Bike Station Expansion Victory

Cyclists in Berkeley, US , were celebrating after the city council approved to help the expansion of a downtown bike park station. The anouncement coming at the end of last year, is a critical hurdle overcome for activists, who now have hopes set on a June deadline for the next set of project funding.

After a 10-year planning process and a protracted lobbying campaign, the council agreed with what bicyclists have said for years: that promoting bicycling requires safe, guarded facilities to prevent bike theft and a convenient location for cycling support. The council now joins the BART District (metro), in funding the project.

The new station will allow parking for over 300 bicycles, at least quadrupling the capacity of the long-jammed existing station.

The project introduces bicycle safety and skills training, rentals, repairs, an advice service from staff morning to night, and mechanicson standby. There will also be space for small businesses, advocacy groups, meetings and cultural events. Research shows that new cyclists are most at risk for injury, fatality, and simply discouragement, and thus social and cultural support are critical for protecting and retaining new cyclists.

As Berkeley embarks on its Climate Action Plan, promoting bicycling at the downtown hub makes environmental sense, and will lead to less use of cars. A BART study shows many rail patrons will switch to bicycling from driving the new facility opens.


by Jason Meggs

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