Until now, installing a bicycle rack in the town of Vienna required filling out a three-page application and putting the proposal before the town’s Board of Architectural Review (BAR).
But a new process approved unanimously Jan. 8 by the Vienna Town Council will reduce that paperwork and ideally speed up installation of the racks, which will improve access to local businesses and promote healthier living, town officials said.
Applicants, including businesses and owners of commercial property, can take advantage of the new Expedited Bicycle Rack Application form by selecting from among pre-approved “inverted U” rack designs, painted black or “Charlottesville green.”
Vienna zoning staff will visit applicants’ sites to make sure the arrangement complies with town guidelines. At Town Attorney Steven Briglia’s suggestion, the application form will specify that new bike racks should not conflict with approved site-plan conditions, such as landscaping or parking.
If applicants desire bicycle racks other than the pre-approved designs, they will have to submit a request for approval of exterior modifications via the BAR and Planning and Zoning Department.
Correctly submitted expedited applications should take no more than three to four weeks to be processed and approved, town officials said.
Vienna’s involvement will not end with the new application form. Town officials plan to alert new companies about the bicycle-rack policy via flyers to be distributed by the Town/Business Liaison Committee.
Town officials also will promote the streamlined rack process via social media and at town events such as bicycle rodeos and safety seminars. The town’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, which advises the Transportation Safety Commission, also will help local businesses with rack placement and other available options.
Charlie Strunk, vice chairman of the committee, joked that he would like to see the application form reduced to a 4-by-6-inch card. He doubted the town would be inundated with requests to install bike racks.
“I think making it as easy as possible is good,” Mayor Laurie DiRocco said of the new application process.