Bike Louisville, the city’s agency covering bikes and pedestrians, is hoping 2017 will shape up to be a big year for biking in the city. Following a number of open houses in late March where officials including coordinator Rolf Eisinger explained what’s coming up, the agency appears to have a full plate of projects. And there’s plenty of opportunity for you to get involved.
First up, if you haven’t already, take Bike Louisville’s online survey about the city’s bike share program that’s expected to launch this summer. The survey queries your preferences about bike share and where stations should be located and will help shape the future of the system.
Speaking of bike share, Eisinger told Broken Sidewalk that the city is moving ahead full steam with launching our long-delayed bike share system. Earlier this year, Bike Louisville tested out a few styles of bikes that could be used, including standard human-powered bikes and electric assist e-bikes. He said the city chose standard PBSC Urban Solutions bikes (the same as in many major bike share systems including New York City’s Citibike and Chicago’s Divvy) since e-bikes required installing underground utility access at each station (standard bike share stations are solar powered).
Eisinger said no title sponsor has been signed, but that the responsibility to find one rested with CycleHop, the program operator, not with the city. He wouldn’t comment on any progress the company has made. According to a 2014 document from CycleHop, the estimated cost of a Louisville title sponsor would be $1 million per year. Smaller sponsorships are available ranging from $50 for a monthly station ad to $10,000 for a full station sponsorship. Matthew Glaser, of the Broke Down Bike Club (BDBC), has been hired as the general manager for CycleHop locally.
Eisinger also said the city has decided to expand the bike station target area beyond a North-South strip between Downtown and U of L that abruptly stopped at the Ninth Street Divide. The latest bike share station map (pictured above) shows the program will stretch east to Baxter Avenue and Bardstown Road and west to 18th Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard. There’s no official launch date yet, but Rolf assures us that this summer will be it. Stay tuned for updates. (But don’t rely on the official bike share website as it doesn’t appear to have been updated in several years, although it still appears to be accepting station recommendations.)
Urban Bike Network
If you’re the online-survey-taking-type, Bike Louisville has another poll you can take, this time all about the city’s urban bike network. According to Bike Louisville, “a 600 percent increase in bicycle ridership [has] been reported due to the addition of bicycles facilities” across the city. And we’re not stopping there. The survey covers everything from protected bike lanes to how comfortable you feel biking on local streets. We took both surveys and so should you!
Sweeping Bike Lanes
Rough ride through your bike lane? Debris making it difficult to pedal or avoid flats? Bike Louisville is working to fix it. If you see a bike lane that needs sweeping, let the city know by calling 311 or using the 311 smartphone app.
Eisinger said Bike Louisville has signed a contract with a sweeping vendor to keep the city’s lanes clean. In February, for instance, over 30 miles of bike lanes were swept. “The more people call , the stronger it will be,” Eisinger said. This kind of maintenance can go a long way toward making biking safer and more enjoyable in Louisville and we’re glad to see Bike Louisville making a difference.
Finally, head on over to 1228 East Breckinridge Street between 5:30 and 7:30p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, April 4 for Bike Louisville’s annual Bike Kick-Off event. (That’s the Highlands Community Campus.) At the event, the city will fete recent completed projects, share news about upcoming plans. You’ll also be able to fraternize with fellow cyclists and hear from the Mayor.
Non-profit bike advocacy group Bicycling for Louisville will be providing free bike parking and selling adult beverages at the event. The city’s other partners include the Kentucky Mountain Bike Association (KyMBA), the Transit Authority of River City (TARC), and the Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency (KIPDA) Assister Program.