Ann Arbor DDA OKs $30K for Bike Parking Cage

A 50-bike storage facility that would have the footprint of two automobile parking spaces has been given approval by the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board. [.jpg of footprint] The “cage” will be located in the downtown Ann Arbor Maynard Street parking structure.

The authorization of $30,000 from the DDA’s parking fund – for design, fabrication and installation of the bicycle storage facility – was given at the board’s Oct. 3, 2012 meeting. Similar “cages” in other cities use a chain-link fencing material. However, the DDA hopes that a more aesthetically pleasing option can be identified.

The facility is designed for commuters who would pay a rental amount for use of the “cage.” Bicyclists would still be responsible for securing their own bikes in racks inside the cage. [.jpg of rack configuration] The revenue from the rentals would go to the DDA to compensate for the lost revenue from the automobile parking spaces. The getDowntown program, which is formally a creature of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, would receive a yet-to-be negotiated portion of that revenue in exchange for managing the program. The getDowntown program already manages some downtown bicycle lockers.

Based on discussion by DDA and getDowntown staff at a Sept. 26 DDA operations committee meeting, the current intent is to make the cage available only to holders of the go!pass – a bus pass that downtown employers can purchase for their employees at a cost of $10 per year. The cost of the go!pass rides is subsidized by the DDA.

Also at the Sept. 26 committee meeting, it was reported that Barracuda Networks believes that as many as 25 of its employees are potential users of the bike cage facility. Barracuda was recently granted a tax abatement by the Ann Arbor city council in connection with its move from Depot Street to a downtown location immediately adjacent to the Maynard Street parking structure, where the cage is to be located.

This brief was filed from the DDA offices at 150 S. Fifth Ave., Suite 301, where the DDA board holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]