German Village Gazette

Desire for more bike racks surfaces again

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Two bike racks are nice, but they're not enough, say members of the long-range planning committee.

Some of those involved with the group would like to see at least one other bike hub -- possibly more -- in German Village, which promotes itself as a tourist destination, particularly among the alternative-transportation crowd.

Village resident Trevor Major, a member of the committee and an avid cyclist, said he's supportive of CoGo, a new bike-sharing initiative in which people use credit cards to use bicycles in center-city neighborhoods.

There are two CoGo bike racks in the village: one in front of the Golden Hobby Shop and the other near Stewart Alternative Elementary School. Columbus also has car2go, a vehicle-for-rent program for those who need a car in the central city.

There are smaller bike racks scattered throughout the village, Major said, but there's no centralized place for cyclists to park their bicycles, especially near the center of the neighborhood's attractions on South Third Street, he said.

"I think it would basically show we're trying to be progressive and embrace alternative forms of transportation," he said.

Matt Eshelbrenner, chairman of long-range planning, said his group is generally supportive of the idea of more bike racks that are "accessible, but tastefully hidden."

Eshelbrenner said his committee won't offer any recommendations about the issue, but will pass its findings along to Streetscape Committee, as it considers elements of the Third Street Master Plan.

In the not too distant past, the city had considered installing a bike shelter on Third Street in front of Cup O Joe.

The 8-foot-by-18-foot shelters, which could accommodate 10 bicycles, had no walls, but were covered with peaked roofs.

In early 2012, the Columbus Department of Public Service decided against installing the shelter partly because of complaints from retailers and the village officials, who thought they were too big and didn't fit in well with the historic community.

Rick Tilton, assistant director for public service, suggested the bike-rack supporters leave their recommendation on the city's 311 public information line -- 614-645-3111 -- and take the issue up again with the German Village Society.

"I don't know what would become of it, but it would at least start the discussion," Tilton said.

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