Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, along with Bike Pittsburgh, this morning officially launched his Small Business Bicycle Rack Program by installing the first bike rack during a press event in front of Enrico Biscotti, located at 2022 Penn Ave. in the Strip.
The Small Business Bike Rack Program was created through a collaboration of the Mayor's Taking Care of Business Districts Program (TCOB) and Bike Pittsburgh. TCOB aims to revitalize business districts through targeting City services and providing resources for small business owners and the residents who frequent those neighborhood lifelines.
"Through TCOB we continue to revitalize our neighborhood lifelines and are helping small businesses grow and thrive by providing the amenities they need to attract customers," Ravenstahl said. "I want to thank Bike Pittsburgh and our state legislators for their partnership that will provide the amenities our businesses and residents deserve."
Bike Pittsburgh, with funding support from Richard King Mellon Foundation and William Benter Foundation, has donated 100 racks. The City has purchased an additional 100 bike racks through a competitive bid process and with TCOB funding, bringing the total number of bike parking spaces in the City to 400.
"This program also addresses the City's bicycle initiatives, which include working with business districts to seek creative ways to increase availability of bicycle parking and increasing bicycle facilities to accommodate commuters," said Ravenstahl. "As the City continues to add bike lanes and shared lane markings, more and more City residents will choose the bicycle as a safe, convenient, and green way to get to work, shop, and visit entertainment destinations."
Last year, the Mayor's Neighborhoods Initiatives Department sent out a ranking form and asked Mainstreet Managers and Chambers of Commerce to let them know what streetscape items they wanted in their area; bike racks were a key desired item. The TCOB team will install 100 bike racks in areas that have submitted requests - Strip, Bloomfield, Southside, Polish Hill, Squirrel Hill, Carrick, Lawrenceville, Friendship, Garfield, Shadyside, Brookline - and will install more upon request and evaluation.
Businesses can request bike racks online as well via the City's website. The City's Bike Ped Coordinator and the Department of Public Works will assess the requested site and install if applicable.
"Bike racks are one of the most important indicators of a bike-friendly city," said Bricker, executive director of Bike Pittsburgh. "They do more than provide support and security to bicycles; they act as a visual cue that bicycles are a welcome mode of transportation in our City. Bike Pittsburgh is grateful for the funding provided by the Richard King Mellon and William Benter Foundations, and thankful to the City for its partnership with installation and placement. Working together, we will make Pittsburgh one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country."
Out of three competitive bids submitted, Dero Bike Rack Co., from Minneapolis, MN came in at the lowest with $251 per rack as opposed to the other bids of $475 and $665. The Dero bike racks will follow the Three Rivers design of the Bike Pittsburgh donated racks so that designs are consistent throughout City. Public Works Crews will install the bike racks. The total cost of the bike rack program is $25,100 and will be paid for from the TCOB budget which consists of $850,000 in grant money from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.
Other "hard" items that have been requested by business districts include: street trees, trash/recycling receptacles, street banners, and increased lighting.
"Many of these items are up in our neighborhoods right now," Ravenstahl said. "In Lawrenceville, we fabricated and installed neighborhood banners, in Uptown we are working to improve lighting, and in Carrick we installed no littering signs to respond to their concerns about the presence of litter."
Thursday, October 29, 2009
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Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687