Bike rack

While The Colony looks to add bike racks at local businesses, there are some in some of the newer commercial areas.

The Colony has already taken strides in enhancing connectivity in the city.

The city approved its Trails and Bikeways Master Plan in 2017 and has created bicycle connections along various corridors such as Main Street, Plano Parkway/Paige Road, South Colony Boulevard and North Colony Boulevard.

“All of those are really important destinations for people who are in The Colony or visitors to The Colony, especially in hotel row,” said Eve Morgan, park development manager.

Morgan said some of the more difficult projects have already been addressed.

Now comes an easier task.

The city is pursuing a bike grant program, which aims to provide racks for areas in the city that don’t have them.

The city has applied for the Bicycle Friendly Community distinction, which is put on by the League of American Bicyclists and received honorable mention in its first attempt.

After the application process the league provides cities with scores on how it fares with being a Bicycle Friendly Community and how it can improve.

For The Colony those areas included trail network and connectivity, bicycle parking and eliminating barriers caused by high speed/high volume roads.

Morgan said the city has dedicated more than $2.4 million in funding for trail projects from 2017 to 2019.

But said there is a lack of bike racks in the city.

At this past week’s City Council meeting she showed the council examples of bikes blocking sidewalks at local businesses or chained to poles. She said oddly placed bikes can also be found in the city’s own parks and facilities.

“We found that while we don’t have enough bike racks at our parks we did have some at our facilities,” Morgan said. “But they’re an older style that isn’t recommended anymore.”

In contrast, there are sufficient bike racks at other locations, such as The Shacks, and Nebraska Furniture Mart.

“It seems the newer businesses are more apt to have them than the older businesses,” Morgan said.

She said the city budgeted $40,000 for bike racks, and now every park and city facilities have them.

Under the program the city buys the racks, and a business owner applies for a grant. The city and business owner determine the best location for the rack, and the city would provide the rack to the company at no charge. Then business owner would install the rack and maintain it for three years.

“The key takeaway I got in doing the research is that simplicity is the key on how this program runs for it to be successful,” Morgan said, saying that some racks require a lot of upkeep after installation.

Morgan said with the money remaining after the parks/facility bike racks the city has 119 it can use for this program.

Morgan said it hasn’t been determined how many racks a business can receive.

Morgan said the city will be reaching out to businesses in the coming weeks.

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