should be a market-driven amenity, we have been pleased with how the staff incorporated the feedback our members provided. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The number of parking spots required is one per eight apartment units.
  • Initially the text amendment did not have a cap on the minimum number of parking spots per apartment community, but it did by building or structure. This would have created a very high minimum for the traditional garden style apartments we see in much of Forsyth County. Based on the feedback from our members they reduced the minimum to 20 total per community.
  • Initially they did not have language that would have given credit for any interior bicycle amenity, like a bike kitchen or common storage area, but they added language that will allow for those amenities to count as bike parking slots.
  • Bike parking can be used to reduce car parking requirements by up to 5%.
  • Initially the requirements were city-wide, but after getting feedback from our members and few other members of the public the planning staff removed future growth areas from the requirement. In our opinion they should have also removed suburban areas from the mix, but the position of the city planning staff is that the city is pushing to develop bike-friendly options to connect the suburbs with the downtown core, and since multifamily developments have a multi-decade lifespan it is better to have the parking built up front than to try and get it done retroactively.
  • If approved by city council the new regulations would only apply to new developments or extensive redevelopments of existing properties so it will not apply to existing apartment communities.

You can an overview of the proposed parking revisions here.
Here’s a link to the full text amendment.
Here’s a link to the presentation slide show prepared by planning staff.

The next step is for the Winston-Salem city council to review the proposal at an upcoming meeting. We’ll provide an update on how things proceed.