02/12/09

Bike Walk Twin Cities Funding: The Process ContinuesBike Walk Twin Cities Funding: The Process Continues

In November 2008, the Bike Walk Twin Cities initiative issued a call for projects that would inspire exclamation points...like "wow!" "aha!" or "YES!" Transit for Livable Communities (TLC), as the administrators of Bike Walk Twin Cities, expected project applicants to showcase their best ideas for helping more people walk and bike...and the projects needed to be on track to open by the summer of 2010.

TLC received 16 initial proposals. The TLC board, weighing recommendations of the Bike Walk Advisory Committee, invited four projects to submit full proposals:

  • Hennepin County Bike Commuter Facility.This project would build an innovative bike commuter facility in the Hennepin County Government Center, incorporating secure bike storage, showers, and lockers. It would also provide additional outdoor bike lockers, bike maintenance stations, and a commuter information kiosk. Proposers say the project would be the first of its kind in a government building and could serve as a standard for future buildings.

  • City of Minneapolis Bike Share Program. With this project, the City of Minneapolis would have 1,000 bikes at 75 self-service kiosks located around downtown, Uptown, and the University of Minnesota campus. Members paying about $50 a year would be able to use the 3-speed bikes for up to a half-hour at a time at no charge and drop them off wherever there's a kiosk; non-members could buy a one-day pass for about $5 by processing a credit card in one of the solar-powered stations.

  • Sibley Bike Depot Bike Donation Program.The Sibley Bike Depot would recycle and repair donated bicycles, distributing them to organizations in St. Paul and Minneapolis, and ultimately to recipients who would rely on the bikes as a primary mode of transportation. that serve people who can't or don't want to drive. Each bike recipient would also receive accessories (helmet, lock, lights and rack) and free specialized training on bike maintenance.

  • University of Minnesota Bike Center/RFID Commuter Validation System. The heart of this project would be the University Bike Center, which would be constructed in a dormant transit waiting area of the University's Oak Street Parking Ramp. Planned services would include repair, retail, secure bike storage, restrooms/changing rooms, clothing lockers, electronic trip-planning kiosk, and a programming space. The RFID (radio-frequency identification) system would help identify and validate bike trips to better deliver new federal bike commuter benefits.

One or more of these projects could receive notice of funding in spring 2009. In addition, there are two other capital funding processes underway:

  • Revised plans on selected projects remaining from the first and second Bike Walk Twin Cities project solicitations in 2007 and 2008

  • Projects that were highly recommended from planning studies funded by Bike Walk Twin Cities in 2007

These spring awards will conclude a three-year funding process for infrastructure improvements. Watch for many project openings in 2009 and even more in 2010.