A ClevelandBikes’ bike station for Northeast Ohio?

Submitted by Kevin Cronin on Mon, 01/16/2006 - 11:15.

People on REALNEO’s website are used to thinking about new ideas and the way we can help create the city and region we want to live in. Rather than passive acceptance, readers at REALNEO are active shapers of the community.  Our area is increasingly considering the importance of health activities, lifestyle and the comfort and attractiveness of the region.  As a region, we are focusing on regional assets, including our parks and lake.  With that in mind, I want to discuss ClevelandBikes, a two year-old nonprofit, and our project to develop an asset to meet these goals…a bike station, a new piece of the transportation infrastructure.

What’s a bike station?  It’s a combination parking facility and athletic club for cycling commuters, offering secure “round the clock” parking access and a bike tech on hand during the day for emergency services, but it’s really nothing that Northeast Ohio has ever seen before… A bike station is a One-Stop Transportation Center for cyclists. The project borrows from a nation-wide model (Bikestation, an IRC § 501(c)(3) organization, www.bikestation.org).  While each bike station provides unique services and amenities, most offer some combination of the following services:

  • Secure bicycle parking, with “round the clock” access for members;
  • Convenient access to public transportation;
  • Independent shower/changing rooms for both men and women; 
  • Daily service hours with knowledgeable staff offering bicycle repair or parts/supplies retail sale options;
  • Rental bikes for local and tourist needs;
  • Information assistance for planning riding trips; and
  • Access to “environmentally clean” motor vehicle-sharing.

 Creating a cycling infrastructure helps meet our region’s goals.  Polls identify that more than half of Americans want to bicycle more and drive less, yet transportation officials have not translated these goals to public facilities.  In 2000, the US Transportation Department advised states receiving federal funds that "bicycling and walking facilities will be incorporated into all Transportation Department projects unless exceptional circumstances exist," but acknowledges that fewer than half the states comply. Creating the cycling infrastructure, encourages the cycling activity, easing traffic congestion and generating the desired health, transportation and environmental benefits:

  • Nationally, bicycles account for 10% of all trips, 13% of all fatalities, but only 1% of federal funding. Bike lanes are available for only about 5% of bicycle trips.
  • Toronto analysis found a 23% increase in bicycle traffic after the installation of a bicycle lane.
  • Portland, Oregon, planners identified a 74% increase in bicycle commuting during the 1990s.
  • Bike Station Long Beach reports that as many as 40% of their users were formerly solo motor vehicle drivers and would return to motor vehicles if not for a bike station.

 The facilities are growing nation-wide. The Palo Alto facility is expanding to meet demand -"We're parking more and more bikes all the time," said manager Larry Chinn. "This winter we're parking twice as many as last year and 60% more than the beginning of last summer."

Offering resources and support for cyclists, a Cleveland bike station would encourage cycling and other transportation options, contributing to improved air quality and reduced traffic/parking congestion, enhancing our community’s quality of life.

The ClevelandBikes bike station would be a significant, cost-effective investment in cycling transportation infrastructure, simultaneously acknowledging the growing role of cycling for commuting and transportation and contributing to future non-motorized vehicular transportation growth. 

ClevelandBikes was formed in 2003 as an IRC § 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. ClevelandBikes is committed to advancing all forms of bicycling as economical and healthful recreation, sport and transportation and advances and defends the rights of Northeastern Ohio cyclists to use the roads and enjoy fair trail access.

ClevelandBikes, a broad, volunteer-driven coalition, including cycling clubs, retail stores, certified instructors, government and nonprofit staff, individual riders and interested members of the public. ClevelandBikes’ membership is approximately 750. 

ClevelandBikes volunteers also publish Crankmail, the thousand-copy monthly cycling newsletter, which serves as the "The Voice of Cyclists in Northeast Ohio.”
Please visit www.clevelandbikes.org for more information!

Contact ClevelandBikes: info [at] clevelandbikes [dot] org or bikestation [at] clevelandbikes [dot] org

When Cleveland Bikes, Cleveland Benefits!

Station location is crucial - it's gotta be at the hub

Why couldn't some of the set aside federal highway funds be leveraged for a bike station?   Any space in Terminal Tower?   TT has the links to the RTA & downtown.  Or, there are plenty of vacant buildings nearby.  Perhaps a forward thinking owner/tenant  has space they would lease inexpensively for a few years.  


What are other hub locations which would be feasable? 


Is there an online bikeway map demonstrating prefered bike routes around NEO?

Bike Station for Cleveland-Followup

You've raised a number of very good points. Certainly lower Euclid, with access to public transportation, workers and vacant storefronts is a leading potential location, but other areas, including University Circle and the Cleveland Clinic area, have also expressed interest.


The Plain Dealer (Sunday, 1/15/06) editorial emphasized the development of the parks and towpath trail, leading cyclists from throughout the region to a park in the flats, which is also a promising area.  What if riders from throughout Ohio could ride into the flats, shower/change and park their bikes securly and enjoy the restaurants of Cleveland? 


Visit www.clevelandbikes.org for more information. 


When Cleveland Bikes, Cleveland Benefits!

Thanks for the info

This is great information, Kevin. It is amazing to me how much money we sink into enormous federal and local road projects for cars, and how little of that goes to establishing things like dedicated bike lanes (Cleveland's idea of a 'bike lane' is generally to put a sign up on the road saying it's suddenly a bike lane, even though we still share it with cars!). Having statistics like how much interest is out there for biking is a vital part in convincing leaders to allocate some resources for expanding the biking community.

Station location - where would it be most used?

In discussing this further,  it has been brought to my attention that the station location needs to be successful - not just well located.  So the hub location that  would get the most use   is probably more important than making the logistical location of the hub the most geographically rational.

Bike Station Followup

I neglected an important point raised by the posts about creating the bike station - money.  ClevelandBikes has applied (and will continue to apply) to a wide variety of potential funding sources - local foundations, national industry groups to bring new money to NE Ohio projects and public entities like the funds at the NOACA (the multi-county roads and bridges people).  In fact, ClevelandBikes is raising money for all our bike programs, including “bike to work,” a mentoring program for new or less experienced riders, a review of the local laws of the regions cities and towns and others.  With regard to the bike station, significantly, the first gift was from Medical Mutual, a company that clearly sees the value of a bike station and the link between riding and health.  Companies in the health industry are clearly an important potential source of support.  Perhaps some of you work for companies that might like to support or use a bike station.  If so, please visit us our website and print and share the bike station description. I’d be happy to meet and discuss further.


When Cleveland Bikes, Cleveland Benefits!