The Evanston City Council has approved spending just under $8,000 for installation of 30 new bike racks at 15 or 16 locations around the community, including several on Central Street.
The City's bills list for the period ending Nov. 23, 2010 included the item and in response to an alderman's inquiry, a list of the locations was provided at the Nov. 22 Administration & Public Works ("APW") committee meeting. Locations will include the sidewalks at 1811 Central (Karlson Kitchens), 1814 Central (Dancing Bear Gallery), 1900 Central (Chase Bank, on its property; 3 racks), 1921 Central (Prairie Joe's - 3 racks), and 1943 Central (MilleFiori - 3 racks).
This site two years ago documented the need for additional bike racks on Central, especially near the train. The new racks will be most welcome.
Even at a cost of almost $300 per "U" the bike racks are a bargain compared with the cost of a parking space for an automobile.
The bike racks are to be provided by Dero Bike Rack Co. of Minneapolis. The spending line item does not specify whether installation costs are included, or whether City labor will also be required.
The 2007 Evanston bike plan originally designated all of Central Street as a bike route, with the western portions as lanes. The final version attempted to re-route much bike traffic to Lincoln, but many bicyclists patronize Central Street businesses and amenities, and commute to the train stations, all year round.