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Lakeview Chamber Considers Bike Sharing Sponsorship on Lincoln

After the city announced it'll launch its new bike sharing program in 2013, the Lakeview Chamber says it might pay to get bikes in town as soon as possible.

With the elimination of the No. 11 bus inching closer, the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce is considering a sponsorship opportunity with the Chicago Department of Transportation to get the new bike sharing program on Lincoln even faster.

The Roscoe View Journal reports Chamber Executive Director Heather Way is weighing a potential sponsorship with CDOT to get one or more bike-sharing kiosks in the area.

This comes after Way told Patch she planned to create the ‘Lincoln Biking District’ in an attempt to offset the negative traffic impacts of the No. 11 bus cancellation. The chamber reports that people who ride that bus do so to travel in the immediate area on Lincoln Avenue rather than for long-distance travel, making a bike sharing program a viable alternative.

“Independent, small businesses rely on public transportation to get people to them,” way said. “We were advocating for the No. 11 bus, but now that the bus is gone, we’re going to shift gears and make Lincoln Avenue the most walkable, bikeable commercial corridor that it can possibly be… It’s bumped toward the top (of our list).”

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CDOT recently asked residents to plot points and vote for different locations bike-sharing kiosks should be placed, and a spot on Lincoln Avenue was one of the most desired in the City of Chicago.

At one of the recent presentations for the bike sharing program at the Lincoln Belmont Library, CDOT officials said groups are able to purchase a kiosk for $56,000, with discounts if multiple are requested, according to the Journal. Each one would have 11 bikes and 19 stalls in case more were returned to one location.

The bike share project was awarded $22 million in federal funding, which will pay for 4,000 bikes and 400 rental kiosks in two phases, Grid Chicago reports. However, because so many people are already requesting a kiosk on Lincoln Avenue, Way says she’ll wait to sponsor one until the city’s made its decision.

“We need to do a little more research and see where the city-sponsored stations will be before we get to that,” Way told the Journal.

But the ‘Lincoln Biking District’ continues to move forward, with Way even collaborating with an urban planner educated in creating bikeable corridors. 

Along with simply restriping the current bike lanes on Lincoln Avenue, Way says the group is looking into bigger infrastructure improvements like protected bike lanes. In addition, she said there might soon be bike-based promotions for shoppers who can prove that they biked to the store. Way said they’re currently fleshing out what the top priorities will be.

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Lakeview Watchdog November 05, 2012 at 02:23 PM
If the CDOT received $22M in federal funding for this, why are these kiosks costing anything, much less $56K each?
Andy Ambrosius (Editor) November 05, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I think that's if your neighborhood REALLY wants one but isn't chosen as one of the spots CDOT decides to put one. I personally think they'll put one, if not two, on Lincoln after the response they're getting about the bus being cancelled.
Lakeview Watchdog November 05, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Ok, but for the sake of the discussion, where would that $56K come from, exactly?
Andy Ambrosius (Editor) November 05, 2012 at 09:41 PM
The Chamber would have to raise that money independently. Chambers are not funded by taxpayers. They would either hold fundraisers, ask the businesses in the chamber to help donate to fund it, and/or find someone in the neighborhood who loves the idea enough to front the money.

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