Thought others might also have missed this article published last month (or was it just me?)... Racks, corrals and cages: Winnipeg adding more bike parkingCyclists will have more parking options this summer, especially downtown where the downtown BIZ has plans for three eight-spot corrals. http://www.metronews.ca/news/winnipeg/2017/04/27/winnipeg-adding-bike-racks-...
Considering the plethora of parking lots in Winnipeg, it can be hard to believe that some commuters struggle to find a spot – but that's often the reality for cyclists.
And that's why Mark Cohoe said it was a good thing that city council approved a grand total of $185,000 in grants to create more bike parking Wednesday.
"There's some areas where (bike parking) is better… but if you get into other areas it drops off significantly," said Cohoe, executive director of Bike Winnipeg. "There's definitely some spots where it's really hard to find."
Stephanie Whitehouse, the city's active transportation coordinator, said the money allocated this week "is a culmination of two years of budgets," as 2016 grants "hadn't gone out."
She explained the grants follow the city's approved strategies by giving groups like business improvement zones (BIZ's) funding to increase their area's bike parking.
"They hear from local businesses and people where the demand is and then they facilitate and install the facilities," she said, adding it often factors into "beautification" efforts.
Once the group decides what they'd like to install and where, the public works department reviews the plan prior to installation.
Grants approved this week include $45,000 to the Downtown BIZ, $15,000 for the Exchange District BIZ, $5,000 for the Old St. Vital BIZ, and $10,000 each for the Corydon, South Osborne, Transcona, West Broadway and West End BIZ's.
Melanie Andrushko, the acting transportation project manager for the Downtown BIZ, said the plan is to spread new bike racks "throughout the downtown and the Exchange District in 2017."
"We will be looking to add to the current inventory of bike racks situated on the sidewalks, but we would also like to try and add two on-street bike parking locations."
Known as "bike corrals," the on-street parking is meant for high traffic locations and can fit eight bikes or more–the grant approved for the Downtown BIZ is for three corrals, worth approximately $32,000, as well as other short-term racks.
Andrushko said 400 responses to a recent BIZ-led transportation mode survey found "most respondents would like to use cycling more as their preferred mode of transportation," so the new racks and corrals are helping make that feasible.
Whitecourt said she's eager to "get the ball rolling" on the corrals, which could be permanent fixtures.
"We did have some in the past but they had to be installed then removed, they were seasonal… they don't always weather well," she said. "We're looking for a durable one."
Council also approved $30,000 for Bike Winnipeg to install racks in areas without a local BIZ, and $30,000 for the Green Action Centre to install racks and bike cages at schools.
Whitehouse said the bike cages, which are exactly what they sound like, are a response to bike theft happening "repeatedly," which is "particularly traumatic for children."
"To lose such a valuable piece of equipment for them is hard… also we are looking to encourage more kids to bike to school," she said.
For anyone adding it all up on their calculator who noticed that all amounts to just $175,000, kudos, the final $10,000 is for the Winnipeg Public Service itself to install a bike cage downtown at 180 King St. for city staff to use.
That installation follows the city's pedestrian and cycling strategy goals, which binds the city to demonstrating "leadership in providing short-term bicycle parking for visitors to the City of Winnipeg facilities and secure long-term parking and end of trip facilities for employees at municipal buildings."