City To Add 25 New Neighborhood Bike Corrals

By aaroncynic in News on Jul 9, 2013 4:00PM

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Two bike corrals located outside Revolution Brewing's brewpub in Logan Square. (Photo credit: Steven Vance

The Chicago Department of Transportation rolled out its 13th bike corral last week in front of Cheetah Gym in Andersonville, the first of 25 new corrals that will appear this summer. The corrals take up one existing automobile parking space, create parking for 10 bicycles and cost about $3,300. According to the Sun-Times, funding comes from area businesses and the parking space used is moved to another part of the ward.

“As soon as you put them down they are full of bikes, and they’re being turned over constantly,” Commissioner Gabe Klein told Streetsblog Chicago. Klein, along with many other proponents of bike corrals throughout the country, say that studies show an increase of cyclists means a boost in spending for local merchants, along with repeat customers.

While some business owners remain skeptical, partly because a motorist might spend more than a cyclist in a single visit, research shows the corrals encourage frequent repeat business, which means cyclists end up spending more over time.

In a press release from the City, Brian Bonanno, Sustainability Programs Manager of the Andersonville Development Corporation touted some of the other benefits of bike corrals, saying:

“Bike corrals are a great way of encouraging more people to come to the neighborhood by bike, which is environmentally friendly and eases congestion in our commercial district. By installing in the street we are also able to free up valuable sidewalk space in our uniquely pedestrian-oriented neighborhood.”

The City plans to have the rest of the 25 new corrals installed by the end of the month.