Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ann Arbor adding Bike Parking Downtown

Warm weather brings bicycles out of garages and basements, to once again be ridden over trails, through parks, and on commutes through the city. The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority recently installed several on-street bicycle racks in downtown Ann Arbor to provide additional bike parking. The bike racks can park up to 14 bikes in a single rack, which is located in a street parking space.

Downtown Ann Arbor condominiums are a popular housing choice in the city, and many condo owners use bikes as their primary means of transportation around town. Zip Cars, which allow a user to register for an account, then pay only for use of the car when they need it, is another popular way to get around town. The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s bus system is another efficient way to criss-cross town.

The on-street racks will free up space on downtown sidewalks that will be quickly filled with cafĂ© patrons enjoying an iced coffee or a healthy lunch, shoppers wandering store to store, checking out the new summer merchandise that is just hitting shelves, and downtown workers taking a quick break to stroll around the block for some exercise. Students may be packing up and heading home for the semester, but their exodus will free up real estate for a new wave of professors, students, professionals and the thousands of people who come to call Ann Arbor home each year. The on-street racks can be found near Bicouac on State Street, Panera Bread on North University, Mighty Good Coffee on Main Street, and soon near the People’s Food Co-op. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) says that two more racks will soon be installed near other areas with high bike traffic volumes. The DDA is inviting input regarding bike parking; suggestions can be submitted online.

Downtown Bicycle Maps will be available soon from the DDA and will show bicycle parking locations, routes, and tips for biking through beautiful downtown Ann Arbor.

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