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Bike corral pilot program being considered

Posted June 19th, 2015

You can find them on street signs, benches and trees around Downtown Eau Claire; bikes, looking for a place to park.

Summer Van Dyke says she relies on her bike to get around town, the only problem is finding a place to park it.

“I usually chain it to a lamp post or something because there aren’t enough spots,” Van Dyke explained.

“There are so many bikers that even the places we do have to park are full in the summer,” Maryann Valois added.

Finding bike parking in one part of Downtown Eau Claire could get a bit easier if a new bike corral pilot program in the works is approved.

The basic idea of a bike corral is to take an on-street parking space that would normally hold one car and use it to hold 10 bikes on a bike rack.

Bob Eierman is the chair of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. He says the city is looking to test out a bike corral on South Barstow Street this summer.

“We picked a place in front of Pizza Plus because they had interest and it's a good location with plenty of bikers,” Eierman explained.

Eierman says the city has already purchased the corral, which can hold up to 10-bikes. In order for city crews to put in on Barstow Street, businesses in the area must give their approval. If that happens the pilot corral could go up by early July.

“Hopefully we will see lots of demand and lots of use for it and if that happens we may expand it in the future,” he said.

Eierman says the addition of the bike corral could help alleviate downtown parking and attract more customers

“Bikers recognize when businesses are accommodating their needs and they return. So it’s good for businesses,” Eierman said.

Once the bike corral is installed on Barstow Street, crews will track how often it's used this summer and determine if more corrals should be placed around the City of Eau Claire.

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