More Bike Shelters Coming Soon to Downtown
Six more bike shelters will soon be popping up Downtown thanks to a bike infrastructure investment program from The Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District. By design, the shelters somewhat resemble those recently installed by The City of Columbus via Consider Biking, though additional functionality will be put into place through the installation of bike lockers for storage and green roofs for rain water absorption.
“The intent of this project is to provide well-placed bike infrastructure to help stimulate bike commuting as an alternative to driving,” said Project Manager Ken Ferell. “At the same time we also wanted to build something that would look great on the street and contribute to energizing the Downtown streetscape.”
The bike shelters installed by the City of Columbus several months ago have been received with mixed reactions. Critics claim that some shelter locations were poorly chosen, that shelter height does little to shield bikes from diagonal rain, and that the project cost is too high when compared to the installation of traditional non-sheltered U-shaped bike racks.
The six shelters being installed by Capital Crossroads are a part of a larger infrastructure project that is anticipated to cost the organization $450,000 and also includes bike lockers, 71 U-racks, a City of Columbus employee bike room and a Franklin County employee bike room enclosure. The project cost also includes design fees, engineering, testing, site work and some installation costs.
“We bid this project based on a contractor providing fabrication and installation of 294 bike parking spaces,” said Ferell. “The price we received was based on this volume of work. At this juncture we are under budget by about $40,000 so we are considering adjustments and additions to the project that might include moving the existing bike lockers, buying additional bike lockers, and adding more U-racks.”
The six shelters will be placed in the following locations:
- The west side of High Street at Hickory Street
- The east side of Front Street at Long Street
- The east side of Third Street at Broad Street
- The east side of Fourth Street at Broad Street
- The west side of High Street at State Street
- The east side of High Street at Mound Street (rendering pictured above)
The bike lockers were originally going to be clustered all in one location at Lynn Alley and High Street, but the plan has been altered to distribute them to multiple locations throughout Downtown.
“What looked good on paper made less sense once the lockers arrived and we realized that disbursing the lockers would give us better information about their value at various locations,” said Cleve Ricksecker, Executive Director of Capital Crossroads. “We are now exploring a total of eight bike locker locations that are placed where we anticipate they might be used. Each location would accommodate two bicycles, and once we observe demand for lockers, we can shift them to meet demand.”
Various components of the bike infrastructure program will be completed over the course of the next two months. The City employee bike room will be completed tomorrow and 50 of the U-racks have already been installed to date. The six bike shelters are scheduled for installation by mid-August. The entire project is on track for completetion by September 15th.
More information about the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District can be found online at DowntownColumbus.com.