German Village Gazette

City mulls moving bike kiosk to rec center


After complaints from the Friends of Schiller Park, the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department is considering moving one of two bike-sharing kiosks planned for German Village.

The original plan was to put up a permanent structure along Reinhard Avenue, just west of Mohawk Street, on the north side of Schiller Park.

Yet, officials are open to relocating the structure, which will hold 10 bicycles, to the Schiller Recreation Center, said Alan McKnight, director of the city's Recreation and Parks Department, which will oversee the BikeShare program.

"We're going to give it a good look," McKnight said. "Once we have that information we're going to get together and make some decisions."

But timing is of the essence, because the city plans to roll out the program the second week of July. The plan is to put 300 bikes on the streets and 30 kiosks in neighborhoods close to downtown.

Erin Miller, the city's environmental steward, said officials will decide by July 10 where to place the kiosks.

However, the entire program will not be functioning at that time, she said.

She said community input is important, but the kiosks need to be in prominent visible locations and destinations people seek.

"We're going to find locations where it's not only good for what the community wants, but locations that make sense and will make sure the BikeShare system will work," Miller said.

"We're trying to make it best for everybody, but at some time we've got to move ahead," she said.

Katharine Moore, chairwoman of Friends of Schiller Park, said the group is troubled by several aspects of the kiosk.

At first, the city wanted to put it on the street, displacing parking. Then, more recently, the city wanted a concrete slab placed in the park to anchor the kiosk.

Moore said Friends of Schiller felt none of those options was acceptable and suggested moving it to the rec center, which is close to numerous entertainment and restaurant destinations.

She said she met with McKnight and others associated with the program June 11 and thought they worked out an agreement.

"We came out of the meeting believing we had an offer and were moving ahead on a solution," she said.

Meanwhile, another bike kiosk is planned for an area near the Golden Hobby Shop, 630 S. Third St. That kiosk would be placed on the sidewalk.

There was some discussion about moving it onto the Golden Hobby Shop property, which the city owns, but that presented some issues, such as removing part of the fence to accommodate the kiosk, McKnight said.