Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New bicycle racks for Downtown

With bicycle ridership increasing up to 30% in the last year, the Muni invested $17,000 into 13 new bike racks for the Downtown area using state grants. Now if you attended the city's little civic block party earlier this summer, you may have noticed a booth in which a map of Downtown Anchorage was laid out in front with visitors being asked to pin down locations they'd like to see bike racks and even bicycle lockers. I can't confirm that this is the result from that survey earlier this year, but with new bike racks installed in popular locations such as G Street, 5th and D, and of course our beloved Snow City Cafe, it sure looks like the results have been delivered. The ADN is reporting that bicycle lockers are expected to later show up on the parking lot behind the Sunshine Plaza.

With this news, I decided to bravely trudge out into the subzero cold and check out the new racks for myself. The results: not what I expected. It appears that at least two different versions of the racks have been installed. One rack looks more traditional with its "curved sink pipe", while the other sits between parking meters with space for two locks. I guess the artistic street furniture now found on F Street and around the new convention center raised my expectations for more artistic and unique designs, but then again this is a limited budget from a state grant. Not that I'm complaining or anything -- I'm very satisfied! Below are my sightings of these new species in their habitat:

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