CoGo bike kiosks find permanent Village spots
German Village finally has its bike kiosks.
As part of the city's bike-sharing program CoGo, two kiosks were placed in the historic district: one in front of St. Mary Catholic Church on South Third Street and the other at the southwest corner of City Park and Stewart avenues, across the street from the west access of Schiller Park.
Each hub, powered by solar energy, will contain 15 bicycles when the central-city bike-sharing program is fully implemented in the next week or so.
The city held a ceremonial launch of CoGo Bike Share July 17.
When it is fully in place, it will include 300 bikes and 30 stations. Patrons, through the swipe of their credit cards, can access bicycles at each station.
The first 30 minutes are free and then charges are added the longer the bike is used. Daily passes are $6 and annual memberships, $75.
The German Village community debated for several months on appropriate locations for the kiosks.
Officials from the city's Recreation and Parks Department said they wanted the kiosks to be in highly visible areas serving the most people.
Friends of Schiller Park, however, fought a plan to place a hub on a slab of concrete on the Reinhard Avenue side of Schiller. Another alternative, to place the hub on Reinhard, was criticized because it would have displaced parking.
The city then considered one at the main entrance of the park at Deshler Avenue and Jaeger Street, but decided against it.
Terri Leist, recreation and parks planning administrator, said the city is satisfied with its choice.
"I think any place in German Village is going to be a spot because it's such a destination neighborhood," she said.
"And I don't know it has to be in precise spots where there is a lot of traffic."
Likewise, German Village officials seem to be unruffled by the kiosks' placement.
"We think the locations selected are appropriate," said Bill Case, president of the German Village Society Board of Trustees.
"We appreciate the cooperation of everyone who was involved in the site-selection process."