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|Santa Monica Rolls Out Red Carpet for Bikes|
By Jason Islas
May 17, 2011 – Bike-friendly Santa Monica is doing its part to celebrate “Bike Week LA,” the 17th annual festivity sponsored by the county's Metro transit system.
Monday night, a bicycle action plan workshop at the Civic Auditorium kicked off the week, and Thursday will be “Bike to Work” day.
To get things rolling, the Lookout recently talked to Santa Monica's Transportation Demand Manager Annette Colfax about the city's new “Bike Transit Center,” scheduled to open this year.
Downtown Santa Monica will get over 350 new bike parking spaces by the end of the summer, and quite a bit more, Colfax said.
The new center, split between Parking Structures 7 and 8 at Santa Monica Place, will offer more than just parking spaces for bike, she said.
It will “increase ease and use of bicycling in Santa Monica, with outreach, education and secure bike parking,” said Colfax.
Attended parking, a self-service repair area, showers and lockers will be available at the corner of Second Street and Colorado Avenue. Access to parking, showers and lockers will be members-only.
An strip running along Second Street will have approximately 90 parking spaces available to non-members.
And bicyclists will be able to find “secure, access-controlled” parking and lockers at Fourth Street and Broadway Avenue. While this part of the center won't have an attendant, access will require a membership pass.
Colfax emphasized that education and information would be an important part of the new center.
Bike and Park, LLC, which will run the facility under a city contract, will partner with the non-profit Sustainable Streets to offer regular classes on bike safety and repair, she said.
The classes will most likely cost a nominal fee with possible discounts for members, Colfax said.
The city hasn't determined the price for membership yet, but Colfax said it may cost around $25 a month, with discounts for annual passes.
She also mentioned an informal bike-share program for Downtown employees, which would tentatively cost around $35 for 6 months.
“We want this to be a community hub for bicycling,” said Colfax.
Bike and Park, LLC will also partner with Perry's Cafe, the iconic beachside cafe, to offer guided bike tours and rentals from the bike center. Colfax pointed out that this is “a very important and visible piece” of the new bike action plan.
The city is planning a grand opening when the center is ready in late summer or early fall.
As more information becomes available, including class schedules and operating hours, it will be available at http://www.bikesm.com/.
The new center will “increase ease and use of bicycling in Santa Monica, with outreach, education and secure bike parking.”Annette Colfax
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