Planning Underway for Downtown Bike Hub at Front and Long
Planning is underway by the City of Columbus on a bike hub that would be located on the first floor of the new city parking garage being built at the northwest corner of Front and Long streets downtown.
The facility would be open to the public and would offer cyclists a place to store their bikes, change, and take a shower, although exactly what other amenities would be available (and who would run it) is still up in the air. Those decisions will be made after the city reviews a feasibility study completed by local advocacy group Yay Bikes.
“The report will be in our hands in a week or two, and it will show us options — best practices from other cities, our target user groups, how would it function, how would it be operated,” said Brad Westall, Greenways Planner for Columbus Recreation and Parks. He explained that after the report is reviewed by the city, a more detailed plan will be developed and a Request for Proposals sent out.
Westall said that the goal for having a facility open is early 2017.
Models for bike hubs vary significantly from city to city — some are run by nonprofit organizations, some by local bike shops or a group of bike-related businesses. The Cincinnati Bike Center, on the other hand, is one of several run by a national company called Bike & Park.
Although some private employers downtown provide in-office facilities for bike commuters, Westall said that the new bike hub — which would be open to all riders — would be a first for the city.
“We are excited about it,” he said. “There are a lot of employers within a couple of blocks of the site, and, of course, lots of city employees… this would be a great amenity, and a great way to encourage more people to ride.”
Garage rendering via Schooley Caldwell Associates & DesignGroup.