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Physical Activity: Bike Racks or Shelters


  • Physical activity,
  • Physical environment,
  • Community,
  • Facilities & organizations,
  • Schools,
  • Workplace,

Bike racks or shelters

Research shows that having a safe place to store bikes results in more employees biking to work.1 It can potentially encourage increased physical activity more broadly, especially if coordinated with other strategies, such as awareness campaigns, accessibility projects, and others.

Ways to get started

  • Identify potential and strategic areas to install bike racks/shelters, preferably at common community sites, such as recreation centres or public transportation hubs, by consulting and partnering with organizations, schools and businesses.
  • Make existing bike racks/shelters safer, such as strengthening structure or ensuring adequate lighting close by and snow removal.
  • Enhance the existing bike racks/shelters, such as painting and cleaning the storage and surroundings.
  • Provide bike locks for people to borrow or loan by partner with local or nearby facilities.
  • Include locations of bike racks/shelters in local maps.
  • Consider multi-purpose shelters that can also keep skateboards, scooters and helmets.
  • Raise awareness of the health benefits and the importance of lifelong physical activity and obesity prevention.2,3 
  • Work with your municipality to add active transportation infrastructure, like bike shelters and racks, into community plans. Active transportation infrastructure makes it easier for people to walk, wheel and use public transportation to reach destinations. 

For further action to increase physical activity in your community, see

Multi-component community-wide interventions that increase awareness about and provide opportunities for physical activity opportunities’ in your community will have greater impact than implementing one-off strategies.

Evaluation measures the impact of all the hard work that went into developing a community initiative. Evaluating impact examines:

  1. What you expect to learn or change
  2. What you measure and report
  3. How to measure impact

What you expect to learn about bike racks or shelters may include:

  • Increased number of bike racks or shelter structures.
  • Increased use of existing bike racks or shelters
  • Improved appearance and safety of the bike rack/shelter and surroundings

 Physical activity: Bike racks or Shelters

  1. Wardman M, Tight M, Page M. Factors influencing the propensity to cycle to work. Transportation Research Part A. 2007:339-350.
  2. Garcia J, Beyers J, Uetrecht C, et al. Healthy eating, physical activity and healthy weights guideline for public health in Ontario. Toronto (ON): Cancer Care Ontario, Program in Evidence-based Care; 2010. Available from:
  3. Community Preventive Services Task Force, CDC. Behavioral and social approaches to increase physical activity: Social support interventions in community settings. The community guide. Washington (DC): CDC; 2014. Available from:, accessed March 12, 2020.